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I was childless then, but I have a 6-year-old now. And I know better. So to all the friends — most but not all of them white — whom I’ve chastised over the years for abandoning the District once their children reached school age:
I’m sorry. You were right. I was wrong.
After nearly 20 years in the city’s Takoma neighborhood, the last six in a century-old house that my wife and I thought we’d grow old in, we have forsaken the city for the suburbs.
Given recent optimistic news about the city’s schools, this may seem the equivalent of buying high and selling low. And though I don’t know new D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, what I know of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso (a former neighbor) tells me that real change will come, sooner or later, to D.C. public schools.
The thing is, with a second-grader who has already read the first two Harry Potter books, I can’t wait the four or five years it will take to begin to undo decades of neglect and mismanagement of District schools, much less the additional time needed to create programs for the gifted and talented.
What Reinoso and his team have done so far — making sure that students have textbooks on time and that long-needed school repairs are made — was comparatively easy. Ridding the schools of unproductive workers who’ve stymied previous attempts at reform will be harder, although recent proposals to make it easier to fire teachers and other staff members are promising.
In the course of advocating for my now 21-year-old godson from 1999 to 2004, I visited public schools that were scenes of barely controlled chaos. I walked halls that teemed with students 15 minutes after the bell had sounded for the start of class. I choked on the smell of marijuana in the stairwells. Little had changed when I visited a District high school last year.
I’ve listened to teachers and principals talk about students with barely disguised contempt, heard teachers gossip about students’ sexual activity and had others refuse services or accommodations that they were legally obligated to provide. It took a year and the help of a court-appointed attorney to get the school district to agree to provide services such as speech therapy for my godson; when we reminded his biology teacher that he was entitled to extra time to take his tests, she refused to give it to him.
Despite these dismal experiences at three schools, I was still willing to consider sending my 6-year-old to the neighborhood elementary school.
Its test scores were unimpressive, and many students received free or subsidized meals. I worried about discipline problems and teachers who dumbed down lessons. But the scores were better than those of many other District schools. And while parents we talked to said that the principal was hard to get along with and didn’t believe that parents had any role at her school, they also admitted that they were satisfied with the education their children received.
When some neighbors considering the school called to schedule a visit, however, the receptionist was genuinely puzzled.
“Visit?” she said. “We don’t do visits.”
The principal finally agreed to see us. Ten minutes into the meeting, faced with questions about the lack of a PTA and Local School Restructuring Team — a committee of parents, community members and school staff members that is supposed to assess the school and make recommendations for improving it — she excused herself to take “an emergency phone call.”
Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews advises against sending your child to a school whose principal won’t meet with you for at least a half-hour, but it was the combination of unexceptional test scores, lack of amenities such as art and music classes, and the principal’s unwelcoming attitude that made my wife and me start looking at charter schools. Private schools were too expensive, and we didn’t want to send our child to a school on the other side of Rock Creek Park. But we’d heard good things about the charters, and we were encouraged by their ability to operate outside the school system.
There were other difficulties. My son’s new first-grade teacher was at a loss when he went to read in a corner instead of doing his math, spelling or geography assignments. It fell to us to suggest that she tell him he could earn reading time by completing other work.
Instead of giving letter grades, the school evaluated children as having been “presented,” “practicing” or having “mastered” material. My son’s first report card said he’d been “presented” the short “e” sound. That seemed strange for a child already reading at a fifth- or sixth-grade level. The teacher agreed that it wasn’t an accurate assessment of his abilities. But she said she’d had so many reports to do, it had been easier to assess every student as “presented” in all areas.
Then there was something that’s uncomfortable to write about because it shows how diversity can be messier than most of us want to acknowledge. Half the children at the school were Hispanic, as were most of the teachers and staff members. In four years, four black teachers came and went, none staying more than a year or so. Administrators agreed that they needed to do a better job of hiring and keeping black teachers but said they couldn’t find anybody qualified.
One mother in my son’s class said her children came home crying because Latino children teased them about their skin color and their hair. Parents of black boys thought that their sons were disciplined when Latino children were not. Volunteering in my son’s classroom, I watched a teacher’s aide line up the students to go outside. She called them one by one, summoning the three black children last and grouping them together.
