Thursday, June 18, 2009

African Centered Education


Yesterday, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about the Detroit Public Schools abandoning grading of students because of the "disparate impact" it had on its African-American and Hispanic descendant students. I ran across this as part of the spoof [click image for larger view]:

At first I thought this was just the pipe dream of Rev. Jimmy Womack who is listed as the president of the organization promoting African-centered education... and is an at-large member of the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education. Then, upon, further checking, I found that it is actually part of the DPS curriculum.

Just a couple of thoughts:

  • I can't find Detroit anywhere in Africa
  • What would the reaction be if Milwaukee declared that it was establishing a German-centered education... presumably around brewing beer... or if Minneapolis proclaimed a Scandinavian-centered education focused on the principles of being a good Viking... go long and then cut toward the sidelines?
What do the 67 white students in the DPS system think about this approach... and how has it helped any of the students achieve anything in mainstream American society, science, or business?

This is a perfect example of ethnicity running amok.
Is this to be the basis for educating our future leaders... to prepare them for the Supreme Court and other positions that require a rich ethnic background and empathy? God help us all.
There is no limit on human stupidity. Instead of focusing on a continent that has been largely out of the march of civilization... except for Egypt which is more closely aligned to the Middle East than the sub-Sahara... why not teach students about the basis of their own nation and society...
you know, the history of the nation bad and good; the way government does and does not work; the principles of capitalism and economics... and how that applies to earning a living; scientific discovery and its impact on their own lives; why education and acquiring skills are good things; understanding mathematics and managing income versus spending (presuming there is income); what they could do with their very limited time on this planet besides eating junk food and having sex (not necessarily bad things, but there is a bit more to life).
The biggest failing of the Detroit Public School system is not its students' grades or lack of scholastic achievements. It is that the system is looking for gimmicks to replace expectations and discipline and hard work.
Singing Kum Ba Yah around a mystical motherland campfire may be gratifying, but it is not educational. Looking for excuses in abuses of 150 years ago is fine for maintaining the myth of present victimhood, but it doesn't jibe with the successes of many recent immigrant groups who have been quite successful.

The DPS students are failing themselves, their parents are failing parenting, and the DPS is a bad caricature of a school system. Phony glorification of African cultures rife with slavery, corruption, genocide, and tribal hatreds is not an answer... any more than phony glorification of Europe's Dark Ages would be.

The fact that African-American and Hispanic students can and do succeed in suburban school systems that have high expectations, discipline, and require hard work is proof enough of Detroit's bankrupt educational vision.

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SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)