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The rot goes back a long way. In the 1990s an illiterate woman got a college diploma.


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The equity movement distilled in a single student

By Chris Boland

"Changes in how we organize society happen over decades and across generations.  Looking back, we can see shifts in our attitudes that signal movements that find their full expression many years later.  If we miss these signals, we risk traveling down dangerous paths.

A newly minted professor was leading a discussion of the text when a woman raised her hand and asked a question.  "That is a good question," the professor responded.  "Please look at page (whatever) and read the first paragraph for the class, and we can discuss it."

"No," the woman said.

The professor, taken aback, tried again.  "The question you raise is a good question, and we can begin to understand it from the text, so please read the paragraph out loud and we can discuss it.""


"After a moment of silence, the professor began again.  "It would be helpful..." before being interrupted by another student.

"Stop embarrassing her.  She can't read.  Why don't you just leave her alone?"

At this level, the question is not "how did this happen?"  Rather, it's "why did this happen?"  There had to be many professors and a handful of administrators who knew this woman was illiterate and could not possibly master the course work, yet she was progressing through the system."


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