Category: Education

Better to me than I have Been to myself

For the many times I’ve fallen
And yet You forgave me, thank You,
Lord, I thank You
For unmerited favor,
And Your brand new mercies
Thank You, how I thank You
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, Lord, I thank You,
I thank You, Lord, Oooooh

For life, health, and strength
For food and for shelter,
thank You, Lord, I thank You
If I had ten thousand tongues
It just wouldn’t be enough to say
Thank You, how I thank You
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, Lord, I thank You,
I thank You, Lord, Oooooh
For saving my soul, for making me whole
For calming my fears, for wiping my tears
And letting me know that I’m not alone
For wakin’ me up this morning
For letting me see one more dawning
Thank You, I thank You, Lord

I have been tossing around a lot of possibilities as to how to bust back into this piece. We are cracking open the final can of whoopass on one amazing year.

But before we can wrap up 2008, we have to actually finish it.

Instead I want to take this weekend of Thanksgiving to ponder the wonders of gratitude. When I’m not getting my disgruntled former baptist on Me and the Most High are quite tight.  Of Course, it’s when I get out of pocket and forget my foundation that I tend to spiral out of control.

Nothing like a week devoted to giving thanks to get a handle on how blessed I have been this year.

Last year I spent getting my inner self together and growing up in preparation for the challenges I have faced this year.

In this year I have managed to finally turn the corner on a number of my personal issues.  I was able to tighten up my relationship with my sons and my wife and my ex-wife.  I watched my mother grow as a college student and complete her Associate’s degree.  I was so inspired by her that I woke up one day and went and enrolled my behind in a full load of classes.

Then two lovely lil kids end up on my doorstep and I am thrust into informal Foster parenting.

Mrs. Ink is wrapping up the bow on her Master’s Degree, Im getting my 38 year-old freshman and we are both playing Mr. Drummond to Arnoldette and Willis Gandara.

And here we are…One week to go in this semester and I was able to swing a small vacation to the Mountains with The Mrs.

Meanwhile the whole time I was listening to and watching news reports on the radio and tv about how bad things are for people all over the world.

Better to me than I have been to myself, I tell ya.

Now lets get back to church, shall we?

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Permission to Revise and Extend my Remarks

As a nod to the serialized nature of this particular topic.

Previously on Inkognegro 1.75

Aside from that whole foolishness with Pastor Manning, Last night marked my most replied to thread.

In light of the intelligent answers and commentss I recieved, I thought a pulic response was in order.

As to the claim that we should clap for Dr. Fryer because he is trying hard:

If Dr. Fryer was 8, I might could roll with that.

Now while my wife is actively contemplating his death and dismemberment, I just said that the brother was off target.  I am not even saying he should pack up his ish and bounce.  I am merely offering criticism on his thesis.

As for this veiled notion that the whole community is sitting idly by watching Roland Fryer get his Don Quixote on is just nonsense.

There are MANY nameless and faceless academics out there trying to eliminate the achievement gap both privately and publicly.

One of them lives in my house.

This notion that pervades that all actions should be applauded is wackness of the most pure form.

All actions should be acknowledged and recognized.

Would it be better if I think Dr. Fryer is off track and I decide to wait until it doesn’t work and then rush in and say:

I knew it wouldn’t work all along.

(this here is typical negro behavior, btw.)

I merely chose to put out a letter to Dr. Fryer suggesting that he might be off track.

——–

Those of you who were less critical of Dr. Fryer said things such as the following:

Its no different than a kid getting a new book (like I did) or a special dinner when they bring home a great report card.

It is completely different.

New book = reinforcement of the value of education.  a Chance to make reading a lifestyle.

Nice Dinner = Cultural experience that allows for MORE learning.

Giving a kid money = Giving a kid money

Or how about programs like Upward Bound or College STEP? As a STEP alum, I got a $5,000 stipend every year I was in the program and did what I was supposed to do. I don’t hear anyone hollering about that–and Upward Bound is probably one of the greatest experiences a teenager could have.

I agree wholeheartedly.  Being a teenager is pricey and teenagers are fierce capitalists.  You NEED to show them the money.  But these ain’t teenagers, these are CHILDREN.  Puberty ain’t the time for symbolism and lessons.  THOSE children NEED money and have already developed some SENSE of the value of Education (or else THEY would be on the block somewhere making money).  Comparing the plight of 16 year olds and 8 year olds is like comparing the needs of an ipod and the needs of a transistor radio.  They are sponges and they WILL soak up whatever you give them.  This is your ONE AND ONLY chance to give them a love for learning.   You have to plant that seed before they get old enough to be influenced by other forces.  Paying children of this age only reinforces the very negative forces they will be bombarded with as they grow up.

Let me close by focusing on an issue that I alluded to yesterday.

Dr. Fryer is trying to hot-wire the system.  By paying children straight out, as opposed to giving incentives to teachers or parents he believes he is creating a neat synthesis.

inject money as a motivating factor and watch them fly.  Ok. Fair enough.  But what is REALLY being rewarded?

Acing a standardized test?  woo hoo.  Is THAT the goal here?  Think VERY carefully before you answer that.

I cannot remember the last time my SAT Score was relevant to anything.  Hell, I can barely remember my SAT Score.

It is one thing to deal with the Education Industry using their Standardized Test Fetishes as a guise for determining progress, it is quite another for those of us who have taken as our mission to deliver this newest generation to sip on that koolaid like that shit REALLY matters.  THOSE folk oughta know better.

If you want to save THIS generation,  You need to work them as hard as you love them and be the change you want them to become (Obama, 2008)

Making it rain on them will do little more than get them wet.

An Open letter to Roland Fryer

Dear Dr. Fryer,

I am writing this letter to you because my wife wants to kick your ass.  I think you made an ass of yourself, but I am not inclined to come look for you.  I will just say that you should count your blessings that her niece went to Boston University and not Harvard.

To say she is deeply troubled by your belief in paying children to encourage them to is just not accurate.  I, sir, am deeply troubled by by your belief in paying children to learn.

She is enraged at you because you have chosen a short cut to success.  A shortcut that is antithetical to the true purpose of Education.

Education is not a means to an end.

Sorry, Education is not merely a means to an end.  It is the end.

And the beginning.

and all that stuff in between.

Education is not a road to success.

Education IS success.

Education is a way of life.

There are no shortcuts.

To act otherwise is to short circuit the circle of life.  Whatever short term gains these children receive will come at the expense of what the larger goal SHOULD be.

My wife thinks you have lost your connection with your people.  I disagree.

I respect your committment to closing the achievement gap but I am deeply troubled by you hanging your hat on such a hamfisted short circuiting of educational reform.

You sir, have managed to become the Atkins diet of Educational Reform.  Paying for scores may benefit some children in the short term, but it is certainly not healthy won’t do anything to effect the long term health of the child’s educational prospects without fundamental change in the long term.

There are no Shortcuts, Dr. Fryer.

A full and thorough and unyielding thirst for education is the most valuable attribute a family can have.  Traditionally it is instilled by parents and manifested in their lifestyle.

You cannot buy that.  You can only build it.

To pretend there is a shortcut does a disservice to the children and our culture.

Please rethink this before my wife finds you, for your own safety.

Sincerely,

The InkogNegro