The Root Causes of Academic Under-achievement ⋆ Politicrossing
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The Root Causes of Academic Under-achievement

The disparity decade after decade, in virtually every U.S. school system, between African American students and adequately performing students groups is disturbing

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On the state and local level, as decisions are made about how and in what form we will educate the nation’s children, an age-old issue remains. The underlying cause of income inequality and brewing civil unrest likely has less to do with media-inflamed coverage and much more to do with the problem that apparently no one wants to discuss: educational disparity.

The disparity year after year, decade after decade, in test scores, math competency, reading proficiency, test scores, honor roll status, and graduation rates, in virtually every U.S. school system, between African American students and other student groups is disturbing.

A Cause for Concern

Any responsible American would be concerned. Here in the 3rd decade of the 3rd millennium, with a disheartening male African American high school dropout rate across the U.S., can anyone view the situation optimistically? Joe Biden can’t remember what he said about the topic, and Kamala Harris has no clue.

“It’s remarkable,” noted Eric Hanushek, who is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Following Hanushek’s extensive analysis, he remarked, “I knew that the gap hadn’t been closing too much, but when I actually looked at the data I was myself surprised.”

No Sound Effort

When strenuous efforts to bridge the gap, in one town after another, do not bear fruit, invariably someone yells “foul,” as if some grand conspiracy is occurring and a magic wand, yet to be waved, could suddenly redress all. And, as if long-term, hard-working, dedicated teachers aren’t doing their utmost for each of their students.

Consider the school system in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina. This locale, deemed, “The southern part of heaven,” by writers, is among the most progressive in the United States.

The teachers and educators here have more than a vested interest in demonstrating that their school system, beyond all others, can succeed in closing achievement gaps between whites and minorities.

Year in and year out, nevertheless, the gap remains. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education is primed to try anything.

Another in an endless line of supposed “fixes” was to eliminate the advanced math classes in the middle schools and to lump all non-pre-algebra students together, with similar plans to eliminate other advanced classes such as in language arts.

Erected on Quicksand

One cannot easily erect a sound building on quicksand: who expects to solve a decades-old problem by starting with a shaky foundation?

Taking a lowest common denominator approach to developing school curriculum has never consistently worked, anywhere. It frustrates the students and dramatically increases a teacher’s burden – all such students must then be taught at individual learning speeds.

Do you know any superhuman teachers? If so, could you afford them?

Truly closing the academic gap between underachieving students and the rest of the student population requires addressing reality – airing the truth about the disparity – not resorting to politically “correct” psychobabble and curricula finagling for another ten years, and then another ten, and then another.

The Disparity Has Reasons

This disparity encompasses such issues as adult encouragement for completing homework assignments, the number of hours the TV is on in given households,  rules concerning cellphone use and media use, a regular workspace, designated hours for quiet study, periodic performance rewards, penalties for dereliction, and development of long term expectations, among other factors.

Without rational analysis and exploration of programs that address these issues, no amount of political, public posturing, or wrangling with classes will prove to be the “winning formula.” And school boards will have no chance of effectively addressing the continuing problem of poor academic performance among student groups.

Those on the Left, however, have no intention of EVER considering the above factors. These self-proclaimed ‘social justice warriors’ are the first and loudest to proclaim ‘systematic racism’ and to concoct and espouse ‘Critical Race Theory.’ It is all total BS but it enables the Left to virtual signal en mass.

Meanwhile, in the world of reality, Nigerians, Ghanians, Haitians, and other dark skinned immigrant groups get into high gear, seemingly right off the boat, and within one generation or less become a part of the U.S. economic mainstream.

Students Eager to Learn

Detective Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Sign of Four, says, “… When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The schools in U.S. communities routinely exhaust talented teachers with a task that cannot be solved by them, nor is it theirs to solve.

Satisfactory academic achievement, however improbable to those who wish to pretend otherwise, occurs through individual effort: one boy and one girl after another rising above and cracking the books, then coming to class eager to learn, and primed to excel.

Such achievement is never likely to occur any other way. Otherwise, expect that income inequality and civil unrest will continue for decades into the 21st century.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Elections

Will Democrats Do What They Must?

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On a warm August evening in 1974, President Richard M. Nixon said from the Oval Office that he was resigning, becoming the first president to do so. He confessed that he no longer had “a strong enough political base in the Congress” to finish his term.

Sen. Barry Goldwater, Ariz., the 1964 GOP presidential nominee, was a respected conservative leader in a Senate whose Republican ranks were less conservative than now. In a May 1973 interview with Time magazine, Goldwater had given an early warning, “If it can be proved that he (Nixon) lied, resignation would have to be considered. It would be quick. Everything would be over, ended. It wouldn’t drag out like impeachment.”

At a regular Senate Republican Conference lunch on august 6 of 1974, Goldwater had fumed: “There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House today!” When he went to see President Nixon, Goldwater confided, “There’s not more than 15 senators for you.” After that showdown, the curtain on President Nixon’s presidency came down three days later.

In this challenging time in our history when President Biden’s competency is under serious question, will Democrat leaders have the courage to do the same? With this report, more Democrats and Independents will be less inclined to vote for Biden. That may very well impact the future of many Democrat politicians whose own election could be impacted if their voting base stays home. After his Wednesday night address, the evidence that Biden is in trouble is plainly obvious.

