Quillette Podcast 18 – Former New York public high school teacher Mary Hudson on why the system lets down disadvantaged students

Quillette‘s Jonathan Kay talks to Mary Hudson, a former teacher in New York’s public high school system, about how disadvantaged students are being let down by school leaders and administrators who are afraid to discipline unruly children for fear of being accused of racism. This conversation follows Hudson’s article on the subject for Quillette.


  1. markbul says

    It’s always someone else’s fault. The truth is that there average IQ is so low that they border on mental retardation – by professional definition. You’d be lucky to get many to the point that they can take orders properly at a fast food take-out window. Literally.

    • Num num says

      That’s not true. Black schools before the 1960s were decent, disciplined. And look up Black Wall Street, a model example of pre-60s black communities being very successful. Walk through inner-cities that were burned out in the riots of the 60s, you often see the skeletal remnants of once-thriving business in once-thriving communities. Back when most black kids had fathers.

      The degradation of black communities is entirely down to the inevitable results of left-wing policies. The Soviet Union was a hell hole too, with white inhabitants. So no, it’s not down to genes. Genes are at best an insignificant factor in the chronic poverty and dysfunction in contemporary black communities.

      • Yes. If it were true, why would black people from Africa and the Caribbean be running circles around African Americans in colleges and the professions?

        Three generations of crappy schools and welfare have left black students (and others) without employed role models or sophisticated parents who push back against insulting and bigoted assumptions.

        It may not be popular to say so, but if we want better futures for young people of color, we’re going to have to start talking about this.

  2. While I agree with most of her points, I really think her article allowed for a mass scapegoat of the issue in the conclusion that it is a system that expects less of those students which they then internalize. She mentions that she doesn’t think the students were racist but notes that two of the schools, one of which she was called a “white bitch” are almost entirely black, which would have limited her ability to identify any overt racist behavior towards other races. Still, I think the core of her argument was rock solid.

  3. Tangier Lemon says

    Being a REAL student in this woman’s class I can say firsthand how dismissive she was with her students from the gate. She never truly cared about us. She spoke poorly of us to our faces and also spoke about the poor administration. She reeked of a foul odor that made it almost unbearable to focus. She had no desire to teach Us France, and Hudson was there to belittled us. If more of us were in our right mind, she should of been reported for using the “n” word as she so freely did in class that day. Teaching could have been a passion for her, based on her words and vile behavior it was just a job. I believe she is harboring true hate towards anyone that doesn’t look like her. Washington Irving HS WASNT NOT 99% African American. It was a high school that was quite diverse.

  4. Tangier Lemon says

    Furthermore this article was truly offensive to all of the students that attended Washington Irving. There was not a dry eye in the school on 9/11. Mary Hudson,you should be ashamed of yourself for lying about students dancing and rejoicing during such a traumatic event. The students of Washington Irving all plan to speak out against you, and this exaggerated experienced described during your stent at our high school.

    • Munifa Quantiliaire says

      “How dismissive she was with her students from the gate.”

      It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing, isn’t it, unless you’re saying that the students acted like angels from the first day of class.

      Using all caps as pseudo italics, check.

      “To belittled us”: Past tense as infinitive, check.

      “Should of been reported”: “Of” used as present perfect tense rather than “should’ve,” check.

      “Wasnt not”: Double negative that means the opposite of intended meaning (an AAVE intensifier, perhaps?), check; extra credit for missing apostrophe.

      “Your stent at our high school”: Inaccurate attribution of coronary disease, check.

      I truly believe that Ms. Lemon was in fact a student at that disfunctional high school. In fact, Tangier Lemon might be her real name. I bet she is not in college under a holistic admissions scheme majoring in grievance studies.

    • jimhaz says

      [you should be ashamed of yourself for lying about students dancing and rejoicing during such a traumatic event]

      First reactions may have been just one based on excitement (it just takes one leader type to set of the others), an excuse not to attend class, but maybe then the reality set in.

      [She reeked of a foul odor that made it almost unbearable to focus]

      This is interesting. People very very much underestimate the negative downsides of the way they smell when sweating (or if they are too fond of garlic or have halitosis). I’m particularly susceptible to smells and have a very high disgust rating*. Black people often have a different natural BO smell (as do other groups such as Indians), that I find awful – I sometimes wonder if in the days of slavery that this smell was used by whities to view black folks as being less than human.

      * http://people.stern.nyu.edu/jhaidt/disgustscale.html

  5. Wesley says

    Intelligence gene have been discovered and identified. So genes have a lot to do with the problem The IQ in Africa is a further 15 points lower at about 70. It seems since integration and the lack of discipline things have apparently got worse. Using a liberal approach — and kid gloves — is a zero sum game.

    • jimhaz says

      I’m with Peterson – IQ should not be used to judge an individuals worth (other than in relation to those arguing for equality of outcome). Rather society should be structured so that all people can have worth by contributing.

  6. Anonymous says

    Mary Hudson worded it poorly in saying that 50% of her comments on the original article were positive – it was more like 90%.

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