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Why Kids Don't Do Well in School
Townhall.com ^ | January 19, 2010 | Phyllis Schlafly

Posted on 01/19/2010 6:02:34 AM PST by Kaslin

Let me share with you an interesting article from The Washington Post about the teacher of an all-black class in a high school in Alexandria, Va., who expressed his frustration at how poorly the students were performing. The class included both native-born African-Americans and kids who had emigrated from Africa.

In a moment of exasperation, the teacher blurted out this question to the native-born students: "Why don't you guys study like the kids from Africa?" One of them shot back the answer.

The kid replied, "It's because they have fathers who kick their butts and make them study." Another student called out, "Ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us."

The teacher did ask the class, and not one hand went up. The students had figured out, even if schoolteachers and administrators are still in the dark, that the essential difference between kids who make it in school and those who don't is whether they have their father in the home.

It isn't a matter of race -- the African-Americans and the Africans are the same race. It isn't because the school doesn't have enough money -- this school has so much money that it gives every student a laptop of his own.

The basic problem is the lack of fathers in the home. And why didn't these kids have fathers in the home?

For the majority of them, the reason is the liberal welfare system, which transformed the people who were given "free" money called "welfare" into a society of single moms. In this matriarchy, fathers were made unnecessary -- even an impediment to the flow of taxpayer handouts.

Now we see the terrible consequences of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously predicted in 1965 when Lyndon Johnson started his Great Society spending. Welfare reform was passed in 1996 and even signed by Bill Clinton, but President Obama had those reforms repealed in his stimulus bill last year.

The anti-marriage feminists are unwilling to fault the matriarchal society, and so the academic feminists keep looking for other causes of poor grades by minority students. An outfit called the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group is trying to get the University of Minnesota to make race, class and gender the "overarching framework" of all teacher education coursework.

This busybody task group is part of the university's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, which is premised on the notion that Minnesota teachers' lack of "cultural competence" contributes to the poor academic performance of minority students. The plan would require teachers to be re-educated so they will teach Minnesota minority kids that America is an oppressive, racist, sexist, homophobic country.

According to the final report of the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group last year, in order to effectively teach a diverse class of students, teachers must understand how "white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression" have impacted their thinking.

The report demands that teachers be trained to instruct students on the U.S. "myth of meritocracy," the "history of white racism" and "demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values."

This task group even has plans to browbeat into submission those who don't accept these new liberal dictates. The group calls on the university to develop "a remediation plan" for non-performing students and teachers.

Such outlandish proposals have not gone unnoticed. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) accuses these re-education plans of violating "the freedom of conscience of the university's students," and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) charges that these plans "ignore academic goals and lead to a politicized determination of who is qualified to be a teacher."

The University of Minnesota may pretend to back off from the more outrageous of these proposals, but they are totally in sync with William Ayers' "social justice" teaching and the more recent buzz word "cultural competence." The bottom line is to teach the younger generation that they are victims of an oppressive and unjust America, and that they should organize and demonstrate (a la Saul Alinsky) to take power and money away from those who have those things.

Another ominous straw in the wind is Obama's appointment of six way-out radicals to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), whose mission is to evaluate whether accrediting agencies are properly assessing the quality of colleges and universities. The appointees are the sort of Obama extremists who will be likely to try to enforce diversity mandates and social engineering on institutions seeking accreditation.

The most important thing schools should do for minority (and other) schoolchildren is to teach them how to read by phonics in the first grade. They could do this inexpensively with my "First Reader" (www.firstreader.com) -- and if the schools refuse, this book is the perfect tool for parents to teach their own children.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: academicbias; democratplantation; hegemonicmasculinity; heteronormativity; liberalelites; meritocracy; powertodestroy; powertotax; welfarestate; whiteprivilege

1 posted on 01/19/2010 6:02:37 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Because it’s all about protecting the little darlings self esteem.


