Black Education Tragedy

ap_rachel_jeantel_ll_130627_16x9_992As if more evidence were needed about the tragedy of black education, Rachel Jeantel, a witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial, put a face on it for the nation to see. Some of that evidence unfolded when Zimmerman’s defense attorney asked 19-year-old Jeantel to read a letter that she allegedly had written to Trayvon Martin’s mother. She responded that she doesn’t read cursive, and that’s in addition to her poor grammar, syntax and communication skills.

Jeantel is a senior at Miami Norland Senior High School. How in the world did she manage to become a 12th-grader without being able to read cursive writing? That’s a skill one would expect from a fourth-grader. Jeantel is by no means an exception at her school. Here are a few achievement scores from her school: Thirty-nine percent of the students score basic for reading, and 38 percent score below basic. In math, 37 percent score basic, and 50 percent score below basic. Below basic is the score when a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. Basic indicates only partial mastery.

Few Americans, particularly black Americans, have any idea of the true magnitude of the black education tragedy. The education establishment might claim that it’s not their fault. They’re not responsible for the devastation caused by female-headed families, drugs, violence and the culture of dependency. But they are totally responsible for committing gross educational fraud. It’s educators who graduated Jeantel from elementary and middle school and continued to pass her along in high school. It’s educators who will, in June 2014, confer upon her a high-school diploma.

It’s not just Florida’s schools. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, nationally most black 12th-graders test either basic or below basic in reading, writing, math and science. Drs. Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom wrote in their 2004 book, “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning,” “Blacks nearing the end of their high school education perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and U.S. history, and a lot worse in math and geography.” Little has changed since the book’s publication.

Drexel University history and political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher disapprovingly says that the reaction to Jeantel’s court performance “has been in terms of aesthetics, of disregarding a witness on the basis of how she talks, how good she is at reading and writing.” Harking back to Jim Crow days, he adds: “These are subtle things that echo literacy testing at the polls, echo the question of whether black Americans can testify against white people, of being always suspect in their testimony. It’s the same old dynamics emerging in a very different guise.” Then there’s Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California, who says: “Cursive should be allowed to die. In fact, it’s already dying, despite having been taught for decades.” That’s the kind of educational philosophy that accounts for much of our nation’s educational decline.

The educational system and black family structure and culture have combined to make increasing numbers of young black people virtually useless in the increasingly high-tech world of the 21st century. Too many people believe that pouring more money into schools will help. That’s whistlin’ “Dixie.” Whether a student is black or white, poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework, see to it that he gets a good night’s sleep, fix a breakfast, make sure he gets to school on time and make sure he respects and obeys his teachers. Here are my questions: Which one of those requirements can be achieved through a higher school budget? Which can be achieved by politicians? If those minimal requirements aren’t met, whatever else is done is mostly for naught.

I hope Rachel Jeantel’s court performance is a wake-up call for black Americans about the devastation wrought by our educational system.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “Here are my questions: Which one of those requirements can be achieved through a higher school budget? Which can be achieved by politicians?”

    Collectivists are destroying Western civilization.

  • cedarhill

    Love Williams. He has the knack of explaining things that become so obvious after he’s pointed them out. I do think education is the old canary in the coal mind (at least the ones the EPA hasn’t shuttered).

    Consider a stat from the UK. About 48% of kids born there are to “single” moms. They project over half will be born to single moms by 2016. It’s worse in the black community. Toss in the Left’s agenda triumphing along with the destruction of the nuclear family and, yes, indeed, it does Take a Village to read and feed Jeantel. The strong nuclear family has simply evaporated in the black community. It may never return. And Jeantel will never be able to read.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      Tying in the left-wing agenda with failure of students to learn as described by the first two commentators on Prof. Williams article is soooo right on target. I couldn’t be happier.

  • toryu88

    What he does not say is that the administration of the education system has been hijacked by African Americans. Somewhere someone discovered that it was easier to become a school adminstrator and make more money, than it was to be in the trenches and exhibit skills as an educator. I know, I took adult ed classes in which there were a lot of black adminstrators, who could only do poor to mediocre work. Their goal was to get a masters and then assumably a PhD on their march up the school admin latter to a six figure income. It is no coincidence that schools have become a bastion of political correctness as a result. Once ensconced in a high paying admin job, they start feeding at the trough. Houston a few years back had a perfect example. The President of Texas Southern, a predominately black university was prosecuted for misappropriation of university funds:
    ” While most students at Texas Southern University are in need of financial aid, their former president dressed in Gucci, had a $17,800 couch and used a 25-place dinner set that cost $40,000.

