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May 31, 2006


I had a very interesting and enlightening discussion with an administrator from a Detroit Public Middle School about this very subject a couple of weeks ago. It was nice to hear the perspective of someone who lives on "the other side of the state" (we're very east side, west side here in Michigan) and it really made me feel better about the choice I plan on making this fall.

That's cool that you got to have that conversation--I'd be interested to learn more about what you guys talked about. I feel like the "east/west" distinction in Michigan is pretty indicative of the problem at hand--and, of course, conversations and connections, like yours, are so important in changing that.

Also, you taught in a rural school district, in a county that also get affirmative action (at least at U of Michigan, under the "under-represented counties" catagory). From your experience, does that make sense to you? Or do you imagine an alternative working better?

Honestly, I think the rural nature of where I used to teach and live, only added to our near homogenous demographics. Granted there was a large arab population in Branch county, but many people didn't necessarily see them as being affected by affirmative action.

As far as where I live now, there is almost a "we want to remain separated" feeling in both the economy and the culture, so it's difficult to tell what the loss of affirmative action would have in Berrien County (although I don't think it would help matters at all). Personally I'm for keeping it, as I believe the viewpoints and opinions of isolated communities don't reflect the more pressing needs of society as a whole. As far as alternatives go, there's always the "blind" hiring practices in which candidates would be interviewed via a means of communication in which race could not be determined, but that seems almost silly in such an "advanced" culture.

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