President Biden’s poll numbers are now at an all time low. The shocking Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Hur report suggests that Biden should not be indicted because Biden is “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” that a jury would be unlikely to convict. The Special Counsel also noted that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen;” he noted that such actions “present serious risks to national security.” It is clearly a risk for Biden to remain in office.

When President Biden addressed the country after the report was disclosed, he asserted that his memory was fine, and the report confirms that he was not indicted and did nothing wrong. His comments to the press questions were combative and defensive. He took no personal responsibility, blaming his staff for the faulty storage of classified documents. His message was strident and clear-Trump is guilty, and I did nothing wrong.

If he is not competent to stand trial for his actions, how can he be confident enough to remain president? It’s time for a private confrontation by Democrat leadership. If Biden does not listen, it is time to exercise the 25th amendment option to remove him from office.

It is not easy to use that 25th Amendment option. It is even more difficult with only 9 months before a critical national election. Waiting until the Democrat Convention in August leaves little time to right the ship and promote a replacement candidate.

Democrats, do your job to clean out your own house. President Biden is not competent to meet the challenges of our time. Do it now or pay the price in November. As Republicans, we hope you let Biden remain your candidate, but that is selfish. President Biden is our current leader and his decisions impact all of us and a world in turmoil. This isn’t about politics. We can’t afford even eleven more months of a mentally incompetent President.

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Claudine Gay, Ex-Harvard President, Will Strike it Rich in 2024

Gay will be a hot ticket at conferences leading up to the 2024 election.

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If she were a straight white male, Claudine Gay’s career in academia would have been completely finished weeks ago. Along with the presidents of MIT and (then) University of Pennsylvania, as a result of Gay’s anti-Semitism and her disastrous testimony before Congress in December, much of the country was in an uproar.

Pretzel Logic

Days later, when it was discovered that Gay had plagiarized or inappropriately paraphrased and lifted passages from other authors, from a variety of academic works, that would have sealed her fate. In this utterly illogical age of unreason, just the opposite of what ought to happen actually did happen. The Harvard bigwigs backed her!

Gay punched all of the intersectionality buttons: Black, gay, female, and what else you want to throw into the mix. So was she not terminated from her widely visible, high-profile position. Luckily for Harvard, she quit as president! She retains her cushy post as professor, however, at $900,000 per year. And more amazing good fortune likely is in store for her. She may well reap an income bonanza unlike most other college presidents in the U.S. or around the world.

You have to understand that Gay is actually a hero to many factions on the Left. Let’s see … she stood up to the man! She let Congress have it with both barrels. She defended her academic turf. She stuck with what she believes in. She didn’t kowtow to the U.S. pro-Israeli faction. She spoke her truth! My goodness, what a leader, what a noble soul, what a speaker we might have at our convention!

Media Darlings

A variety of questionable figures on the Left have become darlings to groups who lap up their every word. If you think this won’t happen with Ms. Gay, think again.

Unbelievably, the parents of Trayvon Martin became media darlings. Martin was a violent teenager who punched a bus driver in the face, stole money and other items at school, and was suspended from school at the time of his death. He met his fate while pounding George Zimmerman’s head into a sidewalk.

Democratic groups have celebrated the Martins ever since then. Their public appearances were considered to be special. In another minute, with a cracked skull, Zimmerman might have bled out and died, making Martin a murderer.

Honored at the DNC Convention

The parents of Michael Brown also made the rounds and were accorded celebrity status. The super-sized 18-year-old from Ferguson, MO had stolen cigars and choked a small Asian convenience store clerk just 10 minutes before he had tried to wrestle a gun away from an officer sitting in his police car.

Had Brown, whose fingerprints were all over the officer’s car, successfully taken the officer’s gun, Brown, too, might have been a murderer. At the Democrat National Convention attendees couldn’t get enough of Brown’s noble mother. Sadly, the city of Ferguson, MO, paid Brown’s family an extorted $1.5 million, largely due to fears of more mob violence.

If parents who’ve raised career criminals are celebrated, what are Claudine Gay’s prospects?

Prospects Aplenty

Presumably, she has no violent incidents in her past. Prior to her resignation as Harvard president she may have already, privately signed on with one of the top speaker’s bureaus from either in Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C. Bureaus value having partisan speakers in their lineup when they can book such individuals at large conferences and conventions. Gay will be a hot ticket leading up to the 2024 election.

She will be featured as the head liner at many conferences.

How much can she glean from such appearances? The floor is 20 to 40 thousand per outing, but 50 to 75 thousand is within reach, of which the bureau takes 25%. At that level of earnings for a speech, she could easily exceed another $900,000 by the end of the year. Will you earn $1,800,000 in the next ten years?

Knowing No Bounds

As one audience after another offers her special treatment, her already outsized, over-privileged ego will know no bounds, and all of her past sins will be long forgotten. The groups to whom she speaks will consider themselves to have done their part in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Gay’s intersectionality seals the deal, so by any measure, it’s a win-win-win (bureau, speaker, and audience) for Leftists.

To those on the Right, such developments are sickening, but we’ve come to accept that this is the world as it is currently. With all the devastation and destruction promulgated by the Biden administration, we have much bigger fish to fry.

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