    Priscilla Slade, a former accounting professor at the historically black, open-enrollment university, was using university money to dress, decorate and landscape her house, take spa treatments and exercise classes.

    The scandal outraged the city and Slade, with her coiffed hair and dazzling smile, became a symbol of excess. Prosecutors charged her and two associates with crimes that could have put them behind bars for life.

    But that didn’t happen. After two high profile trials, including a mistrial, the cases are ending with little fanfare.

    After a mistrial, Slade agreed to pay back $127,000 of the more than $500,000 she misspent from the university. Former TSU vice president Bruce Wilson agreed to pay back $12,000. Charges were dropped against another defendant.”
    This is pretty typical, but as usual African Americans get a pass unless some sort of violence is involved due to the color of their skin.

    • davarino

      Its amazing that blacks dont see the fraud and missed opportunities that are foisted on them at the hands of their own people. Its because they become and stay uneducated, which allows them to be used. Its just sad because they could all have such a better life. Its amazing that the blacks that do make it out of the strangle hold dont stand up and speak out, but they are silent which allows the continued abuse. Of course whites cant help because we dont know what its like living in the hood (said facetiously)

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Oh they see the fraud and they applaud it. They know that ultimately the resources being stolen originated in the hands of “The (white) Man”. On a black site (NewsOne) I recently saw a comment that said something like “While it was wrong for her to steal from the school, I don’t fault her for working her hustle”. How can the rest of the American population hope to turn thak kind of cultural dysfunction around and bring them into NORMAL society?

      • Major

        Remember…there wasn’t a peep from blacks when they learned that Jesse Jerkson Jr. stole $750K to pay for his bling bling…or Kwame Fitzpatrick..or any black in a position of power…winds up thieving. Need a perfect example? Detroit or Newark.

      • Frederikahere

        When I was in high school, a black student told us that ” blacks are like a bucket of crabs; if one crab starts to climb out, the rest pull him down.” Truly sad.

      • Jeff Ludwig

        Some of the teachers in a high school where I taught in the 1990′s advocated to the principal, a black lady from Barbadoes, that the students needed a part-time college counselor at the very least to work with the 40-60 students out of 675 who had real promise. Her response was, “Why bother? They’re illegals anyway.” [not even true] Another teacher, who was from Ghana, won the state award as Teacher of the Year. One teacher asked: “How can she be teacher of the year? She doesn’t teach one class!” [She taught individuals, not classes, in the resource room which had books written at an elementary school level, and also spent her days teaching students how to fill out job application forms -- all this was in high school.] I ran a program for “at risk” students. The program allowed students to attend high school for a half day and work in a senior center the other half day. The volunteer work was an incentive for them to come to school (they couldn’t volunteer if they were truant), and the volunteer experience was holding out the carrot of job employment for those who went through the program. I interviewed students for the program. I asked one student, Tawana, if she was sufficiently “at risk” to be in the program. Her clever answer was: “I’m 19 and in 10th grade; if I’m not at risk, who is?” After two weeks, she was kicked out of the program for getting into a fist fight with a security guard at a senior center.

  • OfficialPro

    the ravages of Marxian Identity Politics have resulted in this dumbing down of children, but more so the minorities for the reason that while the Libtards claim they are not racist, their behavior is like that of the KKK when it comes to making sure minority kids get a proper education (black/hispanic). It actually started with John Dewey in the 1920s wanting childrens’ education to be dumbed down so that they would become dependent on Government and thus more readily accepting of socialism. In today’s world, that translates into kids growing up and voting Democrat. (or NDP or Green).

    It doesn’t help that some radical nut cases have decreed that “book learning” is “too white” and that to get an education causes a black person to become “white on the inside” and thus an “oreo” or “uncle tom”. This is more a problem caused by the Black Separatists who believe that anything associated with “white” is bad or evil or harmful in some screwball, bizarro-world way. Affirmative Action didn’t help either; while it did get blacks into positions that they might not have gotten into, it also guaranteed that merit would not be any sort of consideration at all. Any black will do, rather than the best candidate even among black people. This is why you get kids who are black who can’t read for s***, getting into college and then getting degrees when they should have flunked out by all objective standards.

