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The hard education truth from the deep south

The Fortunate
The Fortunate

While traveling through Georgia this month I picked up a copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and came across editorials by two conservative thinkers that could not get published in Chicago in either the xenophobic Sun-Times or the schizophrenic Tribune. Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, and George Will of the Washington Post penned separate articles titled, respectively, FIXING SCHOOLS WHEN THERE’S NO SUPERMAN and DISPARITY, POVERTY: 2-PARENT HOME A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. What follows is an opinionated digest of what these renown writers had to add to the national dialogue on public education.

Friedman: Tom begins his piece by introducing a documentary film, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN (WFS), directed by the same pinhead that gave us Al Gore’s scary movie, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, David Guggenheim. WFS follows five children and their parents who enter a lottery to get into a charter school because their local schools are miserable failures. Guggenheim, consistent with his mushy liberal core admits that his original egalitarian intention to send his own children to public school never materialized; he said, ‘My feelings about public education didn’t matter as much as my fear of sending them to a failing school. And so every morning, betraying the ideals I thought I live by, I drive my kids to a private school.’ The urban translation of David’s courageous confession is: I didn’t want my precious brats to get their butts kicked by the children of illegal immigrants or a posse of wannabe Hip-Hop artists. By the way, courage in modern America has been reduced and redefined to include anyone who cites talking points, victims of terminal disease, and community organizing.

I applaud Guggenheim for a rare moment of integrity from a card-carrying leftist who acknowledges that, in practice, liberals often dictate standards and create rules of social justice for people other than themselves. Both the Oval Office Obamas and the White House Clintons chose to eschew public schools and send their progeny to private institutions. Gugenheim later added, ‘But I’m lucky. I have a choice. Other families pin their hopes on a bouncing ball, a hand pulling a card from a box or a computer.’

Whereas Friedman, using Guggenheim’s lightweight revelation as a guiding light, merely opens the door to a sensitive subject, cantankerous George Will dives deeper into the problem set and provides us with usable data.

Will, like Friedman, uses an intermediary to tote his message: Nathan Glazer, sociology professor emeritus from the mothership of most of America’s stupid thinking, Harvard. Glazer believes we are living within a rhetorical paradox where there is almost a total absence of of discussion on the ‘black condition‘ and public policy.

The deafening silence from poverty pimps and Negro apologists are eerily timed to coincide with the disintegrating presidency of the novice Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama. Nevertheless, there are some inconvenient truths that have enveloped the nation’s black population and doomed them (us) to a shrouded future that African-Americans can no longer blame on a racist nation. The dark quiet does not conceal them.

Sadly, only thirty-five percent of black children live with both parents, a damning statement all on its own. Additionally, whereas 24% of white youngsters watch 4 or more hours of television a day, 59% of black kids sit idly in front of the boob tube.  I do not think these kids are watching the Discovery and History channels. By age four, the average child in a professional family hears thirty-five million more words than a welfare child with a single mother. This likely accounts for the mindlessly repetitive lyrics in Hip Hop music.

Will reports that educational researcher, Paul Barton, estimates that 90 percent of the differences in students’ academic performance are based on five factors: (1) days absent from school (2) hours students watch television (3) pages read as homework (4) the quantity and quality of reading material in the home and (5) the presence of two parents in the home.

The digestible but unpalatable conclusion: Professional class parents go out of their way to provide an amenable learning environment for their children while the seventy percent black illegitimate birth rate sabotages any chance a regular Negro kid has of competing with his white peers for a niche in our highly competitive economy. For every 100 college degrees conferred on black men, twice that many are earned by black women, which consequently, is another indicator that portends the extended prevalence of the dreaded single mom phenomenon. Furthermore, those factors that determine academic success cannot be ameliorated by public policy like charter schools, voucher programs, or midnight basketball.

The family is both the primary source and root cause of a child’s shot at prosperity in America. Most Negro youth are struggling to compete in a technology heavy culture while they have one parent tied behind their back. Madness.


