The View From 1776
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Misguided Educational Policies
Obama’s Secretary of Education is grandstanding, at a cost to taxpayers of $103 million, rather than focusing on the real source of sub-par performance by black and Hispanic students.
Before the student-anarchist activism that upended educational practices in the 1960s, black students performed at around 80% of white students’ test score levels. And the gap was narrowing year by year. Today those performance levels are roughly 50% lower.
What went wrong?
First and foremost was President Johnson’s Great Society entitlements programs, which delivered the message that blacks and Hispanics were not as economically successful as whites, because whitey had rigged the system against them. If you were poor, it was not your fault, and there was no reason for you to study and work hard in school. Whitey would prevent you from succeeding.
As Bill Cosby points out in his lonely crusade, black role models became people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, political parasites living off pseudo-civil-rights extortion. Or athletic and entertainment stars, who sent the message to black and Hispanic teenage boys that men are entitled to unlimited sexual promiscuity, fathering several children by different women and taking responsibility for none of them.
Victimization became a life-style and living off welfare, a career. Educational quota systems, whether we call them diversity or affirmative action, became, not a way to bring up black and Hispanic educational performance, but a guaranteed way to drag all educational standards downward.
George Will describes the pandering of Obama’s Education Secretary and his failure to acknowledge the real reasons why blacks and Hispanics fall well short of the levels of educational competence they displayed in the 1950s.