2 posted on 01/19/2010 6:06:32 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Kaslin

Thirty years ago Christian schools and other private schools were using phonetics...

My children learnt phonetics in their Christian school...

But the public schools refused to use them then...


3 posted on 01/19/2010 6:12:47 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Kaslin

New book:

“Why Jamal Can’t Read”


4 posted on 01/19/2010 6:13:36 AM PST by earlJam
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To: Kaslin

A friend of mine handed me an email this past Sunday. It was about a university professor that wanted to teach his class about socialism.

After the exam, the professor said, that in the name of socialism, he was equalzing the grades to the average score for the entire class, rather than having each individual getting their own score. Thus those who got high grades would be lowered to the average and those who failed or got low scores would be raised to the class average.

The next exam he did the same thing and the class average fell drastically. It appeared that the previous high achievers were not motivated to do well and the under achievers lost what little motivation they previously had. Bottom line, on the second exam, everyone failed.

This is the problem with wealth re-distribution. I asked one of my clients, an MD, what she would do if the tax rates went over 50% on her top layer of income, explaining that they were much higher than this prior to Reagan’s tax cuts which stimulated the ecomonomy. She said she would retire or at least work much less. Thus, I explained is the problem with O’bummer’s health care proposals. Tax the high incomes (including MDs) and you will create an MD shortage, thus driving up the individual costs and decreasing availability. (She regrets voting for O’bummer!)


5 posted on 01/19/2010 6:15:39 AM PST by tired&retired
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To: Kaslin
Welfare reform was passed in 1996 and even signed by Bill Clinton, but President Obama had those reforms repealed in his stimulus bill last year.

I'd forgotten about that in the flurry of all he's done to dismantle this country.

6 posted on 01/19/2010 6:15:39 AM PST by fullchroma (Obama: GET OUT OF MY DOCTOR'S OFFICE!)
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To: Kaslin

Schools don’t fail. Students do. Quit trying to fix schools and address the real problem.


7 posted on 01/19/2010 6:17:13 AM PST by umgud (I couldn't understand why the ball kept getting bigger......... then it hit me.)
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To: Puppage

No - it’s not about self-esteem.

It’s about the “myth of meritocracy”. It’s about indoctrinating the kids that despite all evidence to the contrary, every single person is a racist, sexist homophobe who can’t possibly make a non-biased decision.


8 posted on 01/19/2010 6:20:05 AM PST by Personal Responsibility ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" - Orwell)
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To: Kaslin
For the majority of them, the reason is the liberal welfare system

Hmm. So is it only blacks that are effected by the 'liberal welfare system'?

9 posted on 01/19/2010 6:20:24 AM PST by Altura Ct.
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To: fullchroma

0bama has done so much damage to this great country in less then a year, it will take years, if not decades to undo


10 posted on 01/19/2010 6:21:23 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for Obama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

And things like that commission are why I’m going to do whatever I can to get my daughter into Welham Girls’ school in India. Indian schools don’t subscribe to this kind of junk social science. The kids there are pushed hard, and they end up successful. There’s no class in self-esteem or other ridiculous non-academic subjects. They’re too busy studying, at grade-school age, what American students nowadays don’t get to until freshman year in college, like trigonometry, calculus, advanced composition, organic chemistry, physics, etc etc.


11 posted on 01/19/2010 6:22:13 AM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Kaslin

Parents don’t encourage their kids enough and see over their school work, IMO.

My brother and I both went to public schools all our lives, but we had parents who encouraged us. When we did not do well at something, they took the initiative to tells us why and help us understand it. They knew when we were slacking and when we just didn’t understand something. Punishments were distributed accordingly. If we slacked, we lost privledges. If we just didn’t get it, they sat down with us until we did. My parents had just as much hand in my education as the school did.

Break down in families is why kids don’t excel, imo.


12 posted on 01/19/2010 6:24:19 AM PST by JenB987
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To: Altura Ct.

