Tuesday, December 7, 2010

OK so I was wrong

I am bitter about very few things. However, I am bitterly disappointed that one of my predictions made during the 1960s was wrong. I thought that as a product of voters rights that the educational achievement of black kids would increase dramatically. When I was growing up in Atlanta during the Civil Rights movement, blacks made up over 50 percent of the school age population but only had 6 of the 20 or so high schools in Atlanta. So our schools were big. We had horrible facilities, used textbooks with white school's names on them and no scientific equipment in the labs. However, we had terrific teachers. Back in those days, teaching was a well paying job for a black college graduate and we had tons of male teachers too. Now the colleges of education at our universities are the place where the poorest performing students matriculate and our public schools are loaded with incompetent, poorly educated teachers. I digress. I thought that once we got the vote, we would elect city officials and school boards who cared about educating our children. You see I thought that the reason why black kids got shafted was because white officials who got elected by running on a racist platform were actively discriminating against blacks. Well it was true. So we got the vote, the whites fled the city, we voted the bums out and put in place a black mayor, city council and school board. And what happened? Educational achievement went down! Why? First better jobs opened up for black college graduates. Teacher's standards eroded as well as accountability. My beloved mother who taught second grade for 40 years started complaining about the quality of the teachers - saying they just didn't care about the kids and were unprofessional in their dress and behavior. The teacher's unions became a political force and the politicians began to be manipulated and sometimes bribed.

What became ironic is that the only politicians who seemed to care were the Republicans at the time led by the late Jack Kemp who pushed for vouchers and now charter schools - both of which demonstrated higher achievements among black urban kids than the public schools. Of course both have been derided and panned by liberal democrats and their black lackeys. Well vouchers work. Charter schools work. What we need is a market solution to the problem of low achievements in education. The market would not tolerate a system that is so bankrupt, so corrupt and so poor that damages and destroys our children. Most urban parents are not equipped to home school their kids so that is not an option. However, charter schools like the Harlem Success Academy and like Chicago's Urban Prep show a startling juxtaposition of the same kids from the same environment having radically different academic results. It is a national shame that we have allowed our education system to become so woeful. In a market system, those schools would have be put out of business and their teachers and administrators fired or put in jail. Instead, they have been rewarded with ever increasing salaries, benefits, pensions and tenure. So in an earlier blog when I wrote "Why do democrats hate black kids?" I meant every word. I also include among that number the black leaders of the teacher's unions, Jesse Jackson - who sent his kids to ritzy prep schools - Al Sharpton and every so-called black leader and civil rights organization that remains silent rather than making this the number one issue in black America.

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