Spike Lee: We need options other than sports, rap and the corner

Congressman John Lewis gets passionate about the role of education as Spike Lee listens at a Morehouse panel Monday. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

Congressman John Lewis gets passionate about the role of education as Spike Lee listens at a Morehouse panel Monday. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

I just attended the U.S. Department of Education town hall meeting at Morehouse College featuring Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Congressman John Lewis, filmmaker and Morehouse graduate Spike Lee, Morehouse President Robert Michael Franklin, New Schools of Carver science teacher Christopher Watson, MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson and Jonesboro’s Mundy’s Mill Middle School principal Derrick Dalton.

The point of the session –  which was loaded with inspirational moments, including Lee recognizing two Morehouse professors in the front row for their role in his success –  was to encourage black students to consider teaching.

The program opened with a personal, taped message to the Morehouse students from President Obama about the importance of increasing the pool of quality teachers. The stage backdrop was an Obama quote: “If you want to make a difference in the life of a child, become a teacher.”

Despite all the firepower on the stage, the real voltage came from the young men in the audience, including high school students from Clayton County and APS schools. Their questions were thoughtful and reflected a real interest in education and an awareness of the many problems besetting public education and, in particular, black males.

But if any institution has cracked the code of black male achievement, as one speaker noted, it has been Morehouse, which has been encouraging its elite students to consider teaching instead of law or finance.

The panelists laid the groundwork that we already discussed here in the earlier blog based on my telephone interview with Secretary Duncan: Only one in 50 teachers is a black male.

A common theme in the comments that posters made in response to that blog was “Why is it important to have good black male teachers? Isn’t the real goal good teachers?” Neither Duncan nor anyone else on that stage today would dispute the urgency of getting more strong college students to enter teaching, but there is a real dearth of black men. And diverse role models are important.

President Franklin opened the program with a wonderful quote from theologian, educator and civil rights leader Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Franklin won applause when he shared a Morehouse saying: “When a teacher opens the door of a classroom, he slams the door of a prison cell.”

Arne Duncan says only one in 50 public school teachers is a black male. He came to Morehouse Monday to try and change that. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

Arne Duncan says only one in 50 public school teachers is a black male. He came to Morehouse Monday to try and change that. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

Duncan earned applause with his statement, “I think teachers are underpaid and undervalued in our country today.” But he told the 500 people in the audience that teacher pay systems must change to highlight and reward excellence and that high-achieving young teachers in some places experimenting with performance pay are earning $100,000.

While teaching jobs may be scarce now, Duncan assured students that positions will open up. A million of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers are at or near retirement, he said, and the time will come soon when schools will be hiring 100,000 to 200,000 new teachers a year. He also talked up the Income-Based Repayment, which forgives eligible federal student loans for teachers after 10 years of payments and employment.

MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson announced his five-year national initiative to recruit, train, place and develop 80,000 African American male teachers by 2015.

Spike Lee is part of a Morehouse legacy as his grandfather graduated the college in 1927 and his father in 1951. (His grandmother graduated Spelman in 1929 and his mother in 1954.) His grandmother taught art in Georgia for 50 years and never had a white student because of Jim Crow, he told the audience.  Lee considers himself a teacher as he teaches at his graduate school, NYU.

He reminded audience that at one time in American history it was a crime to teach black slaves to read and write. “If you were caught, you could be whipped, castrated or hung. And if the massa was having a bad day, it could be all three,” he said.

Too many black teens see only three career options, said Lee, sports, rap music or the corner. “Our vision is so narrow,” he said. “Black children have to see more options.”

Which brings us full circle: Seeing black men in front of the classroom would reveal another option to children.

—From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

113 comments Add your comment


January 31st, 2011
3:53 pm

If more bright black men go into teaching…

There will be fewer bright men going into other high profile, high salary positions — giving less competition for others.

The civil rights pressure on the education establishment will be so great that they will have to improve the teaching conditions for all teachers.

Any other possibilities?

Tonya C.

January 31st, 2011
4:01 pm

Teaching is not an option to any man with a real desire to support his family financially. I’m just saying. I’ve had to lower my standard of living expectations compared to the middle-class lifestyle I grew up in, and my father was a blue-collar worker. Duncan is talking about performance pay at a time when states are completely strapped for cash and struggling to make current payroll.

Poetry and inspiration don’t pay bills. Cute sayings and quotes won’t close the come disparity available in alternative professions. Let’s get to the meat of the issue and quit chewing around the fat.


