Pastor had some skewed views on the state of modern-day education

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Pastor Richard L. Davis wrote a guest opinion ("System keeps black students trapped in low-performing schools," July 15). I have some observations having to do with his assertions.

It should not be a news flash that people with more resources have more choices in education. Welcome to personal freedom, Pastor Davis. People living in a relatively free society, with resources, have more choices in food, vehicles, homes, travel, medical care - the list goes on and on. I think it is good if a person with fewer resources sees the advantages of having more resources. That person might see the value in working more, working harder and trying to better his financial prospects.

PASTOR DAVIS speaks of the plight of black people in particular lacking enough resources. However, it should be noted that there are more white people in poverty in the United States than black people. Having fewer resources is not something that only applies to black people. It should be noted that, more than ever before, black people own their own businesses and homes. More than ever, black people are elected to serve as judges, sheriffs, school superintendents, county commissioners, mayors and legislators. Black people are in every profession now - not only in the military and education. People, regardless of their skin color, benefit from our few remaining freedoms that allow everybody the opportunity to make a good life for themselves.

I got the distinct feeling that Pastor Davis has the belief that the school building, teachers or neighborhood in which a school is located is the problem. Does he feel that the darling, attentive, healthy, bright and eager-to-learn students show up and get ruined somehow by bad schools? I believe that poorly prepared, ill-equipped, bad-mannered, unruly undisciplined children of bad parents show up and get a horrible educational experience. This relates to school children of all skin colors.

I am happy that Pastor Davis states that he would allow white families to have choices in where their children are educated, as well as blacks. I am a white man. Should I be mad if a black man with resources can send his child to a very expensive, out-of-state university while my white children went to Augusta State? That fact does not make me lie awake at night or feel resentment. My point is that the color of skin has nothing to do with this discussion.

Pastor Davis needs to realize that when government gets involved, it strives for sameness, not excellence. Education has been striving for years and years to make the speed with which all children learn the same, not the best. They standardize the curriculum from school to school, and from county to county, and nationally, the No Schools Left Behind movement tries to do the same thing across the nation.

OUR FEDERAL court orders governing where children attend school in Richmond County, and many other counties in the United States, take only skin color into consideration, not educational opportunity, and particularly not the quality of the outcome.

I do agree with Pastor Davis that government needs to get out of the way of education. One-hundred years ago, when there was no formal government education system here, people in the United States were the most literate in the world. Families, communities and churches saw to the education of their children. Sadly, as government has grown, so has the fact that the government and federal courts tell us how, when and where our children will be educated. The same parents who would hold a march on the capital if they were told where to grocery shop will allow the government to say where their child attends school. As for me, I would trust my local school board members before I would trust one of the 20,000 federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Education, or even the several hundred in Atlanta at the Georgia Department of Education.

THE GENERAL public thinks that public education is "free." It is very expensive. That cost is in your income tax, sales tax, property tax and many other taxes that land in the coffers of the local, state and federal governments. The funding of education is buried in thousands of pieces of legislation and hundreds of federal and state court orders. That is what is so hard about trying to rein it in again.

After reading Pastor Davis's opinion, I did not find out what he wanted to happen. Does he want vouchers? Does he want a tax credit for people paying private or church school tuition? Does he want the public school system to pay his church to run a church school? Does he want parents to be able to take their child from a failing or unsafe school and put them in a safer and higher-performing school? If so, he better not be a member of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is repeatedly on record to be against all those initiatives. And don't forget the fact that the Republican Party has not delivered any of those initiatives to their constituents, either.

(The writer, a Martinez resident, is a former Richmond County Board of Education member.)

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adam
8
Points
adam 07/29/07 - 02:44 am
0
0
The school system is nothing

The school system is nothing more than social daycare at the taxpayers expense. Governments love taxpayers. Public schools provide a place for the children to reside that allows both parents to earn taxable income.It worked very well until welfare and entitlements ate up the profit. Some children are just incapable of learning.They grow up an go into the army,prison,or do simple manual labor and vote democratic.

jade
12
Points
jade 07/29/07 - 03:37 am
0
0
There are more white people

There are more white people in poverty in the U.S. because there are more white people; there is a higher percentage of blacks in poverty. Other than that, I agree with several points in this column, but they were not presented in a very coherent fashion. "Guest columist" would seem to suggest a higher level of writing skill. Mostly it was just frustrating to read.

jade
12
Points
jade 07/29/07 - 03:45 am
0
0
"Some children are just

"Some children are just incapable of learning" is the root of the problem. Kids are capable of more than people think if only given the opportunity. It's not a failure to learn; it's a failure to teach.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/29/07 - 06:55 am
0
0
A tough read, but some good

A tough read, but some good points in this rambling article. Meeting the challenge of getting your child through school and started on lifes trail with a good attitude is a family project. Race doesn't enter into that equation.

doubt_it
3
Points
doubt_it 07/29/07 - 07:31 am
0
0
The theme of this article is

The theme of this article is right on target. Inequity is not a solvable "problem", nor should it be. Just look at communism. A rising tide of the free market lifts all boats. If the plight of the black student was really important, you would see the likes of Rev Sharpton and Jackson putting resources towards character development and parenting for the poor, rather than their never ending accusations of racism.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/29/07 - 07:56 am
0
0
I guess my Wheaties helped me

