This colleague of mine is white, and a veteran of teaching in a large inner-city school where most of the students are (and were then) black. It wasn't the safest environment in the world, evidently. Poor morale was not confined to students. Some of the teachers, he says, would play hooky, too.
But that doesn't mean good things didn't happen where he taught. Individuals can do the best things under the hardest circumstances.
My colleague remembered one teacher who did. No, it wasn't because she was black, although as a role model for the student majority she was obviously helped in her work by being black.
"The students would jump through hoops for her -- even the hard-core kids," says this former observer of her accomplishments
"It was her concern and commitment."
She communicated it. She breathed it, lived it. Younger people have a spiritual sense of smell about such genuineness, and they respond.
To Mrs. Bert Holt of Clev eland, thanks for making "high-quality education" real!