Tuesday, January 25, 2011

African American male dropout rate

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"African males high,drop out rate,suspension,expulsion among other things,where is the out cry from the PPS community
i thought the American Education System is for everyone and not the selective few,is there two system one to train students to play football and basketball and the other one to to make the honor roll and the debate team,being since we always say education should be for all students and just for a few after all we did intergrate Little Rock school dist
our black males have to be educated so thay they can contribute to society"


Questioner said...

Does anyone who works with at risk students on a daily basis have impressions or observations as to whether the opportunity for a Pittsburgh Promise scholarship is having an effect on the problems Anonymous describes? One of the goals of the program was to give students an incentive to stay in school and focus on learning.

Anonymous said...

Learning & Disipline start at home first.

Anonymous said...

Every individual (a must for teachers) has the opportunity (and responsibility) to build relationships with students that facilitate learning and discipline at the highest levels.

To displace that responsibility is abdication of the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:26

No one is giving up an opportunity, But if a teacher gets a student in 9th grade that does not have the vaule of education instilled in them and the parents have no control. Don't you think that it's a little to late. These type of children take away the educational opportunity of others, everyday in our classrooms. These kids are not held responsible at home or in this school district. Good behavior is taught when kids are toddlers and preschoolers. Bill Cosby is 100% correct, it starts at home. A school can not replace a stable home, and school personel can not replace parents.

By the way, to abdicate is to give a throne.

Maybe that is what the Ivory tower types at 341 S. Belfield should do. Because they do not have a clue. I do think teachers should build relationships with their students at any age, but teachers are not parents. Its is a parents moral & ethical responsibility to raise their children as responsible citizens no matter what their race.

Anonymous said...

(to give up a throne)

sorry, cooking and typing dose not mix.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:51

We are not likely to agree, philosophically or psychologically, as classroom educators.

Additionally, please "google" the word "abdicate." It is imperative for educators to know that there are multiple definitions for words; and, my usage was not lost on you as evidenced in your response.

Been There said...

Let me get the discussion back on track.

I would really want to know why so many African American males are dropping out.

A less than supportive home life is part of the problem. But that's beyond the control of the schools, so it's really not worth discussing.

My suggestion: ask the dropouts. Find out what's driving their decisions.

I suspect that you'll find that they'll say that school is not relevant to them.

For example, how relevant is the quadratic formula to someone living on the edge of poverty?

How relevant is future Pittsburgh Promise money to someone who has no money for new clothes today?

So how can we make the schools more relevant?

My suggestions:

Return vocational education to every high school. Where learning the quadratic formula might not seem useful, learning how to fix a leaky pipe might.

Return practical math classes to every high school, lasses like consumer math and vocational math.

Adjust the school day. Forcing students to be in class by 7:30 is ridiculous. 9:00 makes more sense.


None of what I suggested will be of any help if we continue to allow a few students to ruin learning for everyone else.

Questioner said...

Some people are offended at the idea of some students learning basic math while others are learning calculus. Would it be enough to make all opportunities AVAILABLE to each student (through extra tutoring,encouragement etc.), but also accept a decision by a student and his/her family to take consumer or vocational math?

Anonymous said...

I am glad you can google Anonymous 5:23. No doubt there are multiple use for words. I am not the one showing off my use of the english language.
No doubt we would not agree, you do not know jack.
I doubt you spent more than a couple years in the classroom. I do not approve of your consending tone, it proves that you have not been in classroom in a urban enviroment in years, if at all. From your superior usage of language you would not last 12 minutes in 90% of PPS classrooms.

Anonymous said...

Pgh Promise is PR designed to stop the mass exodus from the City. Ravenstahl could not run a high maintenance office if the tax base was diminishing. It was simply to intice blue collar families back to the City.

However, it back-fired. Families who could not afford to send their child to college were not willing to risk their child's safety and learning environment in exchange for pocket money when it comes to paying for a college education. That's what scholarships are for.