I guess my Wheaties helped me this AM, Patricia, as I found Mr. Annis' column very easy to read and understandable.. Of course, my mind works better early than later. I find it hard to comment as I think he covered the subject very well. Now, for a nap.

cparker
83
Points
cparker 07/29/07 - 09:10 am
0
0
Pastor Davis' opinion was on

Pastor Davis' opinion was on point. I do not feel he was suggesting that blacks are treated indifferent, but he did make the case that resources play a large role in the quality of education. I even accepted it as a warning to black families that they are going to have to do more themselves to improve situation. It would be interesting to hear some recommendations from readers that are not racially or politically polarized because some poor families are trapped and they can not simply walk away from the public school system. Even if they had vouchers, many would have transportation problems. Does anyone have any recommendations that would help any family feeling the pinch of an ineffective school system?

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 07/29/07 - 09:49 am
0
0
What qualifies as

What qualifies as ineffective? Your kids don't learn? Or they are not taught? My long-standing suspcision is that, by and large, schools have a lot to offer but they have a lot more distraction. If students, with parental help, can filter out the distraction, the education is still there, same as always. *Your* kids can learn. They can do their homework, pass their tests and get an education that will get them into a good college and on with their lives. The #1 determinant of how good a student is how educated the parents are. Educated parents value education and know how to help the kids. The educational oppurtunities out there are the same or better than they have ever been. You just have to dodge more obstacles. Seems to me if you value your kids education, that should be worth it.

tusmooth1
17
Points
tusmooth1 07/29/07 - 09:51 am
0
0
Who wrote this rambling

Who wrote this rambling article.

tusmooth1
17
Points
tusmooth1 07/29/07 - 09:51 am
0
0
Who wrote this rambling

Who wrote this rambling article.

bone
23
Points
bone 07/29/07 - 10:16 am
0
0
cparker, your post makes

cparker, your post makes sense on many levels. it is tragic that public education really is more about providing service commensurate with your economic situation rather than equal opportunities for all children. the solution? i hate to say it, but throwing money at the problem really is the answer in this case. i think base teacher pay should be reduced to a much lower level and then incentives should be added depending on where a teacher works. for example, a teacher at Riverside in Col. Co. shouldn't receive many incentives; at tubman, though, the incentive pay should be quite high since the neighborhood surrounding the school is a low socioeconomic area. teachers would start out at an "easy" school like Riverside and, when they get their chops together and decide to make a career of teaching, move to tougher schools to earn better pay. the only downside is that better administrators will have to be hired, too, and AYP really does discourage good administrators from signing on at low performing schools. teaching is just like any other business: all things being equal, we teachers want to feel successful and safe at our jobs; why risk tubman or murphey if there is no incentive?

bone
23
Points
bone 07/29/07 - 10:36 am
0
0
jade, you're mostly right:

jade, you're mostly right: bad teaching goes a long way towards creating a bad educational environment. it is important that one value inculcated in school children is a love of learning. poor teachers will have difficulty doing this; if the parents don't help, then the child probably will not have a good educational experience.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/29/07 - 11:54 am
0
0
bone, I concur with your last

bone, I concur with your last two posts. good stuff

critter
2
Points
critter 07/29/07 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Adam, What's wrong with going

Adam, What's wrong with going into the Army? You should try it! Many, many years ago the army was somewhere to go when you could not make a living doing anything else. You didn't need and education. Today, some highly educated people have chosen the military as a career. The pay isn't the greatest, but, evidently it gives them as sense of satisfaction with a retirement plan and some sort of medical benefits. If uneducated, don't care, irresponsible individuals are your idea of these people it's evident that you aren't educated enough to be in their company....Remember they are the ones maintaining your right to keep your low opinion of them and express it. In short, "If you haven't tried it, don't knock it"!! By the way, are you qualified?

Rozzie2003
5
Points
Rozzie2003 07/29/07 - 12:24 pm
0
0
A very poorly written article

A very poorly written article with a lot of misinformation in it.
The public schools have been the greatest thing our country has. And they have helped to create the middle calss. Prior to World War II, our education system was geared to the upper class and many young people didn't attend school. With the oncoming of the G I Bill, 2 million former soldiers enrolled in high schools, colleges and graduate schools. This produce a cadre of professionals: doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, sciencists researchers, etc.This was the biggest thrust of the educational movement
Let us stride to keep our public schools and make them better, rather than do away with them

SPORTS101
0
Points
SPORTS101 07/29/07 - 03:29 pm
0
0
somethings wrong with the

somethings wrong with the server. When I tried earlier send my message it showed as a server error, now it's shown with Critter's name under it. I didn't put someone else's name there and I certainly apologize to critter for the paper's mistake.

cparker
83
Points
cparker 07/29/07 - 07:32 pm
0
0
bone, I enjoyed your

bone, I enjoyed your perception and reflection today. I am convinced that there are behavior problems in the schools that need to addressed from home. It has helped me to believe that when we put our heads together we can make the public schools system work better in some areas. I am not faulting the schools for the children not learning, but we have to keep an open mind that there are times when teachers as well as parents can offer more to the learning process. Thanks to everyone for being so encouraging.

