Friday, October 07, 2005

BoE charter update

In the light of some recent criticism of the way it administers its charter schools, last night the Board of Education decided not to transfer its charter oversight to the Superintendent, but will instead create a new oversight committee.
Board Vice Chair Carolyn Graham told the D.C. Council's education committee on Thursday that the board is getting ready to vote on a resolution to create an ad hoc committee whose "sole responsibility" is to oversee the charter schools.

Graham did say the board is working with Janey to include charter schools in his long-awaited master education plan, expected to be released in January.

Graham and other board members not at the hearing could not be reached for further comment.


Bobby Wightman-Cervantes said...
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Bobby Wightman-Cervantes said...


The argument that the historical violence by whites against blacks has contributed to violence in the black community is racist. The argument presumes that blacks, and in particular black men are too ignorant to stop the cycle of violence began by the white masters on the black slave women. I know better, and for purposes of PC I will not promote such a blatantly racist argument. The problem is far more complex.

I have been wanting to pen this essay for sometime. My decision to go forward at this time was sparked by two events - the rebuke of Bill Bennett for thinking out loud on the issue of violence and crime in the black community and a letter I received from one of my readers. PC is destroying yet another generation of black youth for no better reason than the apologist mentality of the false American left, and the cover-up of the problem by the self-anointed leadership in the black community.

If rebuke by these discredited groups is the price I must pay for speaking out on behalf of black youth so be it. The black youth of America deserve a fighting chance regardless of the racially motivated apologist mentality of the false American left, and the hear, see and do no evil inept leadership of the American black politicians who hide behind the Anglo apologists.

My solution for the black youth and any similarly situated youth is for America to invest in dormitory style housing for the black, brown, yellow, white, purple you name it youth, who live in an environment of violence and/or crime. Unless referred over by a juvenile judge such living arrangements would be voluntary.

Our current juvenile justice system is tantamount to taking a child out of a smallpox environment, healing them and then sending them back to the smallpox environment while scratching our heads asking - how did they get sick again? You cannot send a child home every day to an environment of violence and crime and expect a normal healthy child to show up at school the following day.

My first job as a substitute teacher was in the alternative highschool in Dallas - my students were the alleged trouble makers (and I stress alleged) - upon being told that it had been more than a year since a white student had been placed in the school I filed a complaint with the Black DISD Board Members - they did nothing.

This was okay - 95% of my students were black - bright is an understatement to describe most of them - they taught me more in 6 weeks about teaching than any of my PhD professors. These kids were livid over the total lack of interest by their community leaders in violence against children. I was livid that I had professors teaching that the size of a person’s nose is a cultural factor and should be considered when deciding whether or not a book was culturally accurate before using it in the classroom. These young black boys and girls had a lot more to offer me than the PhD’’s at UT Arlington.

A very bright and perhaps one of the brightest students I ever had would go bonkers if I called him by name - he would otherwise participate on his terms - after a difficult encounter with the principal I opened the class to discussion as to what happened - slowly but surely I learned the truth - many of these inner-city kids are suffering from a form of traumatic stress syndrome. If they hear their name, they assume violence will follow.
In their community of violence if they hear their name, they experience extreme fear and react accordingly - after I learned this I found ways to call on students indirectly - this opened my classroom to one of the best learning environments for future teachers I could have ever imagined.

Every day these kids leave school and go home to abusive parents whose idea of parenting is beatings, yelling, and junk food for dinner, if there is dinner at all. Some go home to good homes, but in violent communities. None of this is cultural to blacks - it is the result of several generations of a growing lack of home structure and institutionalized poverty. Further, many of these kids once they leave school have to deal with threats of violence against themselves or family members. Compounding all of this is the drug trade in these poor communities. These kids are denied a fighting chance from day one.

Some will argue this is reminiscent of the sins of our nation when we removed native American children from their homes and tried to make them like Anglos. There are two big differences- first violence and crime are not culturally black and therefore removing them from the environment of violence and crime will not deny them access to their rich culture, and second, the program with the exception of a judicial referral would be voluntary.

Another issue which most will not address is the poisoning of America’s food supply. There is overwhelming scientific evidence of links between food allergies and personality. This impacts a child's ability to learn and function socially. I for one cannot drink milk of any kind or eat any milk products. Having been on steroids for colitis I can say my reaction to milk products is the same as when I was on steroids. Kudos to Silk - soy milk.

These children are the ones least likely to have access to a healthy diet. Could you imagine their diet without fructose, nitrates and fat? They would starve. If I eat processed ham with nitrates, I sink into a depression for hours. I referenced milk and fructose to show that food allergies come from things which are generally good for us and from things which are generally bad for us.

Here it comes - who is going to pay for this? Well we can pay on the front end or the back end. The back end is more prisons, more medicare and medicaid for diabetes and other health related issues. To those who are asking who is going to pay for this? Did you ask this question about the billions of dollars now being spent in the military-industrial complex to fund a questionable war?

Fiscally sound policy includes not throwing money at failed policies, and investing in the future. It is time Congress cancels the Transportation Bill and resubmit it without the pork. It is time the Congress raise taxes on the top 10% of wage earners. As to the tax increases we call this the benefit of the bargain tax increase. The highest wage earners benefit most from the military, airports, and general transportation systems. As those who benefit the most, and with most to lose, why should they not pay more?

It is time we create policy based on reality and not PC. We either care for these children or we do not. It is time to fund public dormitories for at risk children so that they can learn what a normal meal looks like, and what it feels like in an environment without violence and fear for your life. These children have a right to know what it means to not suffer from traumatic stress their entire life.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
Brownsville, Texas
October 10, 2005