The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that America is stronger when all students receive adequate educational opportunities. All children should be taught how to read, write, and do mathematics at a level where they are proficient. No one should graduate from high school who does not know how to read, write, and do mathematics. Yet, just the opposite is happening in some cities across the nation.
Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, stated in a recent column that there is “an education crisis among black students” and “Black politicians, civil rights leaders, and their white liberal advocates have little or no interest in doing anything” about it. As evidence for what he said, he gave the following statistics:
In city after city with large black populations, such as Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., less than 10% of students test proficient in reading and math.
For example, in 2016, in 13 Baltimore high schools, not a single student tested proficient in math. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. Citywide, only 15% of Baltimore students passed the state’s English test. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma.
How can we expect the rising generation to be prepared for adulthood if we are not teaching them basic knowledge that will help them to succeed? I am appalled by the figures stated above. In 13 high schools not one student was proficient in math, and in 6 other high schools only 1% of students was proficient in math. If they cannot do math, how can they balance their checkbooks or check their bank accounts? In addition, only 15% of the students could pass the State test for English. I assume that test includes reading proficiency. How can these schools allow students to graduate who do not know English or mathematics? It appears to me that a diploma from such high schools mean nothing.
Williams stated that these “Examples of academic underachievement can be seen at predominantly black public schools across the nation.” However, he sees a bigger problem than the underachievement in academics: “The strangest part of this is that poor academic performance is accepted and tolerated by black politicians, civils rights organizations, and white liberals.” The people who profess to care about the black community is not concerned about the lack of education among black students.
According to Williams, “the poorest performing schools have the highest per pupil spending.” This means that it is not a matter of money. Williams accused colleges of “gross dishonesty” because they admit many of these underperforming students to college even though they are not qualified to do college-level work. How do the schools justify admitting unqualified students?
In a futile attempt to make up for 12 years of rotten education, colleges put these students in remedial courses. They also design courses with little or no true academic content. Colleges have their own agendas. They want the money that comes from admitting these students. Also, they want to make their diversity and multiculturalism administrators happy.
In other words, these colleges are using black students to further their agenda of multiculturalism and diversity and are not concerned about the individual students at all. It is not fair for any student to be forced to go to a failing school. So, what did Williams suggest? He used statistics from a study done by Thomas Sowell in New York City that shows black students attending charter schools being better educated than those attending regular public schools.
The statistics prove that liberals are lying when they claim that “racial integration is a necessary condition for black academic excellence.” It is obvious that black students do fine when they are properly taught. So, there must be another reason for keeping black students uneducated. Could it be that they fear educated blacks would see “behind their curtain” and leave the Democrat “plantation”? Educated blacks would be much more difficult to control because they could thin for themselves and make their own decisions
Politicians are a big part of the problem. There are “many charter schools [that] provide superior educational opportunities for black youngsters,” but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a believer. He thinks that the education establishment should “Get away from high-stakes testing, get away from charter schools. No federal funding for charter schools.”
It sounds to me that Americans of all colors should flee people like de Blasio. Our nation cannot afford to have students graduating from high school who do not know how to read, write, and do mathematics. We need our rising generation to be well-educated and prepared to take their place in the adult world.