There is a human tragedy smoldering in America’s inner cities. Twelve million poor children, mainly black and Hispanic, are trapped in failing government schools that are teaching them nothing. As a result, they will never get a chance at a middle-class life. Virtually every school board and every administration in inner city districts is controlled by Democrats, and has been for over fifty years. Everything that is wrong with inner city schools that policy can fix, Democrats are responsible for.
How bad is the inner-city school crisis? Almost half of black students in public schools, and almost half of Hispanic students drop out before graduation and fail to earn a diploma. The dropout rates are especially high in urban areas with large minority populations, including such academic disaster zones as Washington, DC (57%), Trenton (59%), Camden (61.4%), Baltimore (65.4%), Cleveland (65.9%), and Detroit (75.1%). As a result of high dropout rates, black and Hispanic students in these urban centers are denied the American dream and condemned to spend their lives in grinding poverty instead.
A significant percentage of black and Hispanic students who do manage to graduate are unable to read their own diplomas. Overall, black high-school graduates are four academic years behind their white counterparts in achievement levels. As political science professor Lydia G. Segal summed up the sad state of affairs in her book Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools: “It is in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philadelphia where the largest numbers of children cannot read, write, and compute at acceptable levels and where racial gaps between whites and blacks and Latinos are widest. It is in large cities that minority boys in particular, trapped in poor schools, have the greatest chance of flunking out and getting sucked into the downward spiral of crime and prison.”
The school boards and school districts that control the public schools in America’s largest inner cities – schools, which year-in, year-out, fail to educate poor minority children – are run by big-government Democrats and progressives, and have been for generations.The public schools are government monopolies run as jobs programs for adults and slush funds for the teacher unions and the Democratic Party. Through these organizations, progressives have fought tooth and nail to prevent bad teachers from being fired and good teachers from being rewarded. They have spent millions on electoral campaigns to deny inner city parents access to voucher programs that would provide scholarships for their children to attend schools that would educate them. These same progressives, fully aware of the bankruptcy of public education, send their own children to expensive private schools, where they will get the education the public schools would deny them. When Vice President Al Gore, a supporter of teacher unions and opponent of school vouchers, was asked why he opposed school vouchers for black children while sending his own son to a private school, he said: “If I was the parent of a child who went to an inner-city school that was failing, I might be for vouchers, too.”
This is a social atrocity that has to be stopped. “Atrocity” is the first web ad created by an organization I have created called Go For the Heart. I chose Atrocity to be our first project because what’s happening to poor mainly black and Hispanic children in our public schools is an atrocity, and it is one around which there is a great media silence. That is because the atrocity is being committed by the Democratic Party and its union supporters. “Atrocity” is an attempt to break that silence.
 “Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates,” Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters,Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, April 2006, No. 48, http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_48.htm
 “‘Crisis’ Graduation Gap Found Between Cities, Suburbs” Greg Toppo, USA Today, August 1, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-04-01-cities-suburbs-graduation_N.htm;
“School Budgets: The Worst Education Money Can Buy,” Blaire Briody, The Fiscal Times, June 6, 2011, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/06/06/School-Budgets-The-Worst-Education-Money-Can-Buy.aspx#page1
 “Only 13 Percent of 2011 Black Graduates Proficient in Reading,” Danielle Wright, BET, August 23, 2011, http://www.bet.com/news/national/2011/08/23/report-only-13-percent-of-2011-black-graduates-proficient-in-reading.html.html
 “Good Public Schools … for the Rich,” Clint Bolick, Hoover Institution, October 30, 2004, No. 4, http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7057
 Lydia G. Segal, Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools, Northeastern, 2003, p. xix
 “Liberalism’s Greatest Failure?,” Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online, September 28, 2010, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/247989/liberalisms-greatest-failure-jonah-goldberg
 “The Hollow Man,” Linda A. DiVall, Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2000, http://articles.latimes.com/2000/aug/13/opinion/op-3539
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