Saturday, May 05, 2007

Education in Brazil

Had a humbling experience today about my privileged education in the US. I went to the 2Bros office for a teacher's meeting today. Rogerio, who runs the office, is 26 and dreams of going to a US university to get a degree in social work. But he needs to take the SAT. I said I would help him, and so I stayed after the meeting to work with him.

He speaks English, but all he has going for him in high school in a public school in a favela. We started on math, and he told me ahead of time he doesn't know anything. Once we started on the SAT, I saw why. I thought I would download a practice test and have him take it, but just to see where he was at I asked him the first math question. On the SAT, each question is harder than the last. He had no idea how to even approach the first.

Turns out he had never been exposed to algebra, and really didn't know anything other than addition, multiplication, and division. Apparently this is pretty typical for public schools in poor areas. If he's going to get into a US university, he has a lot of work ahead of him.

He asked if I went to a public school or private. I said public, but explained that you can still get a solid education in a public school in the US. Despite public high school and public university, I feel very good about my education, and that point was driven to me in spades today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you type fast, but in the end of this article you said "private" where it should say "public" regarding a getting a good education. Also "spaids" is misspelled. LOVE READING YOUR BLOG!!! MOM

9:46 AM  

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