National speaker airs concerns on oppression and inequality in public education

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International speaker Wayne Au, Ph.D., spoke at Cal State Fullerton about students in the public school system.

Students gathered in the Titan Student Union for “Behind the Mic,” a spoken word session where students talked candidly about where they come from, along with privatization of K-12 education.

Four students were selected from Professor Nick Henning’s course on diversity in secondary schools, EDSC 340, to speak in front of 300 students. The goal was to bring in nationally known speakers to discuss topics relating to diversity.

Au, an associate professor from the University of Washington Bothell, covered the issues of the corporate charter movement, and the impact of excluding students based on poor test scores and race.

“There are schools which are in certain neighborhoods where they have a higher property tax value, they’re able to add additional resources, and there are schools in our communities that aren’t like that, but in the end the federal system is supposed to balance those things out, and it doesn’t,” Henning said.

Tina M. King, 31, agreed with Au, who believes that the funding is coming from elitist white males, which in turn oppresses black and Latino racial groups.

“Based on research, students that are not passing these standardized testing they are likely to end up incarcerated,” King said. “We need to find another way to assess our students … it’s not a fair situation.”

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