January 31st, 2011
4:16 pm

Keep in mind when atheletes get hurt they want a doctor, when musician are cheated out of album sales they want accountant and if you are working the corner you’ll probably need an attorney. I’m just saying in the end these people always need someone educated in their corner.


January 31st, 2011
4:24 pm

I dont get the whole “performance pay” thing. Its pretty much luck of the draw on who you get in your classrooms. Some classes are brighter than others, regardless of the teacher.
Also, wouldnt performance pay just entice the teacher who wants that bonus to make the class easier, or not be such a harsh grader on something like an English paper?
More black men are needed for teaching, but they could start by finishing highschool first. 50-50 is not a good ratio.


January 31st, 2011
4:32 pm

I hope while they are encouraging black males to go into teaching, they are also preaching reproductive responsibility.
No matter what the race, the child of a single mom, especially where the father is absent, has a much harder time reaching academic success.

Just a Thought

January 31st, 2011
4:34 pm


Will there be video availabe of the event? Either here or on Morehouse’s website?

bootney farnsworth

January 31st, 2011
4:37 pm

Spike Lee advising us on education.

we’re so screwed….

Burroughston Broch

January 31st, 2011
4:45 pm

I guess they didn’t have the courage to include Bill Cosby. The Cos tells it like it is.


January 31st, 2011
4:56 pm

I left teaching due to the lack of disrespect that teachers are given on many levels (salary, parents, etc.). A high school football coach gains more respect than a teacher.


January 31st, 2011
5:04 pm

What I really need is a dad

APS Teacher for now

January 31st, 2011
5:04 pm

Physicians, neurosurgeons, entrepreneurs, physicists, jazz pianists, violinists, chemists, astrophysicists, U.S. Senators, electricians, RN’s, brick Masons….so many professions are out there for Morehouse grads including teachers…but the most important is still: father

Ed Johnson

January 31st, 2011
5:06 pm

It’s just a smokescreen to encourage a once disenfranchised but now greatly self-victimizing people to buy into the Broad-Gates-Obama agenda to bring on charter schools and such. The UNCF is on board with the agenda, so now on to HBCUs!

What irony. What a demonstration of intelligence without wisdom.


January 31st, 2011
5:27 pm

Would love to know where these high performing teachers in “some places” are earning $100,000. I hardly think the gold dome would go for that sort of funding.


January 31st, 2011
5:29 pm

APS, I’d say “husband” before “father.”

I have to laugh that the high school students were allowed to go. Our elementary students have to do flash cards as they wait to go into the toilet! No wasted time! No “fluff!”

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January 31st, 2011
5:39 pm

It’s too bad the Sec of Ed was a professional basketball player, but never a teacher.

Dr. John Trotter

January 31st, 2011
5:54 pm

I see that Arne Duncan has weighed in on Atlanta at the apparent behest of Mayor Reed. Woopeedo.


January 31st, 2011
5:58 pm

I can’t see why anyone would have anything negative to say about having more African American male teachers as positive role models and for academic instruction especially in our inner cities and developed urban areas. It certainly is not the cure for all but it is a wortwhile goal and a small piece of a very large puzzle.

Tonya C. I understand your argument and it’s validity in todays economic climate but the fact of the matter, many long ago professional African Americans with advanced degrees went into teaching not for the pay but for the need/crisis at that time and they made due just fine…it is called sacrafice for the greater good. They were unselfish people. Guess what, we are @ another crisis crossroad and we need others to step up to the plate once again. I agree performance pay is a joke and just another creation of a class system. Those who are being paid to do their jobs should do so to the best of their abilities with tangible results.


January 31st, 2011
6:01 pm

I think a lot of commenters are missing the point. The point is that there needs to be a cultural shift and education needs to be made more of a priority, as it is a more certain road to success than things like sports, rapping, etc (as Spike Lee mentions). There are a lot of intelligent, talented kids out there who are never encouraged to excel in academics because the focus is on these other areas. Having a positive black male role model in the classroom would speak volumes to kids, especially young black males. Black male adults have a unique power in this area, and they should use it to invest in the future. Also, I think the performance pay would be a huge benefit to attracting quality teachers of all kinds. Our educators are indeed greatly undervalued. If you want quality education, you have to pay for it somehow.

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January 31st, 2011
6:15 pm

Arnie “high-achieving young teachers in some places experimenting with performance pay are earning $100,0000″; AJC fact check please.

Truth Hurts

January 31st, 2011
6:20 pm

Why didn’t this fine collection of intellects discuss the real design of the RTTT system?

