Education Is Not Keeping Pace With Future Needs

Speaking of plantations, Al Sharpton is reportedly threatening/promising/vowing to come back to town in the wake of the Justice Department’s decision that IMPD did not violate Brandon Johnson’s civil rights. I’m not sure what Sharpton is going to protest, seeing how it was the Obama Justice Department who made the call. I just hope that if he does come he tells Stephen Clay of the Baptist Ministers Alliance of Indianapolis to stop avoiding my question and answer (with a simple yes or no) if he was ever the subject of an investigation by the Indiana Department of Child Services for inappropriate contact with a minor. I can’t get a straight answer out of that man. No pun intended.

Oh, oh do you remember Classic Comics. Those of us who were a little more serious about reading than the Egyptian Cobras (remember Chicago’s first black street gang?), read the upscale and slightly more expensive Classic Comics. I think they were a whole quarter, so you were a committed academic if you read these. According to Wikipedia, the series went out of publication while I was overseas in the Air Force in 1971. A terrible loss that i did not notice until 1994. Today they are valuable collectables. Culturally, they filled a gap for kids, especially poor kids. It is far better to read something than suffer the fate of those who read not; and comics had plot, characters, and a beginning, middle, and end that made more sense than reality tv or Hip hop music.

It may not solve your financial situation immediately, but it will help you network with other parents, with teachers, and with administrators. You will find friends and perhaps contacts that will be useful. As a bonus, you will find a sense of accomplishment for having helped children and for doing your part in education reform. If you have your own children in school, it will help boost their confidence knowing the importance you place on education. And, for you? You will stop thinking about your own situation, at least for the duration of the school day, and knowing you have accomplished something – an antidote to feeling useless.

Speaking of IPS, Dr. Tony Bennett is scheduled to address the IPS School Board at their meeting on monday night. That should be interesting. If i can use an old WWF reference, watching Tony Bennett and Eugene White go back and forth would be like watching Hulk Hogan take on Special Delivery Jones.

People living in poverty account for 46% of those with IQ scores below 90, but only 5% of those with IQ scores above 110. This begs the question of causality: does poverty cause low IQ, or does low IQ cause poverty? I’d wager the answer is “yes.” It’s both, with each exacerbating the effect of the other. This synergism spirals downward with each passing generation.

The idea that extrinsic motivation negatively affects intrinsic motivation has been documented in lab studies beyond any reasonable doubt. However, no one has ever shown that children are already endowed with huge unlimited surplus of curiosity to begin with. Paying them money to learn creates something new rather than takes away something that was there before.

Michael Steele, the chair for the RNC had some great words over the weekend, I like him so much more when he is himself and not this psuedo cool hip dude.

A Chance For School Success

And while Mother’s Day is typically a day for you to be showered with gifts, it’s also the perfect chance to remember the greatest gift of all – reading aloud to your child.

I am fortunate. I reap what my brave, financially-solvent, well-educated, intellect-valuing parents planted. Others are less fortunate; harvesting instead the anemic crops of poverty, ignorance, and intellectual starvation. The roots of both crops grow deeper with each passing generation.

When I was a child, I believed that the principal’s job was to terrorize everyone in the school. When you overheard the teachers speak of the principal during their playground duty, it was quite clear that they didn’t want to be in the presence of the principal any more than the children. It was almost like he was the head security guard that kept law and order in the schools. He was the “gotcha” man.

Now, those unconstitutional fees parents pay to their local school, they’ve decreased, or better yet, have been eliminated. Oh, wait, no they haven’t. Superintendent Stevenson has stopped purchasing high end entertainment for herself and her best friends. Oh, wait, no she hasn’t. Student achievement has become a serious conversation. Oh, wait, no it hasn’t. Enrollment is increasing. Oh wait, no it isn’t, but costs certainly are increasing. The district has had a meaningful evaluation for efficiency in spending. Nope, that hasn’t happened either.

The best approach is to think about others who ARE worse off than you are! Studies show that children are the poorest population in the us. Children need attention, role-models, and heroes. Where can you find them? In schools! Call the school and volunteer. It will only cost you time and caring – assets of which you have plenty.

Last week’s debt ceiling votes by Indiana lawmakers had me scratching my head, especially when it comes to the Tea Party movement in this state. They blasted U.S. Senator Dick Lugar and U.S. Representative Larry Buschon for their votes in favor of lifting the debt ceiling, but said nothing about Mike Pence and Todd Young who also voted the same way. There is also talk the Tea Party will try to run a primary challenger against Buschon in the 8th Congressional District.

As I survey my Facebook wall, I am struck by the high percentage of my progressive friends who are fed up with the Democrats, fed up with Obama, and fed up with being yelled at for voting third party. Why, they wonder, can’t we have some candidates who actually espouse progressive values? Why can’t we propose real universal healthcare? Real Wall Street reform? Real education reform? In short. real progressive politics that reflect a secular government respecting the rights of all Americans?

Romer, nearing 80, is running a non-stop road show trying to make education a top issue in the 2008 election. He heads a well-funded, blue ribbon group named Great American Schools that tells anyone who will listen that our schools are failing and we’re falling behind the rest of the world.