About the Ultimate War on Mediocrity

392398_10100340070233541_482898898_nHello readers, my name is Martin. Currently, I am a middle school social studies and teacher mentor in New York City. I really enjoy working with my diverse group of students and marvel at the abilities of my students. It it with the students past, present, and future that I decided to write this blog.

Growing up on South Side of Chicago, I was privy to many negative consequences of concentrated poverty. One of my brothers was a victim of these consequences. I have always viewed the circumstances in my poor to working class community of Englewood as something that is a function of historical and institutional roadblocks that require an extraordinary amount of effort to break down. This helped influence my decision to become an educator especially for urban school districts like Chicago Public Schools and the NYCDOE. I wanted to provide my students with the tools necessary to break down those roadblocks and secure success for themselves and their community.

While studying secondary education at DePaul University I began to become concerned to with state of education in communities like Englewood. It seemed that there was an air of hopelessness by the students, parents, teachers, and administrators. I was keen to the years of disinvestment that has caused the hopelessness feeling among educators and their stakeholders. At first glance, contemporary education reform measures seemed address the needs of these students. However, I begin to realize that the “reform” measures put forward did very little to help curb the mediocre tone set in urban schools. Not only did it not help, it hurt educators and their stakeholders in very complex and egregious ways. Education reform has “missed the mark.”

As the educational landscape of the 21st changes, I believe that urban/rural education should finally offer poor urban/rural students (especially students of color) the quality education given to their affluent counterparts. Providing students with this education is not going to happen with a “quick fix,” especially since this paradigm didn’t arrive quickly. The policies of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and more recently Race to the Top (RTTP) are not going to address the sociological, economic, societal, and educational needs of students of colour.

The War on Mediocrity (WOM) offers commentary, analysis, and criticisms through the lens of a city-dweller, urban school educator, urban school alumni, and a student who “beat the odds.” The WOM will also give a voice to parents, teachers, and students who feel like their voice is being marginalized or silenced as a result of some of the more draconian reform measures.

However, I and the War on Mediocrity wants to hear your voice too! Your voice counts. Let’s go back to the days of sitting at the (proverbial) dinner table and discuss the “nature of the country.”

Martin Palamore
21st Century Educator

Welcome, I am glad that you came. Please follow the War on Mediocrity on Twitter @mppolicy. If you would like to contact me you can e-mail me at mrpalamorechicago@gmail.com

I am also looking for more bloggers and guest bloggers. Please e-mail me if you would like to join the War on Mediocrity!


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