June 19, 2013
June 12, 2013
Stephanie Hanes: Little girls or little women? The Disney princess effect
Fred Weir: In tweak to US, Russia would 'consider' asylum for Snowden
June 10, 2013
The Kosher Gourmet by Anjali Prasertong: A tart filling so good it might not make it to the crust
June 5, 2013
John Rosemond: Mom, Dad: Talk More and listen less
Egypt court sentences 43 pro-democracy workers to prison
June 3, 2013
Molly Hennessy-Fiske: Military judge to consider letting Fort Hood shooting defendant represent himself
May 29, 2013
Andrew Connelly and Helene Bienvenu: The Little Synagogue that Refused to Die
May 24, 2013
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb: When I didn't so 'humbly disagree'
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
Jewish World Review
August 13, 2008
/ 12 Menachem-Av 5768
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton High?
Most people know the tragic state of black education today. We know that billions of dollars are spent on federal government programs such as No Child Left Behind and the billions spent by state and local governments. If you were to ask an education "expert" to explain the tragedy, you'd get answers such as racial discrimination and underfunding.
My colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has written volumes on black education and an article worth reading is one he wrote some years ago in The Public Interest (Spring 1976) and reprinted in his book "Education: Assumptions Versus History."
Washington's Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School is one black school that Sowell writes about. From 1870 to 1955, most of Dunbar's graduates went off to college, earning degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Williams, Wesleyan and others. As early as 1899, Dunbar students had higher scores on citywide tests than students at any of the District's white schools. Dunbar's attendance records were generally better than those of white schools and its rate of tardiness was lower. Latin was taught throughout the period from 1870 to 1955 and in the early decades, Greek was taught as well. Large classes were the norm, 40 students per teacher. It was more than 40 years before Dunbar had a lunchroom, which was then so small that many children had to eat lunch on the street. Blackboards were old and cracked. It was 1950 before the school had a public address system. Most of the parents of Dunbar students worked in unskilled and semiskilled occupations. White-collar and professional parents totaled 17 percent.
Sowell also writes about Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School, whose education tragedy was featured last June in the HBO documentary "Hard Times at Douglass High" and my column
"Black Education". Frederick Douglass was founded in 1883 as the Colored High and Training School before it was renamed in 1892. It survived for decades with inadequate support, located in a succession of hand-me-down buildings that whites had discarded, old textbooks used years before by white students, refinished desks from white schools, secondhand sports equipment and so on. Teaching styles at Douglass approximated those of rigorous colleges: discussion rather than lectures, reading lists rather than day-to-day assignments and papers rather than reliance on "objective" tests. The interest of teachers in the students was reciprocated by the parents. According to alumni, "The school could do no wrong" in the eyes of parents.
Douglass produced distinguished alumni, such as Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway, as well as several judges, congressmen and civil rights leaders. Douglass High was second in the nation in black Ph.D.'s among its alumni. Dunbar High's distinguished alumni included U.S. Sen. Ed Brooke and physician Charles Drew. During WWII, Dunbar alumni in the Army included "nearly a score of Majors, nine Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels and a Brigadier General."
These successful black schools and others contradict what the "experts" say is needed to improve black education. Today's Dunbar and Douglass High schools' teachers and students have resources that would have been the envy of their predecessors. Class sizes today are a fourth of what they were yesteryear. What about the argument that segregated schools, as in Brown v. Board of Education, are inherently unequal? Or, as argued in Serrano v. Priest, that equalization of expenditures per student is essential for equal education. These observations are not arguments for segregation or unequal school financing; they merely challenge assumptions that have become gospel.
Former teachers and alumni, whom Sowell interviewed, said that the most basic characteristic of their school was law and order. Respect was the term most used to describe the attitudes of students and parents toward the schools. "The teacher was always right" was a frequently used phrase. Without a civilized learning environment, academic excellence is impossible no matter how much money is spent.
By the way, out of respect for these two great Americans, Frederick Douglass and Paul Laurence Dunbar, the two schools should be renamed Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton High.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Walter Williams Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K