justus4
103
Points
justus4 07/29/07 - 08:48 pm
0
0
One fact stated; "i don't lie
Unpublished

One fact stated; "i don't lie awake worring about a wealthy black who can send their kids to private school", well the truth is that your kid will still do better, because of institutionalized discrimination. So, education is another farce perpetuated by whites to keep us off balance. EXAMPLE: Current president is poorly educated and Dept of Labor Stats show that white high school dropouts make more dollars than minority grads of college. Edu is a expensive joke.

bone
23
Points
bone 07/29/07 - 09:06 pm
0
0
and then justus4 pipes up

and then justus4 pipes up with nothing but garbage to throw around. i have faith that the people working in education genuinely want kids to succeed. justus, you believe differently and i hope you can put as much effort into offering intelligent solutions / observations as you put into spreading your toxic lies. no white person wants an uneducated black - if anything, i think whites benefit from making sure the entire population of blacks has access to education that is at a high standard. the graduation coaches in high school & middle school are a great idea and i sincerely hope, justus, that you will volunteer your time to one of the area middle or high schools so you can help break the cycle of at-risk dropouts that plague black & white students alike in GA.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 07/29/07 - 09:23 pm
0
0
One of the best things about

One of the best things about the AC posting site is that you can, if you are so inclined, go back and read postings previously made. I do that before I make a comment in reponse. justus4 was my latest research project. justus4 turns just about every issue into a racial issue. You're right, bone, garbage.

proudsoutherner
0
Points
proudsoutherner 07/30/07 - 10:02 am
0
0
justus4...if white drop-outs

justus4...if white drop-outs make more money than negro college grads, then somebody ,somewhere is not very financially motivated.
today there are incentives for businesses to hire so called" minorities",i think the mantra is "diversity" ?
it's never enough is it? your attitude is one reason why a lot of people turn a deaf ear to your situation, because we are sick of hearing how bad blacks have it.
look,it's hard times for everybody, and your pronouncement about institutionalized discimmination is laughable

rc_teacher
0
Points
rc_teacher 07/30/07 - 12:39 pm
0
0
I agree with a lot of what

I agree with a lot of what many of you say. I have to make a comment though about what I perceive so often to be "teacher bashing" by many. I teach in a school where many children don't have adequate resources when they come to school (from home and from the system), but I love my kids regardless and will spend plenty of my own money to provide them with as many of the things as I can to give them a proper education in my classroom. I know the parents of my students love their kids - and sometimes they don't know what to do to help them, or themselves for that matter. There are rotten teachers out there, for sure, from both RC and CC, but the majority of us love our jobs and our students and will do whatever it takes to make sure they get a quality education. It's very hurtful at times to read things that bash us when we feel that our hands are tied about the resources and the administration and the politics of the school system! Trust me, teachers speak loudly but it seems that nobody hears us!

rc_teacher
0
Points
rc_teacher 07/30/07 - 12:49 pm
0
0
Raymond - your comment,

Raymond - your comment, "schools with consistently low scores have low standards, thus teachers don't feel they have to work as hard, or push students as hard," is a prime example of my previous post. Teachers at my school feel they have to work extra hard to get our children to meet the standards. The difference in the RC magnet school and my school is that the magnet school might be working 70+ hours a week to maintain and exceed whereas I am dong the same to get my students on track! I loved your comment about measuring growth though. If you measure progress throughout the school year you will see that my students do make significant progress in a year's time! And you are right, behavior and disrespect go a LONG way in determining how much a teacher can teach a child - and the entire class!

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 07/30/07 - 01:40 pm
0
0
I think Mr. Annis is trying

I think Mr. Annis is trying to convey the message that there is a direct correlation between poor educational skills and poverty-striken, less-priviledged families. I agree; however, as other bloggers have commented, Mr. Annis's column is rambling and incohesive in places. As an educator, one of the first writing skills I teach is "do not incorporate statistical information without citation". Leslie knows this lesson well.

gagirl40
113
Points
gagirl40 07/30/07 - 02:10 pm
0
0
Adam, were you one of the

Adam, were you one of the ones who chided John Kerry when he flubbed his joke and implied people in the military were stupid? I would bet you did. Then you turn around and not even imply it or say it in a flubbed joke, you state it emphatically! "Some children are just incapable of learning.They grow up an go into the army,prison,or do simple manual labor and vote democratic." I guess you just forgot the talking points for a minute. I'm sure your com padres will forgive you. However, those of us with military family members won't. But thanks for making yourself look like an idiot.

GOP HS Teacher
0
Points
GOP HS Teacher 07/30/07 - 02:46 pm
0
0
Raymond--I teach in one of

Raymond--I teach in one of the low performing schools in the area. This will be my 26th year--21 as a HS Sp Ed teacher. If my pay is based on how well students do will I still get a paycheck for my 50+ hours per week because to not regress is progress. Most of my students go to school until age 21. Why don't you come work my job for a week, then decide about my pay, OK? I am worth more than two cents.

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