This book is about crying voices, the voices of real people who, contrary to the notion that the American dream is realistically accessible to all, could not get any one to pay attention to their wishes and dreams. Scattered in communities all around the country, these people came to America with ambitions and dreams which were impossible to accomplish in their homeland.
In short, this is a book about ideas on how schools, policymakers, and the general public can come together to build practical plans of action that can save the country money and time and, in a very real sense, lives. And it does so by reciting case histories; emotional cries for public dialogue in education. The book is built on true stories told vividly and with hope.
Amina Ali is a ninth grader in a troubling inner-city school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ali had almost been placed in a special education classroom in the previous year. But she resisted and is worried now. The reason for her placement in the special education classroom was that her math teacher misunderstood her.
One morning in late August 2015, Ali, along with her mother, reported to school after a summer break. The pair was called into the office of the counselor for advice, and what seemed like half-an-hour advice turned into a rift between Ali's mother and the counselor. The counselor proposed an assessment to gauge Ali's math capability; however, such an assessment sounded to the family of Ali unrealistic and racist. The proposal ended up in failure, and Ali was to enroll for classes.
In the end, Ali's parents had to negotiate with the school administration for a chance, that she makes it to grade ten. In a way, that sounded like an opportunity for the parents to develop a study progress for her. But that came with a condition: Ali would have to get an additional four hours of outside tutoring, including ESL classes.
"For what?" she screamed.
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