Opinion
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

On Inner Cities and White Enclaves: ‘Values and Virtues Have No Color or Class’

October 06, 2015 1 min read

While some readers appreciated Dweck’s explanations and her insistence that the growth mindset not be misconstrued, others criticized her for ignoring gifted learners and undervaluing innate talent. Commenters also had differing views on whether the growth mindset could help marginalized students achieve success in the face of biased systems.

With reference to Paul Marx’s Commentary, “Education, Not Political Correctness, Is the Answer,” several things occurred to me, mainly in the form of questions.

I live and work in Baltimore, in education and in the actual “inner city.” I don’t recognize the Bolton Hill “white enclave” that Marx describes, but I wondered why Marx seems to equate good “values” with whiteness?

What, exactly, are those “inner city” values, to which he gives such negative connotation? Does he mean the ones that I connect with each day, such as dreams and hopes for academic progress for children and active work to end violence? Or does he mean drugs and the lure of a culture (white and black) that makes profit from gun sales and drug sales? Or football raised to religious status and other characteristics that help frustrate parents’ ambitions?

Does Marx have some ideas that will help us end the grinding poverty, health issues, and joblessness that afflict inner cities?

Is his solution to let our poor and black children “mingle” with the well-to-do and the white? That’s it?

Values and virtues have no color or class: Marx’s views just make me sad.

Jon McGill

Baltimore, Md.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 08, 2015 edition of Education Week as On Inner Cities and White Enclaves: ‘Values and Virtues Have No Color or Class’

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