    This is what happens when you get the clusterf**k of Marxist Ideology, Identity Politics, and Socialism all swirling together like the water in a draining toilet bowl. It’s predicated on “fairness”, but the cure was worse than the disease.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      Incredibly prescient article. Thanks.

  • syzito

    Doesn’t help when you posses the brain power of a gnat.

  • John Edward Coleman

    Just my opinion , and I do have One, just as most Black & white American’s !

    My childhood was nothing to brag about ! I grew up pretty much like most in the 1940′s ! Not very wealthy and not poor ,however I did have both Black & White friends. { I happen to be White }

    WE all had Idols and back then , Howdy Dootie , Clairabell and Uncle Bob were OK with us all !

    Idol’s were people we loved and gave us a since of direction to look up to and follow !

    It is a Damn Shame that most young people { Black Or White } have No Idea what Bill Cosby tried to give them, ?? if you are reading this ? and don’t know ?
    Then I suggest you find out ! QUICK !

    • CowboyUp

      Cosby gave me a lot, I was a kid when Fat Albert was new. Every episode had lessons and a moral.

      I’m always bemused when kids and even adults nowadays don’t even know the things we learned watching the “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons.

  • Jarhead John

    It appears as though the University of Southern California is being run by the fascist kkk and Morgan Polikoff is a grand kleegle. I would say that’s odd but universities in general seem to be run by the fascist kkk.

  • Kathleen Sullivan

    Cursive is no longer required in Washington state public schools. High school students write in large block letters. Common Core does not require cursive either. So it is not just the minorities being left unable to read cursive.

    • Guy Fromage

      The cursive thing was just the icing on the ignorance cake.

      • Jeff Ludwig

        Yep.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      Very true.

    • Donovan Hill

      Large block letters? Not even upper and lower case printing? That’s a travesty.

      I can’t write cursive per se but I can at least read it and my handwriting has elements of cursive and printing (left handed and cursive don’t mix well). I find it mind blowing that they can’t “write”. How do they keep up with note taking in class?

  • Ken Kelso

    Bill Cosby has talked about this and was criticized for it.

    • Guy Fromage

      Mr. Cosby’s chastisement has brought him back in line now, it appears. He sounds like a typical lefty entertainer again.

    • Julieb615

      They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.
      I can’t even talk the way these people talk:
      Why you ain’t,
      Where you is,
      What he drive,
      Where he stay,
      Where he work,
      Who you be…
      And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
      And then I heard the father talk.
      Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of #$%$ coming out of your mouth.
      In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

      People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.
      The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
      These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
      $500 sneakers for what?
      And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

      I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
      Where were you when he was 2?
      Where were you when he was 12?
      Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
      And where is the father? Or who is his father?
      People putting their clothes on backward:
      Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
      People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

      Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
      What part of Africa did this come from??
      We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..

      I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
      I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
      With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that #$%$ ……… And all of them are in jail.

      Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
      We have got to take the neighborhood back.
      People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
      We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
      We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
      Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
      We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
      We cannot blame the white people any longer.’

      ~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D

      • Nabuquduriuzhur

        Isn’t it interesting that snopes and similar outfits are trying to debunk that? How then do they explain the recordings of that? I’ve heard part of it and unless they got someone who sounds like cosby, it’s real.

        • Julieb615

          The speech was given May 17, 2004 and Bill Cosby has NEVER denied giving it and has in fact amplified it publicly more than once since it was given.

      • Jeff Ludwig

        Wow. Incredible. Can’t believe I’m reading this.

  • Ken Kelso

    Walter brings up the best point, how is Rachel in the 12th grade without being able to read. How did she write a report in any school class?
    It sounds like her teachers were just passing her and letting her in the next grade.
    There should definitely be an investigation how this girl is in the 12th grade without being able to read.

    • Major

      Don’t you think Jabba the Huts size might have intimidated her teachers?