They’re not the only ones, but they are the largest group by far. A lot of the welfare mentality is reinforced by recent developments in the black culture i.e. the epithet “oreo”, accusing people of “acting white” etc etc. Whites on welfare have too many successful peers to get away with that crap, and hispanics still have too strong a work ethic. The asian cultures tend to support families making incredible sacrifices so that their kids can do better, such as living 10 or more in a small house, working 2 or 3 jobs (or more) and so on.


13 posted on 01/19/2010 6:25:20 AM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: tired&retired

Many are waking up and are realizing that the Hope and Change turned into Hoax and Chains


14 posted on 01/19/2010 6:26:26 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for Obama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: umgud

That’s not necessarily true. There are some lousy teachers and administrators out there.


15 posted on 01/19/2010 6:30:07 AM PST by goldi (')
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To: Kaslin
It's true: my son has a number of African friends who are American citizens. All of those kids have fathers in the home who kick their butts and make them study. They also keep the kids away from others who are bad influences. No American black kids or Hispanic kids are tolerated as friends because none of them are good students. Those boys are often dragged out of bed early on Saturday mornings to go to extra classes. White, African, Caribbean, and Asian friends are accepted if they are good students.
16 posted on 01/19/2010 6:31:18 AM PST by ottbmare (I could agree wth you, but then we'd both be wrong.)
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To: Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility wrote: “No - it’s not about self-esteem.

It’s about the “myth of meritocracy”. It’s about indoctrinating the kids that despite all evidence to the contrary, every single person is a racist, sexist homophobe who can’t possibly make a non-biased decision.”

.....ABSOLUTELY. American education, like its politics and culture has been coopted and hijacked by the Left. Education means nothing to the the Left if it interferes in any way with their real goal, which is the indoctrination of our intellectually naive youth. Comprehensive and absolute eradication of these despicable Leftists from the American educational process should be an “overarching” priority in any campaign to redeem this nation. No compromise, no mercy, no crocodile tears acccepted - GONE!

NOTHING angers me more than the Left’s cynical manipulation of the young and the destruction of their future opportunities for happiness and success - all for the sake of advancing the Left’s twisted, irrational visions of some future socialist utopia.


17 posted on 01/19/2010 6:34:50 AM PST by Senator John Blutarski (The progress of government: republic, democracy, technocracy, bureaucracy, plutocracy, kleptocracy,)
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To: Altura Ct.

Since the article was about a specific all black class in Maryland, it would seem so (these blacks anyway). Since the article specifically mentioned that the black kids from Africa with Fathers in the home weren’t having the same problems and thus race was NOT a factor, it’s shocking you could miss that, being one of the central points of the article.


18 posted on 01/19/2010 6:36:45 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: umgud
Thank you, but wouldn't you say students do because of their parents. If you want to get to the bottom line of fault, it all lies at the parents feet. We, even, grandparents should be in the street by the millions protesting the way the government schools are ruining our children's future.

Parents need to force the schools quality, discipline and teach their kindergartners how to read with phonics!!

19 posted on 01/19/2010 6:44:17 AM PST by thirst4truth (www.Believer.com)
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To: Kaslin

One of the best articles I have read in the past year. A Phyllis is a female Tom Sowell in many ways.


20 posted on 01/19/2010 6:47:41 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Key ghost, please remove the A ;-)


21 posted on 01/19/2010 6:48:37 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: earlJam

New book: “Why Jamal Can’t Read”

Waht’s the point - no one in the target group can read... :)


22 posted on 01/19/2010 7:08:19 AM PST by PIF
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To: Kaslin

1. Start with how they are, not how you would wish it to be. Maybe the class of kids with no fathers could motivate and encourage each other. They could form study groups, and have some healthy rivalry to try to keep up with or move ahead of each other. They do it on the basketball court, in a sense. They could also do it academically. At my kids’ school, the motivated kids are a good peer influence on each other, although I admit that it is not as strong an influence as their motivated parents.

