Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Higher Learning 101 - Not Safe At School

Between half-assed school facilities and sub-par teaching materials, school budget cuts and the lies about using the "gambling lottery" to supplement schools, disgruntled and over-worked teachers, the completely worthless and pointless Leave No Child Behind legislation, the American K-12 educational system is a complete and total mess. Adding insult to injury is the simple fact that children at not safe in school, period!

Case in point is yesterday's school shooting in Memphis, Tennessee. The truth of the matter in this case is that the school got lucky. The shooter was focused on one particular person, but had the opportunity to purposely or accidentally hurt others. Between the Jena 6 case and the on-campus shooting at Delaware State University this past September, getting an education has become a dangerous venture.

This is my number one political issue. Education in the United States is in full blown crisis mode, particularly for black folks. We should be out in the streets protesting about the sorry state of education in the black community. Black people have entire school systems in some cities that are completely failing in every possible way black students. Some black students in some cities are receiving virtually worthless high school diplomas because they have only completed the minimum requirements for a high school diploma, but nothing that will get them a decent job or a shot at a junior college education.

Black folks really need to jump on this issue before too many generations of black students get left behind. I strongly believe that we already have lost at least one generation of black students in terms of education. We are strongly at risk of losing a second generation. This is the new civil rights movement here for black folks. This one is on us, not white folks. We have had a solid hand in our own educational demise and it is our responsibility to fix it!

5 comments:

Mes Deux Cents February 12, 2008 at 1:40 PM  

Hi Professor Tracey,

White people WILL NEVER EDUCATE BLACK CHILDREN period! How many hundreds of years do we need to see this?

They only way for Black kids in America to receive a decent education is for Black people to create our own schools just as we did during segregation. Back then Black kids received real education.

Marching in the streets will not work. We need our own.

Professor Tracey February 12, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

MDC -

I hear you, but I want black folk to get angry about this. We need to challenge one another here. You have to be motivated to create a school, a new school system.

Naima February 12, 2008 at 2:46 PM  

I saw a story about on Eyes on the Prize when the community of Ocean Hill Brownsville in Brooklyn,NY took over their school and had teachers transferred and an afro-centric curriculum installed, but the teachers union wasn't having it. It was an interesting story

Seattle Slim February 12, 2008 at 11:20 PM  

You know Mes Deux Cents, I would say that not even white teachers are teaching white kids. This school system in the US breaks my heart...

White folks are pulling their kids out of school faster than you can say "hey" because even they are disappointed.

This was the second shooting in Memphis in 8 days I read. WTH is going on?

tasha212 February 13, 2008 at 2:26 PM  

The educational system in America is in shambles. It disproportionately affects black children because we are more likely to be poor and have to send our kids to underfunded and over-crowded schools. We have to start building our own educational structures because the system was designed for our children to fail from the start. Yes, part of it is black parents not valuing education but we have to remember, many black adults went to these same dismantled schools. We can march and protest but until we start to build independent structures to counteract the system, the masses of black children will continue to fail.

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