When I e-mailed a Fairfax principal one evening in May, I didn’t expect a response before the morning. Ten minutes later, he replied with an invitation to visit his school. I said that I wanted to talk to a teacher or two. One called the next day. I couldn’t return her call immediately. A day later, she left a message asking me to phone her at home that weekend.
In the end, though, I couldn’t sacrifice my son to an education system that seems at best inefficient and at worst willfully corrupt. As much as I admire Mayor Fenty, I can’t help noting that his children go to a private school.
And if he doesn’t send his kids to D.C. schools, why should I?
Email David Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Posted on October 25, 2007)
Black liberals are just like white liberals. They will gladly sacrifice your kids to a politically correct ideology, but not their own.
Posted by at 6:38 PM on October 25
What goes around, comes around.
Posted by Sonny at 6:38 PM on October 25
The only hope for people in Africa is to escape from Africa and somehow make it to a European country — they will risk death to make that journey.
The only hope for African-Americans in the USA is to escape fellow Blacks and somehow make it to a White community. Only by being among Whites will they escape Black pathologies.
Posted by at 6:52 PM on October 25
Black or not…the usual parent blaming the system. Blame the teachers and the principals etc. Unbelieveable that you would expect a principal to be willing to meet with every potential incoming parent for a half-hour. Let me see, the average school has an incoming class of about 300 students per year - maybe more. So at least 150 hours of individual meetings just to make you happy? And then you marvel at the incapacity of schools to be run in an efficient manner when you, yourself are the problem! The original teacher of every child is the parent - NOT the school system.
Posted by at 7:27 PM on October 25
Reading the article, I was struck by the author’s awakening to what is really going on under the bonnet of the New World Order juggernaut - human exploitation and mass control is what’s really the name of the game.
Now, if we look back to the mid nineteenth century and onward up until the dawn of the 1960s, impressive numbers of blacks were proving themselves capable of attaining high spots in academia without a patronizing helping hand from self-loathing white Marxist do-gooders trying to expiate their idiotic white guilt by imposing their charity on blacks particularly.
In fact, many blacks achieved honors that whites would envy even today and they did it without today’s ethos of Political Correctness (Cultural Marxism). Furthermore, there was no dumbing down back then. Students either put the head down or went to the back of the queue.
One thing that was paramount in society back then too, but totally absent today, is morality.
Marxist indoctrination - Political Correctness (Cultural Marxism) is exclusively to blame for its demise and thus the dire state of affairs all over the West, today.
Posted by A Swain at 8:28 PM on October 25
I heard just about nothing by a sense of entitlement from this black parent. He/she harped on about a god-son getting extra time to finish his tests “that he was entitled to” excuse me? Entitled to? When I was in high school everyone had the same amount of time to take a test. They wanted school administrators to jump to attention every time they called or emailed and were upset because a child was teased or someone called their child in last from recess. I am an avid reader too and if I was reading in class when I was supposed to be doing something else I lost recess time to make up the missing schoolwork. Typical black parent to ask for priviledges that someone else does not get.
Posted by Spartan24 at 8:50 PM on October 25
The Usual Suspects are constantly saying that “diversity” is good for children. Does this mean that “diversity” is only considered good for white children?
Diverse you want it, diverse it gets.
Posted by Michael C. Scott at 8:50 PM on October 25
So, isn’t it fun being “equal” to a White man, Dave?
Be careful what you wish for.
Posted by Wild Eyed Charlie at 8:52 PM on October 25
Great..you want to get away from the savagery of your own people. Where do white people go to get away from you?
Oops. We don’t have that option, I forgot…
Posted by Voice at 9:23 PM on October 25
Blah….Blah… Blah. And there you have it.
I should put my kids through the diversity mill? I shouldn’t save them from the living death of the PC meat grinder?
You know what?! No matter what color you are, get away from blacks. Even if you’re black….get away from blacks.