Don’t blame the welfare mama for the child’s lousy academic performance. Don’t blame the male responsible for impregnating the welfare mama. Blame the teacher. The teacher’s job is to teach, so it is their fault when the welfare nation fails.

Land Rover

January 31st, 2011
6:26 pm

Tonya C and her attitudes about AA men not making enough to support her in all of her glory is another part of the problem. She thinks she can do it all on her own or marry success. Once an AA man achieves success he wants no part of the likes of a Tonya C or her offspring to drag him down. You loose a taste for catfish once you’ve had lobster.

Maureen Downey

January 31st, 2011
6:29 pm

@Mr. I, I know at least one town that did this, a suburban Pennsylvania system. I think that there are now science and math teachers coming at higher pay levels and then earning performance bonuses in some districts as part of performance pay pilots.

Did some fast checking: From the Chicago Tribune:

An extraordinary number of public school teachers in the Chicago region earned $100,000 or more in 2009, straining school budgets and taxpayer wallets and fueling the debate over what teachers are worth and how they get raises.

In the affluent enclaves of Highland Park and Deerfield, almost half the teachers in Township High School District 113 took home six-figure salaries — the highest percentage in the state.

In Park Ridge and Hinsdale, about 43 percent of high school district teachers earned $100,000 or more, according to a Chicago Tribune salary analysis.
Six-figure teacher salaries of that magnitude are rare elsewhere in Illinois and in most parts of the country.

From the Bergen (NJ) Record:

Half of the 1,800 New Jersey public school teachers who earned more than $100,000 per year for the 2008-09 school year worked in schools in Bergen and Passaic counties, according to a report on NorthJersey.com

The report said Passaic had 115 teachers with salaries above $100,000, the largest number within one district in the state. Other towns with teachers making more than $100,000 annually included Hackensack, 98, Teaneck, 93, Wayne 81, and Ridgewood, 71.

The median pay for all teachers in the state was $57,467, while in Bergen County it was $61,096 in Passaic County is was $56,350.


January 31st, 2011
6:33 pm

What? What? Do we have to blame anyone? Do You have a Dog, Cat ,Cow, Or anything to Feed?
What about inbred nothing>?Give me a check! OOPS, My color has faded.I will be The Man Again!


January 31st, 2011
6:42 pm

They gotta get out of high school and jail first.

Lets face it, the academic performance of blacks and latinos is at the bottom of the distribution. Are these the people we need teaching our kids?

What ever happened to “best and brightest” ??

Stressed Educator

January 31st, 2011
6:46 pm

I attended today’s event at Morehouse. Overall, it was informative and needed, but I was not impressed with the plan for how their goal will be achieved. Until we respect the teaching profession like we do other top level professions, getting 80,000 AA males to teach by 2015 is going to be out of reach. As a former educator who now works to change educational policies and trains AA males to teach AA male students, I was disappointed to see so few males on the panel who were actually in education. How can we solve the problems in education if we continue to allow those without experience in education to make the decisions? We have got to include classroom teachers more in decision making and educational policy reform.

@Land Rover– your last line made me laugh because it is similar to what I told a colleague of mine whose wife (now ex-wife) use to say to him about his career choice.

Julie Worley

January 31st, 2011
6:58 pm

Shockingly, there persists a very discriminatory practice in 21st Century American Schools, Corporal/Physical Pain as Punishment, applied disproportionately to black students, disabled students and low-income male students. Search “A Violent Education” to view shocking statistics/education practices.
The U.S. Department of Education reports that approximately 250,000 incidents of corporal punishment are reported annually in the schools where such practices are allowed. Many children are seriously injured, often resulting in emergency room visits.
The beatings to which I refer most often take the form of paddling, the beating on the buttocks with a flat wooden board, often resulting in rather ugly contusions. These beatings are legal; parents frequently have little or no recourse. Research-based scholarship categorically rejects corporal punishment’s safety and efficacy, and there is not one accredited teachers’ college in the United States that instructs prospective teachers how to hit schoolchildren.
Pain as Punishment is legal in Schools in 20 U.S. States today where school employees hit children with wooden boards to deliberate­ly inflict physical pain as punishment­, known as corporal punishment, sexual assault when done to a non-consenting adult­. Teachers/Coaches and other school employees having unlawful sexual relations with schoolchildren is an epidemic. We don’t hit our 3 children, yet they must witness/ov­erhear teachers threaten/h­it students with wooden paddles for minor infraction­s in hallways just outside class without parental consent or notificati­on, not required by TN State Law. Our school board members ignored our demand to prohibit corporal punishment of children in our schools. Several “School Paddling States” have “Teacher Immunity Laws” to protect school employees from criminal/c­ivil action. Our nation’s most trusted Children’s Health and Education organizati­ons are Opposed to Corporal Punishment of Children in Schools as research shows that it is harmful to the healthy developmen­t of children and an impairment to the learning environmen­t, often resulting in injuries to children and risk of lawsuits to school districts. Please Demand U.S. Congress Enact H.R. 5628 “Ending Physical/C­orporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Schools Act”.

