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Re: “The Pittsburgh Promise was supposed to get more city youths into college. So why are so many black males left out of the equation?

I am surprised at the sensationalism of this article and the lack of journalistic quality that would land it on the cover. So many comments before mine echo the thoughts that I had. As an educator, I was appalled at the bias involved in this piece. Shame on CP for running it. It is disappointing to see such blame placed on the PPSD and it's faculty by both the author and so-called education activists (whatever qualifications that entails - we have no idea from this article?). To say that the district has "failed to educate" these kids or to imply that teachers fail to engage students in active learning is irresponsible and panders to the tired "blame the teachers" cry. Education is a 2-way street. There are students that engaged, that worked, that fought teenage boredom and made it work. African American females managed to do this at twice the rate of their male counterparts. Are they in some other classroom? No. They are getting the same opportunities as everyone. Whether you take the opportunities or not is the difference. Quotes like "a system of separate and unequal schools" are dangerous and wrong. It's not based on people that know the curriculum and see at work every day. I could not even believe what I was reading. It boils down to what people do not want to say - the truth that not every demographic values education. The sad fact is that education is not a priority in every household or in some communities as a whole. If any PPSD teachers were involved with this article (which they were not as far as I can tell) they would probably be able to shed more light on why the Promise isn't helping African American males. And they would likely tell you that education is not made a priority to these kids and they don't get it from their families either. Mentoring is a great assistance. It starts at home and in the community and builds from there. To say that the system failed these boys is irresponsible. Their communities are failing them. Their families are failing them. To blame the school and their efforts is shameful. Agreed that some of the requirements for the Promise could be reformed, and learning can always be enhanced and made better. But there should be parameters on the Promise and they currently aren't that far out of whack. $40K is a lot of money and education is an investment. You don't give it away - it has to be earned - like anything. Handing it over without discerning it's potential for success is foolish and a misuse of funds. Donald Lewis seems like a good kid. In 10th grade his GPA was 1.8 and his LAST SEMESTER of his senior year it was 3.7. So what about in between? How did he not qualify? Likely his grades were poor up until the last semester. Mathematically it only makes sense that way. Is this a measure of his success in higher education? No. He'll likely do well. He seems driven and like he has his head on straight. But he didn't meet the requirements of a $40,000 gift. He'll figure it out. I did. Other people do. It can't be handed over without a second thought. Also, this article fails to mention the non white, non African American students. White and black kids are 87% of the population, what about the other 13%? How are their success rates? Are they slipping through the cracks? Who is crying for them? Or are they doing well? Many ethnic groups unmentioned are probably doing just fine in school and are reaping the rewards of the Promise. Their culture places priorities on achievement. Who is failing them?????
This article is terrible.

Posted by Miasmama on 06/01/2015 at 5:17 PM

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