Poet Dylan Garity Confronts the Broken American Education System in “Rigged Game”
Dylan Garity performed his poem “Rigged Game” at the 2013 National Poetry Slam in Boston. In the performance, Garity recounts how his older sister works as an ESL teacher and the efforts her students make in their studies. However, Garity points out the students are stuck in “a sick body,” and due to the No Child Left Behind Act, his sister’s students and others like them are now expected to perform at grade level despite that they’ve only been living in the United States for a year or less. Garity also lashes out against the laws that say his sister can’t teach her students in their native tongue because if the school finds out they can’t speak English, they will lose much-needed funding.
Finally, the young poet adds that his sister’s students should not have to consider their heritage and native language as something “shameful.” Just because he and other white Americans are privileged enough to get a head start in a “rigged game” doesn’t mean that they should also be able to write the rules too. Garity’s Rigged Game is a passionate performance that will help the audience understand why there needs to be education reform, especially for ESL students in America.