by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thomas Sowell has nothing good to say about a program designed to pair “public high school kids from a low-income neighborhood in the Bronx with kids from a private high school that charges $43,000 a year.” The results, in Sowell’s assessment, serve as evidence of the educators’ “moral bankruptcy.”
There was a time when common sense and common decency counted for something. Educators felt a responsibility to equip students with solid skills that could take them anywhere they wanted to go in later life — enable them to become doctors, engineers or whatever they wanted to be.
Too many of today’s “educators” see students as a captive audience for them to manipulate and propagandize.
These young people do not yet have enough experience to know that posh surroundings are neither necessary nor sufficient for a good education. Is anyone foolish enough to think that making poor kids feel disheartened is doing them a favor?
This school visit was not just an isolated event. It was part of a whole program of pairing individual youngsters from a poverty-stricken neighborhood with youngsters from families that can pay 43 grand a year for their schooling.
What do these kids do? They tell each other stories based on their young lives’ unripened judgment. They go to a big park in the Bronx together and take part in a garden project there. They talk about issues like gun violence and race relations.
They have a whole lifetime ahead of them to talk about such issues. But poor kids, especially, have just one time, during their school years, to equip their minds with math, science and other solid skills that will give them a shot at a better life.
To squander their time on rap sessions and navel-gazing is unconscionable.