Okay so today I am feeling every bit of my rebellious self. I’m pissed and with good reason. Before you dismiss me, hear me out. Trust me, it doesn’t have to do with and girl issues, relationship issues or work foolishness. My level of agitation is strictly focused on societal issues.
If you are as like-minded as me then you are aware of what is going in the world and beyond via the news. Now when I say news, I’m not talking about who murdered who or you is engaged to whom. I’m talking about societal issues that affect policies which in turn affect people. What am i talking about exactly? I’m talking about NYC asinine Mayor Bloomberg. Aside from the fact that he is illegally sitting as Mayor for a 3rd term he is a jerk and that is putting it mildly. Illegal you ask. That’s right. He knew that the people of his fine city were not in favor of 3 terms yet he used politricks to get in that city trying to convince everyone that he was doing it for the betterment of NYC. If you are like me than you know that is some utter Bullsh*t. But whatever, he is there now and nothing can be done this go round. What has me furious is who he nominated for school chancellor.
Maybe, you haven’t heard but the nomination for the replacement of idiot #339 Joel Klein is idiot #340 Cathleen Black. Hear me now when I say idiot I don’t mean that these individuals are not highly intelligent. Obviously the possess some sort of intelligence to have made it as far in life as they did. Even President Bush is intelligent. After all he had the intelligence to pass as being smart and sat in the white house not for one term but two. I think he has earned his partial intelligence badge…don’t you. So back to Ms. Black. I’m sure you are wondering what I find so appalling about this nomination. It is simple. Ms. Black is not an educator. That’s right. She hasn’t taught a day in her natural born life. Ms. Black is a corporate executive and magazine publisher. With that background tell me why than is she being selected to educate our children? It gets better. Ms. Black doesn’t he know what it like to deal with a public school. First, she never attended public school. Secondly, her own children attended boarding school. Are you beginning to see what my issue is?
While I understand that we are in what has been debated a depression there are just something’s that we should not sacrifice. We are talking about the education of the future. This said future will be responsible for bringing us out of this depression to some recession to other and we continually insist on not providing them with the proper tools. We allow teachers who could care less whether your child can read, write or do simple math to teach our children. We allow teachers who because of our skin color, religion, nationality, etc. give us substandard knowledge. We exist in a society where it is not uncommon for a 9th grader who for now other reason than not being taught should have an IQ over 70 to be promoted from grade to grade lacking in the ability to read beyond a 1st grade level. Why have we become so complacent in the education of our children? It is unfair for us to denigrate and insult them about their lack or drive to give back to the community when we are failing to ensure that they are provided with the tools to do such a thing.
The United States of America, brags about being one of the super powers in the nations yet our educational system SUCKS. In March of 2009, The Institute of Educational Sciences released, “Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and other G-8 Countries: 2009″(1). For those of you who don’t know, G-8 countries refer to the most industrialized countries in the world that are on a similar playing field as the Unites States. The study found that only 12% of fourth graders reached the international benchmark in reading literacy. Furthermore, females in the USA outperformed males by 10 points in reading literacy. We haven’t even begun to touch on race and look at the difference. Data (2) as it relates to this country shows that, 40% of America’s 4th graders continue to read below the basic level on a national level. The numbers are even more dismal in the inner cities and poor rural areas. It is estimated that 68% of low income 4th graders cannot read at a basic level. If you don’t know, minorities consisting of Blacks and Latinos are lumped in those numbers. It gets worse, 1/3 of all incoming college freshmen are enrolled in remedial reading, writing, or mathematics class. Now call me crazy, but how in the HELL are you getting to college and you can’t read or write. Doesn’t that sound backwards to you. It sure does sound pretty strange to me. I’m sure you don’t have to ask who the ones are being allowed to advance without a complete grasp of these areas. Ponder on that for a moment.
So we looked at countries who are supposed to be on the same parity as us. What about those countries that is not. Personally, while I do not agree with all of the politics of Cuba I salute them for more reasons than one. One of those reasons, being their educational systems as it relates to the USA. According to UNICEF (3), the literacy rate for males and females over the age of 15 who can read is 100%. Wow 100%. That sounds like a golden number. Go figure, the agency that is as overly concerned about the nation as a whole wellbeing in all matters was unable to obtain the data for this area. I don’t know about you, but it sounds suspect to me.
The story goes on and on about how dismal education is in this country. I could sit here and pull out appalling statistics after statistics that should make you very afraid. After all, this relates to the competence level of our next generation. This is the same generation who we are expecting to care for us as we age. It relates to our children whether they are born from us or our nieces, nephews, godchildren. It matters not because we are all a village and should be worried about how all of our children are going to succeed. I could list so many reasons why Ms. Black should not be excused from the requirements but then so can you if you really thought about it for a minute. At what point are we willing to stop sacrificing our children’s well-being. At what point does it not become solely about money. At what point are we willing to suck it up and make sacrifices. While I am far from rich, I am dedicated to the educational well-being of our youth. I actively give my time and money to organizations such as the Greater NY Inter0Alumni Association for the UNCF as well as my own alma mater’s Hofstra University’s Black/Hispanic Alumni Association. I whole heartedly believe in the UNCF’s motto that, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I believe that it is the older generation’s responsibility to ensure that we have given the generations behind us the tools to not waste their mind and that includes ensuring that the most qualified person is overseeing their educational system.
On that note, I implore everyone to get out and start organizing. Start stepping up to the plate and become involved in all ways. It is unacceptable to lament on the past about how you may have been mistreated on some educational level. Your silence and inactivity is the reason why transgressions still go on today. Imagine if our forefathers would have said i don’t care about the next generation when it came to slavery and Jim Crow. We would all be riding the back of the bus and drinking from the “colored” water fountain. The best way to right a wrong is to actively become involved when possible. There is no reason to be sitting at the sideline lamenting one what was done. It is the past…move on and pick-up the fight. If you live in NYC regardless of whether you have children or not I implore you to sign the petitions (4) asking NYS Education Commissioner, David M. Steiner, his deputy, the board of Regents as well as your own State Senator and Assemblyman. Don’t be afraid to add a comment personalizing why you think this nomination is utter madness. At the end of the day, the fact remains that if you are not a part of the solution than you are a part of the problem.