2. Young men need to start to have some pride in their future as fathers, as respectable men, and make decisions about sex, marriage and parenthood accordingly. They need to pick women who, like them, have accepted “the mission” of making the raising of their family the main goal of their lives. There was a book awhile back about “the mission”. It seems that the author established that it wasn’t whether you were rich or poor that made a difference in your kids. It was whether the parents were dedicated to “the mission.”


23 posted on 01/19/2010 7:10:05 AM PST by married21
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To: Personal Responsibility

We have to start calling a spade a shovel. The vast majority of blacks do horribly (not just poorly) in school for the reason cited. When the first question on a test is “father’s name”, it is like putting a person in a round room and telling them to piss in the corner. They can’t win. I have said it before that Obummer is out to destroy the country and he is using the blacks and minorities as his first wave of fighters. He is turning blacks against whites and “the rich” and he has a ready army to do his bidding. Problem for them is I am one of those whites, fairly rich and I own guns. Bring it a**holes. Justice will be done.


24 posted on 01/19/2010 8:23:16 AM PST by dumpthelibs (dumpthelibs)
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To: Kaslin

Why don’t kids do well in school? The Education Trifecta - the federal dept of ed, teachers’ unions, and poor quality teachers.


25 posted on 01/19/2010 8:24:57 AM PST by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
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To: Personal Responsibility

No- it’s about the democratic plantation. The message is you can make on you own merit. The deck is stacked against you. Just give up now and we’ll find you a place on the plantation. As long as you do as we tell you, everything will be just fine.


26 posted on 01/19/2010 8:37:23 AM PST by CoastWatcher
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To: Tennessee Nana
My children learnt phonetics in their Christian school...

Learnt, hahaha.

27 posted on 01/19/2010 8:59:23 AM PST by webheart (I am a Sarah fan.)
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To: umgud
"Schools don’t fail. Students do. Quit trying to fix schools and address the real problem."

Maybe the most prescient post I have ever had the pleasure of reading...

28 posted on 01/19/2010 9:48:54 AM PST by EnigmaticAnomaly ("Mantra of the left: 'It's only okay when WE do it.'")
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To: goldi

I won’t argue there are some crappy schools and staff, but even with the best of everything it still comes down to the parents. I’ve seen schools where kids who want to learn can’t due to poor surroundings and other disruptive kids.

If it were up to me, I’d close all the public schools.


29 posted on 01/19/2010 9:59:52 AM PST by umgud (I couldn't understand why the ball kept getting bigger......... then it hit me.)
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To: umgud

I wouldn’t close all of them. There is a public charter school in my state nicknamed “the immigrant school.” The kids are Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, 45% eligible for free lunch, most parents foreign born, all children speak a foreign language at home and they just blew the fancy schmancy upper middle-class public schools out of the water as far as state test scores are concerned. They did better than the middle school next door to me, and my town spends about $14,000 per student. The charter school spends about $7,000 per student. Parents are standing in line to get their children into this school, so you’re right when you say it all comes down to the parents. It comes down to the students too.


30 posted on 01/19/2010 10:17:15 AM PST by goldi (')
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To: Senator John Blutarski

The point is that according to the Left it is more important to be conscious of your race, gender, sexual orientation etc... and to learn the implications of those things than it is to learn readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmatic (so to speak). They believe that learning about the social “sciences” is paramount to anything - which is why they believe meritocracy is crap and why we believe their ideas are crap.


31 posted on 01/19/2010 11:13:52 AM PST by Personal Responsibility ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" - Orwell)
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To: Kaslin

John McWhorter was saying this 15 years ago.


32 posted on 01/19/2010 12:36:17 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
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To: married21

Interesting question. Part of my job is to help kids get back on track when they are having difficulty. Many times people don’t see the reason why they should bother doing the heavy lifting and the hard work when they can have everything provided for them without having to do so.


33 posted on 01/19/2010 3:08:32 PM PST by BenKenobi (;)
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