Posted by t at 9:59 PM on October 25
I had a friend, a police buff, that said the military send their doctors to intern in D.C. because they treat the same types of wounds found in the battle field. He also said that children were killing each other for their shoes. Our nation has become a disgrace, and has earned a reproach from all good men.
Posted by Frazier at 10:08 PM on October 25
In fact, many blacks achieved honors that whites would envy even today and they did it without today’s ethos of Political Correctness (Cultural Marxism).
Posted by A Swain at 8:28 PM on October 25
LMAO!By your assumptions if it wasn’t for “White racism” blacks would have colonized Mars by now.
Posted by at 11:14 PM on October 25
There are many blacks with the same values as us. I would be happy to have them live near me and their kids in school with mine. They don’t like what the liberals have done to blacks.
Posted by at 6:19 AM on October 26
The DC schools are in a mess because they are run by blacks. They spend over $8000 per pupil per year on the regular students and God only knows how much on special ed students. Neighboring Montgomery County (MD) and Fairfax County (VA) spend less per pupil and have much better schools although all of the public schools nowadays are basically indoctrination centers. I find it interesting that he mentions Hispanic students making fun of black students. No mention of what the black students do to white students in public schools across the nation. Just another affirmative action mullato looking out for number one.
Posted by JAM at 7:10 AM on October 26
“….I heard just about nothing by a sense of entitlement from this black parent. He/she harped on about a god-son getting extra time to finish his tests “that he was entitled to” excuse me? Entitled to?..”
Yes, you read that right.
Here’s how it works: The kid goes through a battery of ridiculous tests and is declared (often for dubious reasons) a Special Ed student — now eligible for a whole rash or entitlements that YOUR student does not have access to — expensive field trips, special door-to-door bus service ((I’ve had kids that have been the ONLY ones on their entire daily bus route, can you imagine the cost?)) personal aides, small classes of less than 10, psychologists, and yes, extra time on any state tests, calculators (that YOUR child is not allowed to have), and many other accomodations inclding have the entire test READ to him — plus the kid is now declared ‘disabled’ and entitled to a life-time of SSI benefits.
These students cost the school districts and government an un-Godly amount of money that is often taken from regular educational programs (such as textbooks). The enormous money wasted on kids with limitied abiities is often double what is spent on a regular student — the one sitting in a classroom of 45 other students with an exhausted teacher. My own local teachers’ union has delcared that special ed students are monitarily breaking the district.
Here in California, wealthier parents (espeically Armenians and Iranians) are retaining the services of private high-priced psychologists and psychiatrists to declare their kid ‘disabled’ and therefore entitled to extra time and services (and don’t forget the calculators that YOUR kid can’t have) specificaly for the PSAT and SAT tests. These parents arrive at school with documentation and sometimes even court orders declaring the kid disabled. I haven’t seen a school yet dare to fight that in court (although there is talk of such).
Single parents in hell-hole areas often FIGHT for their kids to receive the special ed designation. I’ve heard plenty of anecdotal stories (in my over two decades of working in the government gulags) of mothers coaching their kids to screw up the tests so the kid can receive the life-long entitlements granted through ‘disabled’ status.
Scam? You bet.
What grates me is the enormous amount of money wasted on students with limited IQs who will be nothing but a life-long entitlement drain on taxpayer money. As many of them eventually end up in jail, the burden to productive citizens is unavoidable.
Meanwhile, programs for YOUR children are being cut — AP classes, honors and gifted/talented, field trips, textbooks, lowered class sizes (and yes it matters, please don’t tell me otherwise), sports equipment and teams, hell, even use of the Xerox machine is rationed.
And as I always post: Get your kids out of the government schools and home school if at all possible AND fight to break up the entrenched, paralyzed (and virulently anti-White) education monopoly.
Posted by BonBon at 9:21 AM on October 26
The only hope for White-Euro countries is to somehow limit the influx of blacks and their childlike behaviours into their countries.
The only hope for White Americans is to somehow limit their exposure to blacks and their Faux Culture, which for the most part, is little more than Childish, Lazy, Whining,Foolishness.
