Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Sum Total Of Each Man's Giving Determines The Standard Of Man's Civilization.

Awhile back, I was asked about the best way to improve the current state of the Department of Education. The answer, dear readers, is simple and direct: Dismantle the Department of Education and completely privatize it. Far be it for me to say that all government institutions are vast, labyrinthine, bureaucratic morasses of lies, corruption and inefficiency, but, well, they are. I don’t want to get too heavily into the politics of it all, (saving that for a later date), suffice it to say that whatever the government touches, swiftly and painfully crumbles. And it’s the taxpayers who ultimately suffer. That’s right, not the “children” – the hard-working, middle class taxpayers. Why? Because their tax dollars are being used to fund a miserable failure of an educational system. If New Yorkers really knew what their taxes were paying for, there would be rioting in the streets.

Sound harsh? Too bad. The graduation rate for NYC students has hovered around 50% for the past decade or so, and it isn’t getting any better. Let me say that again, slower and with more emphasis – at present, there are approximately 1.1 million students in the NYC Dept. of Education, and only about half of them will graduate high school. Currently, there are 1.6 million people in New York between the ages of 18 and 25 with no high school diploma. Why? Again, simple answer: culture.

The majority of NYC public school students are Black or Hispanic, and regardless what the touchy-feely-everyone-hold-hands-and-sing-Kumbaya crowd thinks, people may all be created equal, but they certainly aren’t raised that way. Blacks and Hispanics consistently score the lowest on standardized tests, have the highest suspension rates, and the lowest graduations rates. And, to reiterate, I am telling you all that the reason for this is that the overwhelmingly vast majority of Blacks and Hispanics (but not all) come from an empty, lazy, destructive culture built upon instant gratification, false victimization and a sense of entitlement.

In my almost decade-long tenure as a NYC teacher, here’s how I rank NYC students, (General Education students, mind you – not Special Ed) according to achievement, work-ethic, behavior, and attitude:

1) White Girls/ White Boys: Even though I’ve had thousands of students, I’ve only had 10 or 12 White ones (and by White, I mean European – typically Eastern European or similar). White students are polite, well-behaved, always turn their assignments in on time, ask intelligent questions, read and write at or above grade level, and adhere to the rules. In my experience, 100% of the time, they come from a two-parent household where there is an activated phone line and email address. They are well-supplied, clean, and never late to class. Typical GPA in English Language Arts and History (the two courses I’ve taught) is somewhere between 95 and 100.


2) Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian Girls. By Indian and Asian I am referring to students from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China. They are almost exactly like White students in terms of achievement and behavior, and their parents are always accessible. 9 times out of 10 they came to this country at a young age, not knowing a word of English, but after a year or two in ESL classes, they can read and write at or above grade level. GPA, between 90 and 100.


3) Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian Boys. They only fall below the girls because, hey, I work in a middle school – pre-teen boys are naturally immature regardless of their cultural background. Even factoring in this variable, the boys’ GPA is still between 90 and 100.


4) Hispanic Boys / Girls from Central or South America. This would include students from Ecuador, Chile, Nicaragua, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. Despite the language barrier, these students are hardworking, ambitious, and polite. Their parents (both of them) are involved in their children’s education, and give really nice gifts at Christmas; the respect for teachers and education in general is high. GPA anywhere from 85-100; in fact, at our school for the past two years, the Salutatorians have been South American Girls.


5) “Black” students from either Africa or the Islands. These students outshine their African-American counterparts by at least 50%, despite typically being poorer and having to learn English at some point in their lives. Although they are hardworking and prepared they can sometimes be disruptive when they attempt to fit in with the Americanized Blacks. However, one call home to the parents puts the brakes on that sort of behavior almost immediately; African and Islander Black parents will actively reprimand their children, sometimes with belts and sticks. I’ve seen an African mother hit her son so hard that he flew across the room and bounced off the lockers, all because he got detention for not wearing his uniform. That was the last time that ever happened. By the way, if you want to tell the difference between African Blacks and American Blacks, all you have to do is look at their names. If the first name is pronounceable, but the last name isn’t, the student is African. The converse is true for American Blacks. Example: Robert Mbanefo is from Nigeria; De’Quatief Tyler is from the Bronx. GPA between 80 and 85.


6) Guyanese Students. Even though the official language of Guyana is English, these students typically score low on standardized tests and read below grade level. They all seem to have colored contact lenses and iPods, though – especially the girls who try their hardest to emulate the Puerto Rican girls in attitude, dress, and behavior. The boys fare a little better in high school, but only with supportive parents. GPAs are typically in the 70’s, maybe low 80’s.


7) Puerto Rican and Dominican Girls. This one’s a toss-up. Even though something like 90% of them come from single-parent homes, they make a concerted effort to not end up like their mothers. Usually, they do the minimal amount of work it takes to pass, but pass they do, and will typically keep the boys in line during class. Since most don’t have fathers at home, they regard male teachers with a lot of respect. If they don’t get pregnant by 18, and have a modicum of intelligence, they will most likely graduate high school and secure menial, yet decent jobs. The vast majority though will keep the cycle going by having children before they are old enough to rent a car, and be unmarried at that. GPA is usually between 65 (the lowest passing grade in NYC) and 75. On a side note, there are 20+ Puerto Rican women who work in my school, ranging in age from 25-50; all of them have at least one child and not one of them is married. Not one.


