More “poor” thinking from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

May 30th, 2006

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wants to blame the “poor” scholastic performance of Milwaukee students on poverty.

As usual, discount viagra drugstore they have it exactly backwards.

Eliminating poverty isn’t the cure for bad education…a good education is the only true cure for poverty.

Entry Filed under: Media,Milwaukee

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. folkbum  |  May 30th, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    At the same time, there is a striking correlation between poverty and educational achievement. I don’t think it can entirely get chalked up to how sucky the teachers are in their schools.

    Having taught both in the swanky suburbs and in MPS, I can say that–especially when using test scores as a metric–the challenges to teaching in a poor, urban school are radically different and geometrically greater.

    I have often commented, often in the context of discussions about merit pay, that the students I taught in the burbs arguably would have tested much better than the students I teach now. Ironically, that was my first year, and I was awful. Now, I’m near the top of my game (modestly speaking).

  • 2. Administrator  |  May 30th, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    I respect your first-hand experience, Jay.

    But I have some first-hand experience myself.

    The first home I can remember was a government housing project.

    When I went to college my father’s tax return showed that he made around $12,000 a year, but I was still the first person in my family to get a degree.

    It’s not the lack of money in the inner city that’s the problem.

    (I also don’t lay it all on the shoulders of the teachers. I’m sure there are great teachers and not so great teachers in the inner city, just like there are everywhere else.)

    I believe it’s a failure of the culture in the inner city that’s the problem. Especially, because the prevailing culture just doesn’t seem to understand that (As Welcome Back Kotter knew in the 70s), education is your ticket out.

  • 3. Tim  |  May 31st, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Sorry Elliot, but what culture? African-Americans had their culture ripped from them when they were forced into tiny holds on filthy ships and sent to the New World.

    With respect, I wonder what it would be like if it had been caucasians and not African-Americans? And before you or anyone else says it, yes, there is and should be emphasis on self responsibility, but I just get so tired of people trying to claim their experience is even remotely similar to that of the ancestors of former slaves.

    More power to those who have been able to pull themselves out of this morass. Sad that others have taken the opposite route. Sadder yet that so many have given up.

  • 4. John  |  May 31st, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    Just a little curious about previous post, Elliot. You mention that your father made around $12,000 a year when you went to college. Did you adjust that for inflation? If not, $12,000 from lets say 1975 is over $42,000 in today’s money.

  • 5. Administrator  |  May 31st, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Tim,

    Always nice to see you.

    I would never argue that blacks in America didn’t get a raw deal. So did Native Americans. And the Chinese. Etc…Etc…

    But I will argue that history is not destiny.

    And it cannot be an acceptable excuse for perpetuating an unacceptable situation.

    When you allow it to be an excuse, you just help foster a situation where failure is acceptable because what else can you expect?

    And I don’t pretend that I know what it’s like to grow up on the north side of Milwaukee.

    But I did grow up in a very ethnically-mixed, lower-blue-collar neighborhood. Both my brothers dropped out of high-school. My mother never finished high school either because she got pregnant with me when she was seventeen.

    But the difference I see in how I grew up and how the culture in the inner-city is NOT working today is that my parents didn’t think the world owed them.

    My dad did the right thing and married my mother. He joined the army, learned electronics and went into appliance repair when he got back to the states. My earliest memory of my father was him working three jobs at a time to try to pay for his wife and three boys.

    I don’t think my father was born a better man than the young men who get women pregnant in the inner-city, walk away, and then spend their time settling arguments with guns instead of fists.

    The difference was that in the culture my father came from, you took responsibility for your life and your actions.

    He understood that you had to earn your way.

    He believed in creating a better life for his children.

    He didn’t need and wouldn’t take welfare.

    And he never gave up.

    I hold by my contention that the only way to save the inner-city is to foster a renewed respect for the values that guided my father and thousands of other poor and working class people in their effort to build a better future.

  • 6. Administrator  |  May 31st, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    John,

    It was 1982. As near as I can figure using online inflaion calculators that would be about $24,000, today.

    And for a family of five (like mine was) that would be right around the poverty line in 2006.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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