Eye Roll

January 31st, 2011
7:23 pm

… States today where school employees hit children with wooden boards to deliberate­ly inflict physical pain as punishment­, known as corporal punishment, sexual assault when done to a non-consenting adult­ …

V for Vendetta

January 31st, 2011
7:44 pm


Take a breath, eat some dolphin safe tuna, and drive home in your Nissan Leaf. You need a rest. Wake up tomorrow calm and refreshed and have yourself a bowl of Kashi cereal. You’ll feel much better.

As to the topic at hand, I think it’s dumb. Plain and simple. Here are some reason why:

1. As long as schools must contend with the unenviable burden of educating every student who crosses their thresholds, they will be unable to fulfill their missions. Special education is an ENORMOUS money drain. Disciplining the same students over and over (and over and over . . .) again is an enormous time drain. Dealing with the educational cure du jour is an enormous brain drain. If charter schools such as KIPP have shown us anything, it’s that consistent, rigorous, and unwavering expectations produce results in any socioeconomic environment. The ability to remove persistently troublesome students is ALL it takes. Imagine that.

2. Some schools in the metro area have had their existing (white) administration replaced with new (black) administration. Many teachers have also been phased in/out as well. You know what happened? NOTHING. They got worse. Note: they didn’t get worse because of the race of the employees; they got worse because the community went into the garbage and the school was powerless to make any meaningful changes.

3. The notion that young blacks are consigned to a life of crime, poverty, and gang violence–or rap and professional sports–stems from the attitudes and actions of many influential members of the black community. The thug/gangster lifestyle has been romanticized in song for the past twenty years. There is an entire generation of black males who think that’s how life is. As a result of this romanticized culture of poverty, crime is seen as legitimate, welfare is seen as acceptable, reproduction goes unchecked, and even relatively successful black males feel the need to lease luxury cars and wear bluetooth headsets at all hours to advertise they’ve “made it.”

4. Arne Duncan is dumb.


January 31st, 2011
7:59 pm

Let’s see, I never had a male teacher until I got to high school — and he tore my butt up with a paddle for shooting a spitball.

Take away points:

1. My academic development was not damaged because I didn’t have a male teacher in elementary or Jr. High.

2. I never shot another spitball in that teachers class again.

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 31st, 2011
7:59 pm

@ bootlicker fartsworth

“Spike Lee advising us on education.

we’re so screwed….”

Lets see; college graduate, renowned filmmaker, and graduate school teacher at NYU. Besides belittling or denigrating ANY AND EVERYTHING about black people you do…….?

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 31st, 2011
8:01 pm

@ V for Vendetta

# 3 is SO TRUE! :(

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Top School

January 31st, 2011
8:30 pm

He reminded audience that at one time in American history it was a crime to teach black slaves to read and write. “If you were caught, you could be whipped, castrated or hung. And if the massa was having a bad day, it could be all three,” he said.

A sad day that still in 2011…The Black Folk in the ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION have supported the retaliation of teachers in very much the same way…gang raping the teacher’s within their own APS minority leadership. Given the opportunity to lead without the oppression their ancestors endured as SLAVES those Black Folk in leadership roles of APS have used their position to HOLD BACK the honest and ethical teachers willing to stand up to their psychotic illnesses.

The SLAVE STATE oppression is as alive today…only in different ways. Might not be a total lynching …but the example used to scare the employees of the system still exist.

Police Escort Teacher out of Jackson Elementary


Maybe SPIKE LEE needs to make a movie about the BLACK ADMINISTRATION in Atlanta Public Schools selling out to the BIG HEADS in BUCKHEAD. Black Folk in the position to make it better for their own people have failed to HELP.

Maureen Downey

January 31st, 2011
8:43 pm

@PBM, I have to agree. Spike Lee’s ancestors were attending college while my family was still in the fields in Ireland and Italy. His lineage is rich in education. He holds degrees from Morehouse and NYU. If he is not a role model for education, then who is?