8) Puerto Rican and Dominican Boys. Another toss-up. If they actually make it to school on time, and turn in their work, they will have a slight chance at succeeding. However, a casual glance at my grade-book tells me that every single “Latino” boy is missing more than half of his assignments and has been late to class almost every day. And when they do turn in their work, it is sloppy, incomplete, and looks as though they wrote it while crouching outside in the hallway five minutes before class. Quite possibly the laziest human beings on the planet. Typical grades are anywhere from 55-65.


9) American Black Girls. Besides being loud, crass, rude, and unapologetic about their behavior, they are the second-lowest performers in class. Every third word out of their mouths is either a curse, a threat, or an unintelligible grunt, and that’s when they actually show up to class. Most of the time though, they spend the class periods roaming through the hallways starting fights with each other. Seriously. The girls are more violent than the boys.


10) American Black Boys. Where do I begin? Despite actually having been born and raised in the United States, their test scores in ELA are typically lower than both English Language Learners and Special Education Students. I will explain why using this anecdote: When I was a first-year teacher, I was talking to a colleague about the lack of emphasis placed on education in American Black homes. She told me that she had given back a student’s homework that was done incorrectly. The student complained by saying, and I quote, “But Miss, I be done did it!” My colleague responded, “Yes, but you ‘be done did it’ all wrong.” The next day, the mother of that student came up to school irate at the fact that a teacher should fail her son based on, get this, “the words he be sayin’.” My colleague explained that since it was English class, her son was being graded on how well he used English. The mother screamed at her that, “Well, that’s the way we be talking!” American Black Students fail because they have been raised with a false sense of entitlement, in a culture that glorifies conspicuous consumption, misogyny, violence, and over-indulgence, supported by a society that continually makes excuses for their shortcomings. Not one Black Boy in my classes is passing, but every one of them has brand new $150 sneakers and shiny new cell phones. They are suspended from school at a rate 10 times that of White students, and have a graduation rate in NYC of 34%. That’s right. Only 34% of Blacks in the NYC school system graduate high school.

50 years of the NAACP, the UNCF, Affirmative Action, and every other social program ever concocted by a left-leaning apologist has been a complete and utter failure. I blame Langston Hughes who said, "A dream deferred is a dream denied." No it isn't; what an asinine statement. Deferred means "delayed" or "postponed." You want your dreams to come to frutition? Try working for them yourself. Now, I know that some hot-headed readers out there are going to jump down my throat for this, but here’s the reason for the failure in black and white (pun definitely intended):

American Black and Puerto Rican/Dominican students in New York City fail because they come from a morally bankrupt, backwards, indolent culture that is completely indifferent to education because it is free.

Yes. Because it is free.

In NYC, and specifically the Bronx, so-called minority families are supported in every way through social programs, AKA, your tax dollars. Section-8, WIC, Medicaid, TANF, AFDC – they all contribute to the lackadaisical attitude these groups have towards their own personal responsibility. In other words, since their housing, food, energy bills, health care and other such expenses are paid for by others, they have no vested interest in society, and thus, they make no efforts towards anything past selfish, shallow fulfillment. And it has a snowball effect – the more bills that are paid by the taxpayer, the more they demand. The public educational system is just another example of how a taxpayer -funded system is abused by the very people it was created to help. I’ve told hundreds of parents over the years that their children are going to fail, and all I receive is a shrug of the shoulders. Since they aren’t paying a dime for their kids’ education, what do they care if their kids succeed or not? After all, if the kids fails out of school and isn’t able to get a job, then Uncle Sam will be along with a nice fat paycheck for them, just like he gave to Mom and Dad. And Grandma and Grandpa. And so on. If we, as responsible members of society want to break this cycle, then we have to only make one tiny, almost imperceptible change to the NYC educational system: charge tuition. Not a lot, mind you, I’m only suggesting approximately $100 a month. $50 a month if you have two kids. Doing so will have a threefold effect:

1) Since there are 1.1 million students in the NYC public schools, such a nominal tuition will provide a much needed boost to the city’s coffers - something along the lines of approximately $1.3 billion a year. My school makes the teachers pay for copies and chalk, and I’m sure we’re not alone.


2) Parents will actually have vested interest in their children’s education, and therefore, will concern themselves with their kids’ success. Parents who are forced to pony up tuition every month are going to want to see a return on their investment, in the form of a passing grade.


3) If parents know that each one of their kids is going to cost them an average of $75 a month, then maybe they’ll limit their procreation activities to a more Vulcan-like rate; once every seven years. The biggest threat to this planet isn’t global warming, or terrorism, it’s overpopulation.

I’ll even take it one step further. I propose that every time a child cuts school, or is given detention, the parent is fined $50 by the city. If he chooses not to pay, then that month’s WIC check or Section 8 subsidy is cut off. Conservatively, I would estimate the end of truancy and insubordination within one year. “Minority” parents live and breathe by their wallets, and, as such, that’s where the city has to hit them.

So, my plan might not exactly be privatization, per se, but it’s a step in the right direction. My arrangement would also limit the number of administrative supervisors in each school, refuse principalships to anyone who has less than ten years teaching experience, and remove Mayor Bloomberg and his crony Joel Klein as heads of the Department of Education in favor of people who have an iota as to what they’re talking about.

But one step at a time, my friends, one step at a time…