Parent and taxpayer response

JUST SAY WHEN ...TO ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE NO SAY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We are Citizens for Public School Education. We are Board Watchers. We want a Board of Education that follows the Law, because following the Law works for everyone. The purpose of this site is to help close the controversial Achievement Gap that is the subject in many educational arenas. Teachers are invaluable when dedicated individuals and are entrusted to encourage, nurture, and teach each child to achieve to the best of his/her individual abilities. Principals, Superintendents, Business Administrators, Support Staff, School Board Members, Attorneys and everyone else in the district must be dedicated to making certain that teachers have whatever they need in order to perform at their best. Teachers must be willing to go the extra mile like millions have done before them. This blog promotes an active, accurate & objective telling of history that includes ALL cultures and their literary, cultural and historical contributions to building America. We are Board Watchers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Gift Of Education

The Gift of Education
© 1972
Christmas came early this year
Rocker fella played Santa Claus
Bought politicians and changed the laws
President made a lot of promises
About how things are going to be different

But empty stockings still hang
On my Johnny’s classroom walls
My son and yours still fight
In a strange school's halls

My child needs the gift of Education
It does not matter
Whether the term applied
Is integration or segregation
You cannot integrate a person’s mind
With blind, brute force

That is not the solution

Put your hand in your pocket
Stop squeezing the eagle
Send my child to school
In his own neighborhood

Busing my child away cross town
Will not achieve the integration
That I seek
Not while bias minds fight to keep his beauty down

I pay taxes
But my child is still getting hand me down clothes
Hand me down books,

Hand me down looks,
Hand me down schools
Hand me down teachers
Boys fighting boys and their father’s too

That is enough!

Put your hand in your pocket
Stop squeezing the eagle
Build my child
A Good school
In his own neighborhood.

For the past week I have been reading the various Doctoral Dissertations written about the over 50 year attempt to integrate Englewood Schools. Dr. Leroy McCloud's stuck with me the most. It is probably the most controversial. I dug back into some of my activist poetry from my college days in the early 1970's and found the piece that I share above. I guess Dr. McCloud and I had more in common that I ever knew.
In 1980, I moved back to Englewood when my daughter was in the 4th grade. She was getting taunted a lot in the Fort Lee School she attended. At Cleveland School, her first marking period report card had all A's. It was just too good to be true. I felt in my heart that she would do better when more of the children looked like her, but that was too much of a change. At the parent conference I questioned her teacher about the A's. She exuded pride while extolling my daughter's great qualities. Mind you, I love my daughter, but I have always been realistic in my expectations. I asked the teacher to describe the child for whom she had written that glowing report. She described someone totally different who shared the same first name as my child. That wonderful report card was for someone else. She had neglected to add my child to her class roster. When I complained to Dr. McCloud, he was only a little perplexed. He insisted that my daughter keep those great grades for that marking period and that teacher was to start fresh with her the second marking period.
It was my first experience with the Englewood School system as a Parent. That incident did a lot to shape the way I interacted with my own students for the next 27 years. I was determined to know all of my students, even the ones I supervised in Study Halls and other activities. Everyone needs affirmation and recognition. Children need it most of all. Getting or not getting affirmation shapes their lives for years to come.