  • Alice P 4 years ago

    I agree with everything except your continual harangue about single parents. It is not the single parent ; it is the level of dumbness in the home...single or not. Many of those Black women who have the degrees that the Black men do not have are leading single parent homes. Again, dig deeper and also indict the quality of parenting..single or not. Indict the men who are not in the home. The perspective is lopsided. You are right...opinionated and supported by the sources that you prefer, of course. You say you can't address all of the social ills. I think your argument could be stronger if you rounded out the whole parent thing. When I was principal of the charter school, there were many double parent homes, not on welfare and it did not seem to help. It was the level of dumbness. If the man has no voice in the home, what difference does it make. It would be interesting to investigate what homes produce school-ready children...whoever is in them. Although I am a single parent, I am not taking this personally. I just think your argument is not substantial.

  • Profile picture of Edward Hayes
    Edward Hayes 4 years ago

    Fm Ed Hayes: Alice, if you have a broken leg and you are repeatedly playing hopscotch on it, I would tell you, repeatedly, to stop. The core problem in schools is pinhead single parents, so until that changes I will bang on that drum until the idiots that run education get the guts to do the same. Focusing on single parents is similar to profiling Middle-Eastern men in airports, it only makes sense, that is, unless you are afraid of offending the problem source. Collectively we are to chicken as a nation to resolve our problems, be they immigration, radial Islam, bad television, or urban education. I refuse to fall into the category of the gutless regardless of who and how many people are offended by the truth as I see it. And the last time I looked, I have every bloody right in this country to say what I think. Though there is a democrat intention to attack that too. Fortunately the prevailing political winds will prevent them from doing it.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Great article. I'm white and cannot agree more. I disagree with the woman's comments about "it's not about single parenting but educational level of mom".
    WELL, WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO $$$MONEY, that one income home will never compete with the (generally) two income home of the white family. So I don't want to hear the brats complain about "rich white people"... ok? Most of the black kids I knew as peers had never analyzed how much WEALTHIER they would be if mom and dad, or mom and someone split a mortgage and household expenses. Maybe then little Shakeem could have a college trust fund too.

    Obama is smart, but I don't want to hear the half white, half african moan about america and trust fund kids and his student loans. His absentee, abusive, polygamous African daddy took off. Obama should whine to "daddy" about no money, not blame American capitalism or "rich white people".

    I have the same to say to the angry white "children of divorce"... that's often economically devastating too. Whites who grew up in homes where "mommy didn't want to work" get the same response.

    My parents both worked full-time jobs. They had little time for me, but when college rolled around, there was money in the bank.


    It's not just about education, IT'S ABOUT MONEY. Don't ask to be "equal" if you can't behave "equally". Two incomes almost always = more than one income. Pooling resources. It's why I have roommates too.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Did I mention Obama's "dad" sired 8+ children he never cared or paid for? African polygamy... Black Single Parenting... so similar.

    It's about money. Economics. The family is an ECONOMIC UNIT.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Racism is more evident in our schools than in any other institution. It never ceases to amaze me how administrators and teachers refuse to speak to African-Americans and then have the audacity to walk into a classroom filled with African-American children. I work in Special Education and was recently told by my supervisor that we wouldn't waste so much time on academics rather we would focus on the "functional" part of education. In other words, she wants him to cook, clean, use his hands, and do menial jobs. Does this sound like a racist novel from the 1800s or what? When this third-grader was assigned to me, he could not read, write, do math, or even write his last name. In a matter of months, I have managed to get this child to read, write, do math and do homework. Of course, there are two sides to every story. Why aren't parents demanding better for their children? Why aren't parents questioning the "good old white girl network"? Where are the mothers, fathers, neighbors, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, church leaders, big brothers and sisters? Who is providing supervision for our children at home? Who is turning off the television, monitoring computer time, checking homework? Who is making sure that our children know their history so well that they understand that failure is not an option? (And I don't mean mention Martin Luther King in February. Our history did not start with MLK, did not start with slavery, nor did it start in February).

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