      Take a good look at “her”…she’s bigger than George Zimmerman! And these thugs today don’t have any restraint or qualms about punching or cursing a teacher out. All they have to do is tweet a fight and they’ve got 100 Bantu warriors show up in an hour.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      I was a student teacher in 1962 in Philadelphia’s public schools (John Bartram high school). I was assigned a 10th grade class. There were literally four students who were unable to write their names in that section. I was stunned. That was about 50 years ago. There have been so many reforms and educational fads since then, but we’re finding the same sorts of problems. America’s educational decline goes way back. Further, when I was in junior high in Philly in 1952-1955 (wow am I old!) sadly the wildest kids were African-American. Even the bad Italian dudes weren’t as wild.
      All of us wondered then, and are still wondering, “How did they get that way?” That question haunted me all my life, and that is why I spent so many years teaching African-American high schoolers. There’s some beautiful kids in that community, but ultimately I believe I failed to make a dent in the academic downward slope. I am on my knees day and night for those kids. I had one nice girl who only came to my class three days all term, and did not do one piece of work. Her parent came to see me with the girl, and I calmly affirmed that I really could not pass the girl. I did not take a high and mighty tone because I didn’t feel high and mighty. It was very sad. The mother’s reply was “you people are like that.” It’s a kind of built-in impasse…built into the social fabric. Prof. Williams says he hopes the testimony of the semi-literate Miss Jeantal will be a wake-up call. I know where he’s coming from, but I’m afraid that more than a wake-up call is needed. Rather, I’m praying for a miraculous intervention by a loving omniscient God.

  • ata777

    give credit where credit is due: progressives learned 40 years ago that the battle for the nation’s soul takes place in the public school classroom, not Washington, D.C. until that changes, legions of Rachel Jeantels–of every ethnic persuasion–will emerge.

  • Joseph

    why learn anything at all…join the muslim brotherhood, become a terrorist…fulfill your longing to blame whitey for everything…

  • tanstaafl

    Frederick Douglas taught himself to read.

  • The Dead Critic

    Your’re only realizing this now? AMAZING, white people are dumber than I thought! lol

    • Nabuquduriuzhur

      We’ve known it for years. But what were we supposed to do about it? A person has to be willing to learn and someone has to be willing to teach him/her. When either is lacking, then you get results like those cited.

    • CowboyUp

      If that was directed at the author of the article, Walter Williams, he happens to be Black. Lol.

      • baruchatta

        Morons who say something and end it with LOL.

  • mtnhikerdude

    Keep on making excuse for illiteracy . This is what Looney Liberal Logic endowed on our education system with ..”No Child Left Behind” and “It Takes a Socialist To Raise a Child”.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    In
    the late 1970s I had a British friend journalist friend in L.A. whose visa had
    been messed up by an idiot in INS and I went down to their offices with her to
    help straighten it out. The windows were all manned by blacks. I thought we’d
    landed in Africa. The woman we dealt with might have been a clone of Rachel’s, a
    Neanderthal. I pulled my friend out of there and called a main INS office to
    make an appointment with an officer at a higher level. I told them that I
    wouldn’t have believed what I encountered if I hadn’t encountered it in person.
    They gave us an appointment and straightened out my friend’s documents. Then
    the officer we dealt with offered an excuse for the staff we had encountered
    downtown. “They are all new on the job,” she explained, “all new
    law graduates.” In a civilized country the woman we had
    dealt with couldn’t have graduated from kindergarten. And this is what makes up
    a high percentage of America’s civil service.

    • Guy Fromage

      And this is what makes up
      a high percentage of America’s civil service.

      It is a natural consequence of employment patterns of a monopoly, especially a monopoly which is government-enforced. There is no incentive to be efficient.

      • DontMessWithAmerica

        All the incentive in the world won’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  • ltcdmward

    The next to the last paragraph is the “Money Shot” of the article and portends going from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of “cattle people” who simply graze and fatten themselves up for the eventual slaughter. Dying at 16, buried at age ???

  • DoctorFager

    Interestingly, when I choose doctors and lawyers I evaluate them at least in part in terms of “aesthetics..on the basis of how well they talk, how good they are at reading and writing.” No doubt most white-collar employers evaluate potential employees on the basis of those “aesthetics,” too. The NEA and progressive castrati like the professor Mr. Williams quotes are the modern-day planation overseers keeping blacks down. It’s ridiculous, shameful, and tragic that so many blacks can’t see that and break out of those ideological chains–and worse, that so many of them forge the chains for themselves and others.

    • Major

      “so many blacks can’t see that and break out of those ideological chains-”

      They could care less about “ideological” issues…a word they can’t even spell let alone define. What they care about is those monthly checks…and don’t you forget it.

