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Topic: Education An Egyptian Model,with Kelli Everett
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Forward to all who have interest in education & economics i.e. First Person, Philadelphia Academies, Greater Philadelphia Settlement, School Reform Commission
Subject: Educational Perspectives: Are We Blind and Deaf? - helping Our Black Boys
Are We Blind and Deaf? -- Helping Our Black Boys
Most of us in the African-American community must be blind and deaf if we do not see and hear the grim statistics, the hopeless stories, and the destructive images that suggest we are losing too many of our young black boys, particularly those who are from poverty. To see and understand the magnitude of this problem and then turn our heads or bury them in the sand is equal to saying, "I do not care about you, and I am helpless about changing the destructive course of your lives.'
All of us can enumerate many reasons why our black boys have trouble being successful in these United States. Research shows that almost 50% of failing boys come from predominantly female-headed households where many fathers are imprisoned or absent for other reasons. In the educational system, many of these boys have few male educators who can serve as role models. The students are disciplined in their homes by female mothers or grandmothers; they are then sent to elementary schools that are virtually 98% female, disciplined by female teachers who then send them to female principals. For the first five years of these male students' very impressionable lives, they are primarily exposed to females. From elementary through high school these black boys are disproportionately suspended, expelled, and arrested in comparison to their white counterparts. Too many have severe academic problems, and get so far behind they are either retained, placed in special education, drop out of school or settle for a GED. Many of these boys' parents are not actively involved in the school setting because they work multiple jobs just to survive. When they are expelled or drop out of school, they become targets for the juvenile justice system because many do not have the skills necessary to be productive in the work force. Additionally, many middle and high schools are cutting vocational programs that could help students learn a viable work skill while attending school. Coupled with low expectations, bigotry, racism, drugs, the gangster media portrayal, and grim prison statistics, these black boys do not have a chance.
Now that some of the challenges our black boys face have been stated, what do we do to help them become successful despite these negative odds? What will it take to get our heads out of the sand, to wake up and take action? I am reminded of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" which was written in l729. It is now hailed as the greatest satire ever written. In an attempt to solve the problems of poverty and thousands of children begging in the streets of Ireland because of the rich landlords, Swift suggested in his proposal that poor Irish families should fatten up their children and sell them as food for the rich land owners, thus solving the twin problems of starving children and poverty.
I often wish I could think like Swift of a solution so dramatic that it would wake up our black community and propel us into action. We have an obligation to protect and insure that our young are successful. They represent our future and will one day take care of us pending the outcome of their lives.
posted also on: http://foxeduplive.blogspot.com/ Author: David Square of Project Gang Peace
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