Way back in March 2009 I posted "Why do democrats hate black kids?" It was about the rejection of vouchers by the democrats and the teachers unions (which nationally are dominated by black democrats). I wrote then that I was disappointed in President Obama's signing a bill offered by Dick Durbin (D-IL) that eliminated vouchers for DC children. "It has been demonstrated again and again that vouchers work. Yet they are rejected by the democrats and the teachers' unions. The educational system clearly doesn't work. Urban black kids are not dumb. Any kid who knows the lyrics of some rap song after only two hearings could learn Tolstoy if there were a War and Peace rap. I have suggested in the past that we take the money currently being spent per student and contract education out to the Catholic church or to private schools. Black urban education is a national disgrace. Any black leader who ignores the problem is not a leader and should be dismissed out of hand - and this includes Barack Obama." The Republicans rode to the rescue when it came time for the budget compromise. The Republicans indicated that they would not sign any budget compromise that did not include voucher funding. The bill passed over the objections of many leading democrats who are more beholding to protecting the teachers' unions than they are to black kids. It remains a mystery to me that black still vote democratic in the face of the obvious disregard by the democrats for the education of their children. Well the state of Tennessee can add republican business lobbies to the democratic politicians. A bill introduced in the state legislature to introduce vouchers failed to pass. Not surprising the usual democratic suspects were against it (black democratic politicians and teachers unions). But joined with them in opposition were the Chambers of Commerce in Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga. This may be a first. In a state where the academic performance of black urban kids in Memphis is an embarrassment to all citizens, the legislature has rejected an approach that has always demonstrated success. Yes I know that the report on the DC program cannot find any difference in student in-school achievement but 82 percent of the students in the program graduate as compared to 70 percent that are not in the program. Also the schools that have voucher students are found to be safer than the other schools where maintaining order is a major undertaking. Shame on Tennessee. Shame on the Chambers.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com