The Valpo Core Reader


Whitney Wittorf

Document Type

Narrative Essay

Publication Date



In his book, Lives on The Boundary, Mike Rose uncovered the detrimental effects of mislabeling elementary students when tutoring once a week in the poor Los Angeles neighborhood of El Monte. He writes, "every day in our schools and colleges, young people confront reading and writing tasks that seem hard or unusual, that confuse them, that they fail. But if you can get close enough to their failure, you'll find knowledge that the assignments didn't tap, ineffective rules and strategies that have a logic of their own; you'll find clues, as well to the tremendous difficulties our children face as they attempt to find their place in the American educational system" (8).