Maureen Downey

January 31st, 2011
8:45 pm

@Anon, I suggest you spend 15 minutes at Morehouse. I would be delighted to have any of those young men teach my children. My kids have all had wonderful male teachers, black and white. They loved the energy that the men brought to the room.

GA Teach

January 31st, 2011
8:58 pm

Teachers are not making $100,000.00 under RTTT. The requirement is for teachers to hit the goal two years in a row and keep that number. What happens when teachers have one bad year? Are they going to lose 50,000 for that year? That is crazy. What about state budget cuts? Georgia cuts have affected teachers already and they will continue to cut pay. The first money to go is anything that is not part of the teachers base salary. Even if a teacher makes 50,000.00 a year there is no way the state is going to hand out 50,000.00 more to any teacher. If teachers are required to be under paid for performance then all federal and state employees (on all levels) should be required to take a pay reduction that is equal and put on a pay for performance plan.

Mr. Duncan….you must forget that most high school teachers do more than teach….I dare Mr. Duncan to enter the classroom for five years and be paid under the same model that he proposed…..The is more to learning then test.

annoyed student

January 31st, 2011
9:03 pm

To all the ignorant comments that have been posted:

I am a current student at Morehouse College and had the privilege of being able to attend this event. First off whether they are in education or not, each and every member of the panel made great points about the state of black education in this country.

Second, to address the ignorant post about the high school students being there, they were there because they had an interest in becoming educators and WANT to make a difference in their communities. Not only does Morehouse strive to create excellent students but she also strives to create great leaders not only in the classroom but in communities as well. To quote Morehouse alumnus Howard Thurman “Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she challenges the to grow tall enough to wear.”

Lastly, after the initial conversation and the press conference, many of the high school and Morehouse students attended a second panel made up of educators as well as successful black men who were overcame substandard education systems. Every single question that was asked pertained to the disadvantages black students have in their education and than addressed not what CAN be done to fix this, but what WE, the students, can do to fix these problems. Half the students that were there were already set on becoming teachers before the event ended and many more are probably considering that as a career after the conversation.

To say that black teachers, the small select few who went to college and got their degree, are unqualified and unfit to teach because of the education they had as a child is a clear sign of how far this country needs to go to eliminate racism. Those comments are completely ignorant and in no way true.

To all the ignorant comments that have been posted, please think before you open your mouths and spew out lies and garbage that do nothing but tear people down and please think before you attempt to spread lies about MY school. Morehouse students are constantly trying to wear that crown, we encourage you to do the same.


January 31st, 2011
9:33 pm

@annoyed student:

Welcome to the Get Schooled board … it’s a cesspool of ignorance.

As to your post, you’ve provided some nice insight into the panel today. Congratulations on your successes at Morehouse. You attend an incredible institution and will graduate with a valuable education. Good luck to you.

[...] Spike Lee: We need options other than sports, rap and the corner – Atlanta Journal Constitutio… [...]


January 31st, 2011
9:50 pm

Chill out, annoyed. What I see in most of these posts is not a condemnation of Morehouse, it’s a frustration over what these discussions should be about and who the leaders should be. I think John Lewis is a great man. But what experience does he bring to the table and isn’t there someone better qualified who should be involved? And yes, let’s have more AA male teachers. Great. But that is such a tiny part of a solution for such a huge problem – The public school system.

By the way, do you guys really wear those hats from BK?

Tonya C.

January 31st, 2011
9:54 pm

Land Rover:

Really? I be pissed if I didn’t know any better. But that’s not the point…my HUSBAND is smarter than his profession. WE have children of our own, and they shouldn’t be completely shortchanged b/c so many other black men won’t step up to the plate. The disrespect, lack of real income advancement, and the burnout is what gets me. I live this every day. To see the exhaustion on his face some days hurts my heart. I’ve given up on some of my OWN dreams because of his desire to serve. I helped him through college, and now his Masters. He LOVES teaching, but knows that the lifestyle we enjoy (which ain’t much, just the ability to cover the bills and have some pocket change) is at risk. Shoot, I drive a car with 180,000+ miles on it and shop at thrift shops and consignment sales…at what point does it end?

Being an educator should NOT be an act of piety. Screw that. I work for pay and benefits, and last time I checked most of the US population shared the same needs.


