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Recently we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of his legacies was the fight for everyone to be treated equally, without regard to the color of a personís skin. He grew up in a time when schools were segregated. Black children had to walk miles to get to a school that was only for them. 

National Guards escorted Ruby Bridges to school, when it was finally decided that schools should be desegregated. Brown v. Board of Education was another fight on the road to ensure that blacks and all students should receive an equal education.

Over the years, there have been many changes in the structure of our educational institutions. We now have neighborhood schools, where a child only has to cross the street and a school is there. We have slogans about no child being left behind, but no one is truly addressing what is going on in schools all across the nation.

From the segregated, one room classroom to multi level, high tech structures, we now have students who are failing miserably. We have students who have no clue about the value, meaning or importance of education. Even sadder is the parents who know less and is more interested in what their child is wearing rather than what they are learning. We have students in schools ready to fight because someone has uttered the dreadful words, "Your Mother." 

We have students wearing the latest named brand clothing, but have no pencil to write that name. We have students so antisocial that if you look at them too hard, they will fight you. We have students more concerned about the cleanliness of their boots or their sneakers than the cleanliness of their bodies. Students so unmotivated that all the test prep in the world will make little or no difference to them because they lack the basic discipline to think and function as students.

We can ask the question, "Whose fault is it?" and sit all day and night arguing about where blame should be placed.  Teachers blaming students and parents; parents blaming teachers, and still the problem continues.

I say the parents are the first teachers. They have to instill a sense of learning in their children, not unlike the children from early time who understood that school was a place for learning. A place to improve on their lives and make the future a better place.

Remember the old adage, "The children are the future."

Mi deh yah now!



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