Odd Couple or Salt-N-Pepa? Gingrich and Sharpton pair up

Unfortunately, the Newt and Al show is not doing an Atlanta swing any time soon. This I would like to see.

According to an AJC story, Al Sharpton, a liberal Democrat, and Newt Gingrich, a conservative Georgia Republican, joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan on the first stop of a “listening and learning” tour Tuesday in Philadelphia to find out which school strategies are working and why.

The odd couple of Gingrich and Sharpton found common ground in the concept that education is the new frontier on civil rights. President Barack Obama has a goal of turning around 5,000 failing schools across the U.S. in the next five years.

After visiting two poor urban schools that are also high achieving, Gingrich said he had a sense of great hope.  “If we have absolute proof it can be done, why aren’t we doing it?” Gingrich said. “You are literally risking the lives of these kids.”

I am not a big fan of these publicity tours as I am not sure why we need Gingrich or Sharpton to tell us that education reform is possible and that there are schools defying the odds.

But Newt asks a good question. Why aren’t we doing it everywhere?

6 comments Add your comment

jim d

September 29th, 2009
5:07 pm

Newt is always good at asking the right questions. He just hasn’t come up with the all right answers.

Give him credit for asking though.


September 29th, 2009
5:15 pm

Unfortunately you can’t take the motivation that the students and their parents obviously have and replicate that elsewhere. Maybe the question is what makes them as motivated then determine if that can be passed onto other schools.

Old School

September 29th, 2009
8:24 pm

If their visit included the preparations our school made when Max Clelland came down, I’m not real impressed with anything they might have to say. The classroom Max visited in was an AP US History one that had just gotten a fresh coat of paint and new desks. The floors were squeaky clean, bulletin boards colorful and informative. The rest of us were confined with our students to our rooms and told NOT to set foot out until we were told it was okay. Only muffled sounds of education were heard up and down the halls (yeah, I sneaked out just to check.) After he and his entourage left the campus, the usual noise and chaos prevailed.

Accurate picture of what goes on at our school daily? Hardly but boy was he impressed! I guess prepping students with intelligent questions helped too.

No, I’m not impressed by anything other than an under the radar surprise visit.


September 29th, 2009
8:31 pm

Personally, why give that race baiter Sharpton any more publicity?


September 29th, 2009
8:32 pm

Takes motivation, takes discipline. Usually if you want to impose strict discipline, you need to have a voluntary setting such as a charter school, because many parents don’t want to discipline their children and don’t want anyone else doing it either.


September 29th, 2009
9:58 pm

Enough of these weak a– excuses for not doing better by our children poor or not. The first step in discipline lies with us adults. It starts with us looking in the mirror. Prayerfully, we will have the will to raise the bar for ourselves and our children. Otherwise they will be tracked to be behind the bars. We have failed miserably when it comes to the black male child. No one wants to talk about this travesty. The shame of it.