Posted by Responder at 9:56 AM on October 26
From the article: “My son’s new first-grade teacher was at a loss when he went to read in a corner instead of doing his math, spelling or geography assignments”
Interesting. Her son didn’t want to do the assigned work, and she supported his decision, then complained about the school. What would happen if all the students were allowed to do whatever they wanted?
Posted by Cliff Yablonski at 11:16 AM on October 26
And remember folks, this shambolic, dysfunctional, diversity enriched educational environment is being brought to you at a cost of ONLY 17,000 per student per year! Hooray for the guv’mint! Great job!
Public school systems of this type are nothing more than political patronage (read affirmative action) jobs mills.
Posted by Maggio at 11:56 AM on October 26
A solution is to require ALL public employees, all the way up to the President, place their children in the nearest public school.
You would see a rapid change in 24 hours. This mayor must be forced to send his children to this typs of school.
If a public official will not do this, then they can not accept the office and must resign.
They must also use the public hospitals as well.
Posted by LOGIC at 12:22 PM on October 26
“One mother in my son’s class said her children came home crying because Latino children teased them about their skin color and their hair. Parents of black boys thought that their sons were disciplined when Latino children were not.”
So much for the Rainbow Coalition and that “gorgeous mosaic of color”. The answer to black racial conflict with Latinos seems to be for blacks to follow racist? white people wherever they go. Perhaps, even to Mars, as Chris Rock has suggested in jest.
Posted by Sardonicus at 12:38 PM on October 26
It’s the parents, not the schools. The public schools system exists to provide an education. Reading, writing, math. These are basic skills needed to function in society and, hopefully, to succeed and become a provider for one’s family and a merit to one’s nation. Even more basic are social skills which are taught by parents. These include things like being polite, respecting authority (teachers, police, etc.), listening in class, valuing learning. If ethics and values are not taught at home, parents cannot expect the school system to repair the results of their own neglect and stupidity.
Posted by at 1:10 PM on October 26
BonBon is exactly right! I work in several districts as a substitute Special Education Assist and some of the assignments I get are these one-on-one assignments with someone who will be an absolute drain on the economy for sundry reasons. The good thing is, I usually stop doing those assignments for the self-same reason (the last one-on-one assignment led me to believe that the parents were taking advantage of our system and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I also thought that the mother’s status was dubious because of the illegal alien scam in this country. I prefer to better the lives of Whites whose parents are hard-working taxpayers…. I always go out of my way to embellish White students, knowing that I am probably the only person that will take the extra time with them with my services BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE! This ethos should be practiced everywhere by fellow Whites because we need to take care of our own. No one else will bestow care on Whites qua Whiteness…. BonBon’s postings are very perspicacious!
Posted by White is Beautiful Robert at 2:41 PM on October 26
When I read a load of happy horse like this, I have to just shake my head and tell this family to take stock of what they are encouraging in their children — In my day, when it was time to do math, by gum, we did math. It wasn’t a “suggestion”, it was a requirement.
No, you don’t get to do what you want to do. If we did, I would spend my day reading sites like this on the internet rather than doing whatever it is that my boss suggests I do.
Posted by at 5:41 PM on October 26
Latinos teased me because they thought that I was too white. Blacks didnt do that.The immigration issue is a hard one to take a definite opinion on.
Posted by Peejay in Frisco at 6:30 PM on October 26
“I’m sorry. You were right. I was wrong.”
Honest journalism from the heart. Isn’t it refreshing!
“Then there was something that’s uncomfortable to write about because it shows how diversity can be messier than most of us want to acknowledge…”
The man is fearless! A still-employed anti-diversatoid!
“Administrators agreed that they needed to do a better job of hiring and keeping black teachers but said they couldn’t find anybody qualified. They should have tried harder.”
Our author could have found those black teachers! Chase out those incompetents who don’t know how to provide an education to these wonderful children and give the job to this can-do man with the new ideas!
Posted by Moron at 11:59 PM on October 26
I just can’t feel sorry for blacks. They force us to associate with them, date our white females, kill us, steal from us, intimidate us, guilt trip us….and call us racists. Such hypocrites. As an earlier poster said, what goes around comes around.
