CitizenSchools.org issued a response to Newt Gingrich’s “extraordinarily radical antipoverty idea” to work with Donald Trump in creating a program of “10 part-time paid apprenticeships for children in one of New York’s poorest schools.” Citizen Schools says they have been “organizing volunteer-taught apprenticeships in inner-city schools for 16 years,” adding, “It’s a great idea. We’d love to have the two of them come in and bring learning to life.”
Ha! Ha. Busted.
The thoughtful response to Gingrich’s allegation that “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works” was written by Ashley Trotman, who works in the IT Department at Citizen Schools, and was a student in the first apprenticeship pilot taught in 1995. She challenges the notion that poor kids are “problem students” who — as Gingrich put it — “have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash.’ Unless it’s illegal.” (Gross.)
You should go and read the whole thing, but my favorite part of Trotman’s open letter to Gingrich is when she says:
I was told I had “problem students.” But I never viewed them as problem students, so we did not have a fight once. When I thanked my first class on the last day for their excellent behavior during the semester, one student raised her hand and said they respected us, because we respected them.
This idea is so, so, so essential to helping kids grow. And it’s clear that Gingrich doesn’t know anything about respect. Ugh.