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As Long as We Remember...

September 8, 2003

BOE Gets An "F" For Reviving The "D" Grade

Mike Kuster

The problem with an elected board is the greater sway of politics and political correctness. This can be demonstrated no better than the Board of Education's recent decision to bring back the "D" grades only a year after tossing it out.

The reason: Too many minority students are failing.

Guess what, folks? Giving them a "D" is not going to help them.

Are the schools here to make everyone feel good about themselves when they fail?

I think not.

What happened to students being held back a year?

What happened to parents working with schools to help their under-achieving students?

The problem is not limited to ethnic minorities, but in the culture of socio-economic classes. Unfortunately, this impacts minorities disproportionately.

As incomes drop, parental involvement drops. Parents in poorer families lack the time, energy, and motivation to be involved. If you and your spouse are working two jobs to provide for your family, how motivated are you to spend time doing homework?

This is even more a problem in the African-American community. While there are exceptions, the African-American family is in crisis. Black on Black crimes, Hip-Hop culture, and extreme poverty leave few positive role models for young people in the African-American community.

Worse for the African-American community - white people.

Now, many of you will think I'm about to bash all you white folk, but you're almost wrong.

How we reward the nice young athletes regardless of their race.

How our children reward and idolize the beautiful young "musical artists" regardless of their race.

If you were black and wanted to make something of yourself, where would you turn?

I'd go where I felt I had a chance. I'd go where I saw people of all races openly embracing and paying people of all races.

If that didn't work out, or I'm not qualified, I'd turn inward to my own community. There, I could find poverty.

More poverty.

Few, if any, male role-models.

Where is the positive African-American male role-model?

They exist!

I know!

I've met them. I know them. I call them friends.

They are not worshipped.

They are not paid well.

In fact, their own friends and neighbors ridicule many of these men for achieving. They know, however, that they are positive.

So, what can the schools do to help these young people?

How can we help the African-American community that we have helped create?

By failing students who do not achieve!

By eliminating the choice to drop out of school!

By hiring African-American role models at living wages to teach and mentor!

By refusing to pay for athletics instead of academics!

By refusing to pay teenage boys hundreds of millions of dollars because they can shoot a basketball!

"D" does nothing to help our minority students.

"D" does nothing to help our poor students.

"D" does nothing but perpetuate poverty.

"F" puts all students on the path to higher achievement!

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