The importance of Clinton Klett

So I work at an urban High School. I really enjoy it. I find these kids particularly charming. As difficult as it is, and as much as I whine about it (oh, and how) I feel privileged that these kids share their lives with me. I also am grateful that my life is bigger than me, what is going on in my own house. I like that God has given me a heart for people who have it a whole lot harder than I do. I like watching so many of  them rise from their circumstances and succeed.

Anyway, I went to an assembly with my students yesterday. It was about post-secondary options, specifically, dual enrollment. Basically, the state of Georgia will give qualifying students the opportunity to go to college for high school credit for free. This is a great opportunity for most kids, but especially for mine for a couple of reasons. Most of my kids don’t have parents or siblings or cousins who went to college, so they don’t know what it is like or what to expect. If they can take one class while still at home and the rest at high school it is a good way to make the whole college thing less intimidating. Also, no one needs FREE college more than my kids. And they will likely go to school in GA and qualify for a lot of financial aid, which tax payers foot the bill for. So if the tax payers can pay for a credit once and not have to foot the bill for the high school credit as well, everyone is better off.

In order to promote this whole dual enrollment thing, the state produced a video that is on a website that they are requiring the couselors to make every kid watch. Here is my beef with the video. While it is supposed to be talking about ALL the different ways you can get college credit in high school, the video highlighted a single student. Clinton Klett.  And he is as white as his name. Whiter even. He is a student at Georgia Tech and he came to tech with a ridiculous 27 hours worth of AP credit. There aren’t even 27 hours worth of AP options offered at my school.

But there ARE options that COULD work for my kids. The move on when ready seems like it could really work for them, and some community colleges are right off Marta lines on purpose….but that isn’t what the video focuses on. The video focuses on Clinton Klett, the white kid who aced his bajillion AP classes and talks about the benefit of being able to take less classes his Jr. and Sr. year instead of the cash benefit of graduating a semester or two early. Oh yeah, because Mr. Klett has the ability to bank roll little Clinton’s education.

In don’t mean to knock this kid. I am sure he worked really freaking hard in high school and think it is great that he gets to reap these benefits. But the focus of the video let MY kids know in no uncertain terms that this video was not designed with them in mind. If it was they would have had a Clinton Klett in smaller doses and had Myesha Parks who took the bus to night classes and can tell you how much money she saved and how she could support herself one year sooner. Or a kid talking about how the computer classes let them not have to listen to b.s. from teachers. That would get my students interested.

But they didn’t. The lovely people who make all the statewide decisions for all the students in GA choose Clinton Klett as the sole spokesperson. Classic.

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One thought on “The importance of Clinton Klett

  1. Do you know about Myesha personally? You did post secondary. Can you tell students about some of the options you write about? Too bad about the video – what do the counselors think of it?

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