  • 1proactive2

    Education among blacks is no longer a necessity nor is it worth any effort since entitlement and expectation of being taken care of by the government has taken up the slack. What you have left is a race where adolescence is violently defended and respect demanded when nothing is earned by individual effort.

    Here are two examples of “black” thinking:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII

    Then there is this jewel where the woman is angry that someone isn’t taken care of her six kids.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufk7IXdxc-c

    Anyone do searches to find blacks winning lawsuits for hiring and promotions simply because they couldn’t pass the exams.
    It isn’t necessary for blacks to succeed, or even try to. The American socialist network has prevented it.

  • dizzyizzy

    There is nothing inevitable about the neglect of education in black neighborhoods. See http://clarespark.com/2013/05/26/eva-moskowitz-and-the-charter-school-movement/. “Eva Moskowitz and the Charter School Movement.” It would be nice if the campaign against tyrannical teachers unions was shared by those on the Right.

    • Nabuquduriuzhur

      What do you mean “shared by those on the Right”?

      The center and right have been the only ones trying to do something about education. The Left has fed off the unions and in states like mine, the unions like the NEA essentially control it. 75% of the total budgets in the state go to education in Oregon. Half of it to sports. With a hammerlock on most money in the state, the NEA basically runs the state.

  • Jakareh

    If Jeantel’s had been exposed in an internationally famous courtroom case as someone who didn’t know that Washington is the capital of the United States, people like Morgan Polikoff would have said, “Geography should be allowed to die. In fact, it’s already dying, despite having been taught for decades.”

  • BBop

    The number of misspelled and racist comments on this article is pretty surprising, actually.

    They started killing cursive in ‘white’ schools, too – it still goes strong in Europe, last I checked, because it’s an art and a discipline to present yourself correctly, instead of looking mentally retarded.

    Also, this is not a ‘tragedy in black education’ – I’ve met plenty of functionally illiterate adults, and even more children of any heritage. Marking a line between ‘blacks and whites’ is just more simmering racism. Skin color, heritage, and ‘inherited attitude’ count for jack-all nothing. Skin color never has and never will describe or restrict those who truly want to make a change, or even, get educated. It’s INDIVIDUAL ATTITUDE – you know all those revolutionaries who couldn’t lead? No. Because their self-confidence sucked and they never did anything but follow and be bitter.

    ‘Mentally bankrupt’ is more what I would call these people in America who’re so privileged it hurts–they don’t need to learn or know anything because food will always be handed to them by parents or Welfare, and the McD’s dollar menu is also always there.

    • Guy Fromage

      Nonsense. The phenomenon of “acting white” is very real, and its origin, and the generally low priority placed on educational achievement in the urban black community, is traced by Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

      But soft, please be specific. What “racist comments” are in the article?

      • BBop

        What does this mean, ‘acting white’? In what regard? The aggressive, passive-aggressive or terrified when it comes to questions of race?

        No racist comments in the article – I was unclear. In the comments down here.

        • Guy Fromage

          No racist comments in the article – I was unclear.

          Ah. Very well, then. Yes, there are a few, unfortunately. I tried to engage one individual, who I suspect is a Moby, but it appeared to be for naught.

          In this context, the dismissive phrase “acting white,” denotes placing academic achievement ahead of other concerns deemed more important, such a sexual conquest, cultivation of “respect,” clothes, or what have you. Again, a full characterization can be obtained in Sowell’s book. It is a real page turner, which I found quite surprising.

          • BBop

            Ah! I see what you’re saying now. Yes, I can see that for sure.

            I believe, personally, that it does ultimately devolve on the individual to choose their path in life and make happen what they might in their environment.

            I also believe our educative standards are so out the bottom you could be anybody anywhere and still end up being stupid. Even people who ‘academically excel’ have a habit of going south once finished school – it was studied for the reward of having academically excelled, but not for the reward of having a skillset to fashion a life one wants to live.

            Plenty of motivated people get through school and go on to fabulous careers where they change things and create items of worth, and also plenty of motivated people get stifled and drop the hell out and go on to fabulous careers where they change things and create items of worth.

          • 1proactive2

            Never argue with a fool, Guy. The character who is crying racism in those who post here is one of the reasons so many blacks are in prison. Black felons know that one of their toxic tribal kind will try to explain away their actions and point fingers at whites.

