The Land of Opportunity

Class Rules

They say you can be whatever you want to be in America.  They say America is the land of opportunity.  We have the 1st Amendment that states, we can exercise our thoughts and say what we want without consequences. 

They say in, the Declaration of Independence, penned by third U.S. President and University of Virginia founder Thomas Jefferson, “All men are created equal”.  Remember President Jefferson owned slaves during the American Revolution.  Therefore, if they say you can be what you want in America, the land of opportunity, and all men are created equal then what has happened to our educational system in communities highly populated with students of color?

Many classrooms are led by long term substitute teachers who are placed in classrooms by school authorities.  Although some have degrees in other areas such as business, philosophy, music, etc. these long-term subs have no idea of teaching content.  Nevertheless, they are expected to teach our students Math Concepts and Reading skills. Are other districts, those not heavily populate with students of color, allowing this?

Inequality prevails in our educational system. The gap is continuing to widen.  Privileged populations are getting a higher quality more relevant level of education and minorities are still fighting to receive an equal education. Professional basketball player Jaylen Brown, of the Boston Celtics stated on April 28, 2014 that a teacher told him that she would look him up in the county jail. Brown believes that hidden racism is a core factor in educational inequality. We need a balanced educational system. We need qualified teachers of color and qualified teachers who are not of color to teach our students of color with high expectations just as they would teach students who are not of color. We need teachers that believe all students can succeed academically and in life and to teach them accordingly regardless of race or current financial status. Do we have any takers? If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Enough said. 

  • By Felecia Irvin
  • Felecia Irvin is a middle school instructional coach in Waukegan, IL
  • If you have any questions, comments, or feedback on her article, please send it to

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