Sunday, May 20, 2012

Roberto Clemente: It Starts When You Care to Act

By now you have probably heard that Roberto Clemente will stay open for (at least) another year. Over the next year the board will thoroughly evaluate both Roberto Clemente and and Ann Arbor Tech. And that is good news. But that is not the real victory.

The real victory is that a group of students who--for the most part--have never seen the power of community organizing and social action, have now seen how that can make a difference. I was so impressed by the speeches that these kids wrote--and delivered--in front of the school board.

Project-based education research suggests that you need a) meaningful projects; b) hands-on experiences; and c) performance-based presentations. Although this was thrust upon them, this turned out to be a great and meaningful learning experience for those students who decided to participate. Kudos to the parents, teachers/staff, and principal who facilitated this experience (and who spoke up themselves)

I hope that is the lesson these "at-risk" kids take from this. When you see something you want to change, you can advocate, agitate, and organize. And yes, it is worth it. (By the way, sometimes it is worth it even if you feel you will lose.)


In their honor, a poem by Marge Piercy: The Low Road.


  1. Very cool.

    - YpsiAnon

  2. absolutely! (and it didn't just happen at Clemente, either. kids at our school were engaged and saw the power of collective action and positive engagement.)