            Consider giving him a pass since he does provide the incentive for ghetto blacks to cull each other with his nonsense excuse-making. He’s just too magnificently stupid to know it.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      You have good points to make. We need a balanced approach. But it has to be based in Christ, I think, because only God is not in the blame game.

  • Julieb615

    It is a shame that so few took him seriously.

    “They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.
    I can’t even talk the way these people talk:
    Why you ain’t,
    Where you is,
    What he drive,
    Where he stay,
    Where he work,
    Who you be…
    And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
    And then I heard the father talk.
    Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of #$%$ coming out of your mouth.
    In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

    People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.
    The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
    These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
    $500 sneakers for what?
    And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

    I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
    Where were you when he was 2?
    Where were you when he was 12?
    Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
    And where is the father? Or who is his father?
    People putting their clothes on backward:
    Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
    People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

    Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
    What part of Africa did this come from??
    We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..

    I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
    I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
    With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that #$%$ ……… And all of them are in jail.

    Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
    We have got to take the neighborhood back.
    People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
    We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
    We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
    Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
    We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
    We cannot blame the white people any longer.’

    ~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D”

  • Moliminous

    A couple of things.

    Learning to write and read cursive is not only fundamental to an education, it actually aids in the development of cognitive reasoning. When one practices writing cursive letters, one is also training the brain to think. There is no cognitive development from typing keys on a keyboard or computer… none. Graphoanalysis, the study of handwriting, demonstrates how handwriting can witness to that very development. As the handwriting can change over time, so can the reasoning capabilities of the author.

    But the much larger problem with America’s government/union schools is the lack of standards, expectations, and consequences. It all has to do with a fear of failure. If there were actual standards upon entry to the teaching profession, some might fail. We’re afraid of that. If some students were tested for what they know and they’re reasoning capabilities, some (a lot) would not pass. They would fail. What do you do with teacher aspirants who fail? What do you do with students who fail?

    The current solution for the teachers is to allow them to take their “entrance test” over again as much as they want or need, each time only recording the better grade in a particular area, never mind the fact that they might have scored more poorly in another area than previous. Eventually, like doing the same cross-word puzzle over and over again, one might remember enough to pass. But one has to ask, “Is that a teacher?” No, they should be invited to seek employment elsewhere. Kids deserve better. Districts will argue that they can’t find enough qualified applicants? Doesn’t that tell you something about the schools from which they graduate?

    For the students who fail, the only solution is to have them repeat a summer course with the exact same teacher they had during the year or with the same curriculum or pedagogy that they experienced when they failed. Either that pass the problem on to the next level. That’s called affirmative action, but it’s not based on race. It’s based on the fear of failure.

    All of the pedagogical wonders of the 20th and 21st century meant to remedy this dilemma were miserable failures because they dealt only with the superficial symptoms and not with the root causes. No Child Left Behind, the most recent iteration of the Elementary Secondary Education Act of 1964, is a perfect example. ESEA was and is a poverty program, not an educational one. It’s a lie. The only thing ESEA has done for over 45 years is provide employment for otherwise mediocre adults. It has done nothing for the kids used as the excuse for its passage.

    Politics is the root cause. The politically correct mantras have denuded American education to the point of absurdity.

    It’s time for a Separation of School and State. Get the government out of the business of education and give it back to the parents.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      So many profound ideas in this comment. I was really edified reading your views.

      • Ken Kelso

        I’m gonna guess you were born in 1940.
        My mother was born that year and was in Junior High School also from 52 to 55 in the Bronx.

    • Elseebee

      Your last sentence says it all.

  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    Bill Cosby has a really thought-provoking bit on education here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tJGKrKEUgE

  • CowboyUp

    Mr. Williams forgot the most important element of a decent
    education, the student has to value an education and want one enough to work
    for it. There are a lot of youngsters, of every race, who just consider themselves too cool for school. An education would hurt their street cred.

    • Nabuquduriuzhur

      While it’s true that you find some from every race that do, it’s not the majority in them like it is in black Americans.

      Despite that, my brother has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent the attitudes in his kids that have brought black Americans down. And it’s working. They are learning, and well-adjusted kids.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      All readers should read C. Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism. He amplifies and gives academic credence to the point made so succinctly by Cowboy Up.
      Thanks Cowboy.

  • richardgleaves

    Education is not passive. In a world of public libraries and ubiqitous internet, no one is ignorant except by choice.