Posted by at 12:47 AM on October 27
Is there anybody here who thinks as I do that the Washington Post would NEVER run a story inferring race inefficiency if the writer were white?
That exact same story written by a white man would never have been published.
Posted by crossbow at 7:51 AM on October 27
“I had a friend, a police buff, that said the military send their doctors to intern in D.C. because they treat the same types of wounds found in the battle field. He also said that children were killing each other for their shoes. Our nation has become a disgrace, and has earned a reproach from all good men.”
Posted by Frazier at 10:08 PM on October 25
How unfair of you not to mention Philadelphia. They have a pretty good virtual battlefield as good as any that DC can provide. Wait! How about Newark, NJ, the Oranges, Detroit, Houston, St. Petersburg, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Buffalo etc., etc.?
Posted by Taurus689 at 12:31 PM on October 28
“date our white females,”
To be honest with you, it is the white females who start relationships with black males. I have rarely, if ever, seen any black males going actively for white women. They all proudly chase black women and ask black women out. Majority of white females pushing the strollers with half black babies in are not exactly desirable. They have no choice but asking if black men would be interested. And there are those super liberal white women who want to give the message “hey look at me! look at me! I am not a racist!” when they walk in the arms of a black man in public. They also think it is so fun to get into arguments with their parents, break their parents’ heart and they also love calling their parents or any of their friends who honestly love them “evil racists”.
Also, the reason white women go for black men are because they think they are more beautiful than black women. which is so messed up. There are wonderful, beautiful women in all races. Many of you have even admitted that some black women are beautiful. I always see beautiful women of both races. Whenever there is a very very attractive white man, white women do give stares, but the white women never actually openly approach the beautiful white man in her sight because she cannot guarantee herself she will hear “yes” from that man. She just stares, but she does not approach.
Posted by A white woman from Canberra, Australia at 2:42 PM on October 28
Yeah, he’s sorry after the fact… after falsely guilt tripping white people all those years.
The he moves to the burbs and he and his family escape.
What about all the white kids left behind?
I guess they’ll have to endure the black schools that even blacks want to flee from, and have to endure being called “racist” when they try to flee.
Many blacks want white people to sink, and their own kind to rise… this much has become obvious.
Posted by Citizen at 8:25 PM on October 28
“To be honest with you, it is the white females who start relationships with black males. I have rarely, if ever, seen any black males going actively for white women.”
Either things are way different in Australia or you’re blind.
Posted by at 10:20 PM on October 29
“I thought we’d grow old in, we have forsaken the city for the suburbs.”
Monsieur! You are moving from ze fire to ze hot coals. The suburbs suck as well. My “middleclass” neighborhood was inundated with section 8 vouchers, hoodlum “children” and MIA black parents. And newsflash black America: teachers are not parents; schools are not “systems” - they are what we make them; the federal government and white folks aren’t responsible and to blame for everything! When will you wake up? Ever?
Posted by MIrror Mirror at 10:49 AM on October 31
“LMAO!By your assumptions if it wasn’t for “White racism” blacks would have colonized Mars by now.”
Posted by at 11:14 PM on October 25
You have managed to misconstrue the meaning of what I actually said.
I meant, if it wasn’t for the consequences of the behaviour of self-loathing and guilt-tripping white renegades, blacks would be more likely to prove themselves better capable academically without the kind of rigged racial advantage and dumbing down of education content and testing criteria that’s currently employed by Marxist rabble to grant grossly inferior diplomas and degrees to blacks for no purpose other than to support a destructive political agenda, ie, ‘Nihilist Communism’ which relies on - wait for it, logical fallacies. (We are all too HIGHLY familiar with the various tactics they’ve been utilizing for decades in pursuit of their end goals.)
Back then, self-applied genuine hard work and dedication to outcome was imperative for survival, not just self-esteem.
Furthermore, adversity always breeds a better class of scholar and worker.
Posted by A Swain at 2:24 PM on November 1
Brown v. Bd. of Education was the beginning of the end for public education in America. This article is merely one more tidbit tossed onto the mountain of evidence supporting this conclusion.
Posted by Blowtorch Mason at 7:29 PM on November 2