Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Current State of Education

A few weeks ago, I was listening to the radio and Rev. Al Sharpton was on speaking about this Mackenzie Report that was coming out talking about the state of public education. This report says that Blacks and some Latinos are functioning at least 4 grade levels behind. Now, I didn't need a report to tell me this because I witness it on a daily basis. It is often suggested that many schools need to be shut down, teachers removed, new teachers come in and the same students return in order to see some change. Well, I have some issues with this concept.

I do believe that if it's broke, fix it. The issue here is not just one or two schools, we are talking about a nation full of broken schools. A lot of the "solutions" are no more effective than a band-aid is on a war wound. Many of the students in public schools often miss the fundamentals needed to be successful and they are often promoted to the next grade when they really should be retained. When these individuals enter high school (9th grade) a lot of them are functioning anywhere between a 4th and 6th grade level.

As it relates to removing teachers, I believe teachers who don't have the child's best interest at heart should be removed. It is not the teachers fault when a student fails, especially at that level. Most times the child is not doing any work or coming to school. When and if a school closes and teachers are displaced, I think it may cause teachers to socially promote students who are not prepared. These teachers may decide that it is better to pass the kids than for them to look for a new job. My main concern is when the new teachers come and the old students with their old habits come back. It seems to me like you would want to make some changes with the students as well. Maybe they can be in a school where the students are performing at or above grade level and have a vested interest in their education.

Another issue that plagues public education is the lack of parental involvement. If more parents were involved in their children's education, many of the kids would not fail. It is not rocket science. The more you put into your child, the more you get out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


There are a number of on-line 'networking' sites available, people don't necessarily have to get together face to face anymore. I've joined a number of them and I can't really keep up with all of the usernames and passwords. (It helps when the site allows you to use your e-mail address as a username.) I'm on Http:// and on various sites within

I am not sure how I got started on these sites, but they can become very addictive. I've also come to realize that these online sources are a good medium to network, but when people come together, they often don't know how to communicate with one another because of all of the computer networking they do. I was at a networking event the other day and I noticed that many people (including me) were not actually networking. There were other factors that may have contributed to this, but nonetheless, people were not really networking.

After I left this event, I realized a few things. One of them was the person hosting the event may not have been too sure of what type of things should be done at a networking event so people can actually network with one another. In order for a networking event to be successful, you need to have some type of setting that is going to have people talking with one another. It is difficult for people to communicate when there is music playing and it is not playing softly and it's party/dance music. Also, I think when food is served, it should be finger foods. When people are networking, they don't need a full plate of food. Light snacks are better because people will snack and not eat.

After attending this event, I was inspired to do some things on a personal level. I am currently working on them and I'm excited about my new beginnings.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Resurrection Sunday

This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. Many Christians all over the world will celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have often thought about this upcoming Sunday and how many people don't realize that Resurrection Sunday should not only symbolize that Jesus is alive, but it should symbolize our personal lives.

During this Lenten season, I purposed in my mind and heart to make some personal changes. I wasn't successful in all of them, but I kept (and continue) to strive to do better. I've decided to kill off certain things in my life. Afterwards I'm gonna bury them and do my darnedest not to resurrect them ever again!

I've decided that negativity has to die. This means negative people in my life has to go as well. Life is too short to be around Debbie Downer and Negative Ned. Some people only know negative things so I guess I have to do like Lauryn Hill did in one of her songs and ask my "Father to forgive them for they know not what they do". I've noticed that people will say some dumb stuff and don't realize they've said it until you regurgitate that mess back to them.

The second thing I am killing is procrastination. I read once that "Procrastination is the thief of time". I've been guilty of this too often. It seems like I don't have enough time in the day to do most of the things I need to do, and some of the things I want to do. I am no longer going to put off today for tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised.

I've also decided that control has to go. I'm learning that there are certain things I will never have any control over and the sooner I realize this and let it go, the better I'll be. I can't change people's attitudes and perceptions of me or life. That is their personal battle that I am not going to try and fight. I know I may have strong opinions about certain things, but they are just that, my opinions.

I have more things that I have decided to kill and bury and never to resurrect, but I really don't have the time to divulge all of that information. I think if more people would take a good look at their personal lives and determine what things they need to eliminate, many of us would be a whole lot better.