January 31st, 2011
9:55 pm

@Karma – he never said people were condemning Morehouse. Try reading his post before you comment,

[...] here: Spike Lee: We need options other than sports, rap and the corner – Atlanta Journal Constitutio… Tags: atlanta-journal · career-options · corner · journal · [...]


January 31st, 2011
10:05 pm

I have been thinking about this over the weekend and why dont we have more aggressive AA programs with in our school system. I know that is one of those terms that many of you may take the wrong way so lets make it more of an incentive program with perks to recruit well adjusted strong African American men. We need a motivator, signing bonuses, something special. Think outside the box.

Mr. Tibbs

January 31st, 2011
10:09 pm

“Seeing black men in front of the classroom would reveal another option to children.”

This is good stuff. But don’t stop with Morehouse, take the message to other colleges and universities that have black male students.

Ole Guy

January 31st, 2011
10:41 pm

STAND BY ONE…annoyed student, and many many more: In the first place, just why are we even discussing BLACK education as opposed to EDUCATION? After all, has there been rise to the need to discuss ORIENTAL education, EURO/AMERICAN education, IRISH CATHOLIC education, or any of the great number of social groups which, over the course of history, have experienced social adversity? Without appearing insensitive to the difficulties, UNIQUE to the Black population and to the Black culture, I am growing somewhat weary of this persistent concentration on issues superflous to the #1 reason why we, as tax payers, support public education. For cryin out loud, if any particular social group…Oriental/Americans, whiskey-swilling Irishmen, one-eyed purple people eaters, or even Blacks…wish to further study their histories, trials and tribulations, please feel free to do so. Just don’t do it on the publics’ time, and don’t do it under the guise of basic education.

Japanese Americans, Jews, Chinese laborers…a vast multitude of various peoples, throughout the history of the universe have undergone tremendous suffering and human dispair. Somehow, ALL these groups have managed to “get over” these past inequities and move on…to meld into the human adventure, as it were. WHY…HOW COME…the African American community is in such need of self-identification, of self-assertion, that we are constantly bombarded by “special programs”, “special studies”, and this constant awareness-tending. Is it a need to gain on-going/endless social attention?

Sure, we need more Black male teachers. We also need teachers to meet the Vietnamese community as well that of Estonia, the Baltics…and let us not dare to forget the Cuban population here in South Fla. Why we can go on and on: the Hispanics, the Pacific Rim…and the ever-growing influx of those from the former Soviet Bloc.

In case the absurdity has not set in yet, let’s just say…KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF. Just get with the program, start focusing on MARKETABLE educations, and save the other stuff for lunch time discussion groups.


January 31st, 2011
10:45 pm

There is one minority group in this country that beats all other groups, Asian Americans. They have the highest educational attainment of any group, almost 50% have a bachelors degree. Their combined SAT score is higher than white Americans. They also make up anywhere from 10-20% of those enrolled in Ivy League schools. Is this due to a large number of Asian American teachers? Nope, it’s because they have a culture that values education. We don’t see the same respect for education or work ethic among blacks, Hispanics, and whites. Unfortunately, the problem is higher in the black community than other groups. The cultural problem within the black community is up to them to solve. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I think that the black community doesn’t like other groups pointing out their problems and offering solutions.

Asian American’s also have a higher median income than whites, and higher levels of home ownership. This is proof that education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty.

It starts at home.

say what?

January 31st, 2011
10:56 pm

I really try not to address a person on this blog. Tonya C. sorry that you cannot be as materialistic as your upbringing and possibly your sorority sisters. GRow Up and allow your husband to be a man and take ccare of his family. As long as you whine that your car has too many miles (some folk do not have transportation), you cannot spend money loosely, blah blah blah, you will be blinded to the true value of a spouse as a teacher. Too many times parents think that giving their children stuff (materialistic household devoid of knowing the true value of a person) fail to realize that one day their spoiled middle class bratz will soon grow up, procreate, and continue to ruin society. Where is tiger mom when u need her? Geesh.

UNC press has an awesome collection of literature on the African American diaspora. Two books that I read for graduate school that speak on the continuous need for education and the continuous problems that exist that keep blacks from achieving higher education: Schooling The Freed People (by ronald E. Butchart) and Self-Taught-African American Education in Slavery and Freedom (Heather andrea Williams).These are just two books on education from uncpress.

It is difficult to teach children about different careers when we, the adults, do not know much about history and seek to satisfy our want for a job that pays good and has benefits. In our lackadasical “just trying to maintain” lifestyle what can a male teacher in the classroom do to combat what is seen in the home?