Learning For Their World

Superintendent: You're not educating them, you're ... socializing them?

Parenti: They weren't being educated before, there's no point in being obtuse!

Superintendent: Excuse me!

Colvin: Hold on. Hold on. Look, what he's saying is this ... I mean, you put a textbook in front of these kids; put a problem on a blackboard; teach 'em every problem on some State-wide test - it won't matter, none of it. Cos they not learnin' for our world, they learnin' for theirs. And they know exactly what it is they're training for, and what it is everyone expects them to be.

Superintendent: I expect them to be students.

Colvin: But it's not about you or us, or the tests or the system: it's what they expect of themselves. I mean every single one of them know they headed back to the corners, their brothers and sisters - shit, their parents - they came through these same classrooms, didn't they? We pretended to teach them, they pretended to learn, and where they end up? Same damn corners. I mean, they not fools, these kids. They don't know our world, but they know their own. I mean, Jesus, they ... they see right through us.

[...] We can't lie ... not to them.

Dialogue from The Wire, Episode 4, Season 4