How was Ravenstahl to know that the hidden agenda was to close the City's Public Schools so that Chartered 'Theme' Schools can open. I wonder if he regrets permitting UPMC to be non profit organization. Or was he a willing participant in all of this?

What I would like to know is how will the taxpayers, who are funding these 'Theme' schools, be insured that a balanced education is being provided as opposed to an indoctrination.

Been There said...

to Questioner,

Sure, calculus should be available in every school, and so should the vocational subjects.

And it goes without saying that every class should be open to every student.

But we have to change the concept that a vocational class is somehow not the "equal" (whatever that means) of a calculus class!

What is the value of calculus to 95% of the population? It is just not relevant or useful at all! And I say this as someone who took advanced calculus in college.

On the other hand, vocational courses are relevant to 100% of the population, and can provide a good income right out of high school.

That's a goal a high school student can understand!

Well, some might say, by offering vocational classes you are pushing people towards the trades instead of the professions.

I would answer: So what's wrong with that? I would rather a student be a successful plumber instead of a failed and unemployed mathematician.

Parent said...

Well, some might say, by offering vocational classes you are pushing people towards the trades instead of the professions.

I would answer: So what's wrong with that? I would rather a student be a successful plumber instead of a failed and unemployed mathematician.

I'm with you on this. And it's a lot harder to give a plumbing job to someone in a poor country willing to work for a tiny fraction of a wage here.

Done well, some of the vocational classes should be appealing as electives to the "calculus/physics" bound students too. I'd love to have opportunities for my children to learn hands-on skills that I lack.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is nothing wrong with a vocational education and the trade unions have tried in vain over the last five years to convince the cult of personality that there is value in offering opportunities in fields that have jobs.

In fact, I might point out that an apprenticeship with someone like the plumbers or the electricians has a dollar value far greater than the promise and you still leave with an associates' degree.

Anonymous said...

"What is the value of calculus to 95% of the population? It is just not relevant or useful at all! And I say this as someone who took advanced calculus in college."

Been There,

I view it as a choice every student should have regardless of what school the attend. Taking advanced/AP courses can lower the cost of college tuition. Pittsburgh loves their little nitch schools and will be past the state of being broke for many years unless thet get serious.

I grew up in a smaller town with a larger student population than PPS. We had 4 high schools. I lost track how many Pittsburgh has.

Was it perfect? No, but did all 4 high schools offer the same basic & advanced courses? Pretty much. There might have been a few differences, but the "poor schools" had the same advanced AP options that the "better schoos" offered.

Anonymous said...

Making school relavant to real world occupations will renew an interest. It will give them a vision. It will help them realize a possible future. Yes, I agree this needs to be done. But we have to create these resources for them. Black people have careers, trades, vocational knowledge, skills, and we are educators. Let come together please, the lower, middle class, upper class, and elite black folk come together and help make a future for our children. We have to do it together. We must. Right now I am the new owner of a tutoring center called Joshua's Corner Learning Center. I just opened. It took me 2 years. I have 2 clients, 21 computers with head sets, my fees are expensive, but I have an idea to raise money for those who cannot afford my rates. We are not a after school center that claims to tutor, we are a tutoring center whose mission is to encourage reluctant and struggling readers to want to learn and to understand the importance of their education. We do more than tutor, we mentor, nurture, inspire, and strive to change their lives so that they have a fair chance in life to live and earn at the least a middle class standard. My programs include phonics, math, readers theater, audio books, cultural history books, journaling, career planning, Mavis Beacon, Video Professor to learn the basics of microsoft applications. Our goals are to take them on educational trips to colleges, black museums, occupational jobs etc. We want to expose them to the world of skills, trades, careers, and occupations. One of the career wevbsites that I use is www.transcendinnovation.com/con_vid.php. My student looks at a occupational video everyday and writes about what he learned. Please call me if you want to know more about our vision. We need help with supplies, a van because we want to offer transportation. Our target are the inner city children in Newark, NJ. Please e-mail me if you have any donations. Thanks, I am inspired to know that we are concerned about our childrens education. www.joshuascorner@gmail.com