  • Dennis Opihory

    she is 19 years old as well. i would like to know if she is a special needs person.

  • Ellman48

    “It’s educators who graduated Jeantel from elementary and middle school
    and continued to pass her along in high school. It’s educators who will,
    in June 2014, confer upon her a high-school diploma.”

    A diploma which is worth less than the paper it is printed on. Here is another victim of our educational system who would have fared much better from a vocational education (lasting 1 to 2 years) that would have at least provided a useful skill which companies need and are willing to pay for. Our educational system is an utter failure and our welfare system is the safety net created to satisfy the basic needs of the failures the education system produces like an assembly line. The education system funnels people into the welfare system. One has to wonder, was this unintended or was it the result of diabolical design and cynical intention?

  • Ellman48

    “Drs. Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom wrote in their 2004 book, “No
    Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning,” “Blacks nearing the end of
    their high school education perform a little worse than white
    eighth-graders in both reading and U.S. history, and a lot worse in math
    and geography.” Little has changed since the book’s publication.”

    Let us not forget, however, that blacks represent a significant portion of professional athletes in all of our primary sports, including tennis, at one time containing no blacks at all. They have excellent hand-and-eye coordination, so let’s not dwell too much on disabilities in intellectual achievements. The athletes make millions and the underachievers have the welfare system. Sounds fair to me! Of course there are many successful, prominent and educated blacks who do well outside the welfare system but they are not the subject of this article nor are they the victims of substandard education. Apparently, color is not sufficient in accounting for success and failure among blacks – or among whites, for that matter.

  • http://crunchyprogressiveparenting.blogspot.com/ Deb

    Good God, people, do you HEAR your arguments here? Blacks are “Them,” “Those people,” They,” and almost every sentence with those words lumps everyone together. I’ve got news for you: there are poor white people, poor Latinos, poor Asians, many of whom have awful grammar and syntax. It’s not “Them” as in “black people.” In many cases, it’s economic – as is single parenthood. Check your racist attitudes at the door – they do you no credit.

    And can we not throw all the blame on teachers, many of whom would be more than happy to NOT have principals going and changing the grades the teachers gave them in the first place so the school’s graduation rates look better? I was pressured, as a high school teacher many years ago, to change the grade of a student who was expelled for drug use 3 short weeks before graduation; he had done ZERO work before expulsion, and I was ordered to give him a completely new project he could complete with minimal effort just so the school could get him out the door – and it was strongly implied that if I didn’t give him the project to do, they’d pass him anyway. (PS: He was white.) If anything, teachers would probably change a lot of things for the better for students if they weren’t constantly being over-ridden by corporate education reformers setting policy without any idea how teaching and learning actually work.

  • rhondajo3

    I am 63 years old. Back in my day the kids who failed were kept back until they passed. That seems to be unheard of today.

  • http://blaze.com/ mathchopper

    Jeantel’s performance will have NO effect on black education. The black Democrap leadership will not allow facts to interfere with their opinions.

  • Progressives Rule

    Oh, I don’t know. Rachel Jeantel sounded more intelligent than many cowboys and cowgirls I’ve talked to across the south. I didn’t hear one twang in her voice or a “ya’ll” or a “shucks”. You bigots forget your ancestors probably had quite the thick accent, and no doubt were made fun of for it, when they arrived in this country. But, we all understand how it makes you feel better than another group by putting them down. The reality is, that you’re all oblivious of, you’re transparency, bigotry and racism is obvious to the world.

  • Progressives Rule

    If there’s anything wrong with Ms. Jeantel’s education, you can thank the southern education system. They probably spent too much time teaching Creationism or how The Flintstones is a reality show. Truth is, if the WANNABECOPCOWARDLIAR is convicted, you can thank her. THAT will make all your racist heads spin. ROFL!

  • JDS

    Michelle Obama has admitted that she couldn’t take tests – in other words, she failed them. She was passed along and sent to an ivy league school based solely on her race. Don’t be surprised to one day see a Rachel Jeantel in the White House. We’re not that far away from it now.

  • Wolfy Ghalkhani

    so heartbreaking. the black man could have had it all but he sold his future for a few entitlements. Now there is little hope of recovery as America slides ever further into irretrivable decline.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Such a brilliant article Prof. Williams. I grew up in Philly as well as you. I think we’re close to the same age. Thank you for this and many other amazing assessments of the current state of education.