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The Freedom Writers Diary

by Erin Gruwell

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What are Erin Gruwell's feelings toward the educational system?

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Erin clearly feels that the educational system sets up kids from certain backgrounds to fail. The system is all too quick to pigeon-hole students according to their race and the neighborhoods in which they live, deeming them "unteachable" as a consequence. As Erin soon discovers, this short-sighted approach simply exacerbates the problem, creating a vicious circle of educational underachievement.

As these students have been deemed unteachable, they're denied a decent education; as they're denied a decent education, it becomes even harder for teachers to reach them, compounding the problem rather than solving it. The poverty of low-expectations has kept these students in a state of ignorance, denying them the chance to break free from the seemingly endless cycle of deprivation which they endure on a daily basis. Erin knows this simply isn't good enough and that a whole new approach to teaching is essential if these kids are to be raised to their full potential.

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Erin Gruwell is the author of The Freedom Writers Diary. Known for taking the "troubled and challenging" students that, in essence, no one else wanted, Gruwell proved that a great teacher makes all of the difference. Her text is a testament to the power one has when he or she cares about what they are doing. 

In order to identify what Gruwell thinks about the educational system, I looked to her biography (provided on her website). This document defines how she feels about education. She believes that education should designed to "achieve excellence from all students." She believes in and values diversity and believes that education should force students to reevaluate themselves, their lives, and the decisions they make in their lives. Her belief that education is meant to make a real change in the lives of students is evident in her great success. 

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