The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's $90 million contribution (Fly-by, November 11th issue) should have a very positive impact on Memphis education.
Carl Wieman (winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics) has recently worked on figuring out how best to educate future scientists. His advice parallels the Gates approach.
In an interview in the magazine Science, Wieman compared good teachers to good coaches. He claims that a good coach (or teacher) guides the person to the most effective drills; helps with motivation; and provides lots of feedback.
I hope that Memphis students and parents step up to the challenge of becoming better mental athletes when quality mental coaches are trained and sent to Memphis. I also hope that our young mental athletes do not get the false impression that becoming a great athlete involves mainly the coaches completing the lion's share of the work.
John Branston's recent story about the Memphis schools (City Beat, December 2nd issue) qualifies him as the official master of the obvious. White students and affluent students do not want to attend predominantly black schools. Duh!
The continuing exodus of whites from Memphis' deplorable schools is not a racial issue. Treating it as such will continue the 40-year trend of blacks performing poorly, participating in increased violence, and getting a smaller piece of the American pie. Nobody in their right mind wants to send their child to a school in which violence, drugs, the inability to speak civil English, disruptive students, lack of respect for social norms, and lowered standards are accepted and encouraged.
God created all of us with the same love, care, and doses of skills, talents, and blessings. It is not skin color that determines a man's future. Instead, it is the level of expectations, discipline, and involvement a child receives from his parents, family, church, and social environment. In those arenas, black children are being short-changed, and no amount of handouts, impotent taking-back-our-neighborhood programs, and other social-worker babble is going to fix this problem.
The real shame is that liberals think that raising the bar of expectations on black youth is racist, mean, and unfair. The real shame is that the most prominent black leaders are afraid to call out for personal responsibility.
A few years ago, an Academy Award for music was given to a homegrown piece of garbage called "Hard Out Here for a Pimp." Memphis celebrated this atonal vulgarity as a triumph for blacks. Prominent local leaders chimed in. None of these knucklehead black leaders even stopped for a moment to think about what they were actually condoning by celebrating and validating this stuff.
Hey, here is an idea: Why not just leave the kids alone and instead bus the parents, pastors, and current role models to a place where they can't do any more damage. That's really the only chance these poor kids have.
Obama vs. Palin
To all the Obama voters and supporters, including Cheri DelBrocco ("Mad As Hell," memphisflyer.com): You voted for a lemon! He is a horrific disaster, and you believed a zero-experience senator is qualified to be president!
We have Sarah Palin, with 10-plus years of executive experience (governor, commissioner, mayor, and city manager), and you dolts think she is unqualified. In the past two years, we have seen Obama fail again and again. November 2nd made it a fact. At the same time, we have seen Sarah Palin succeed again and again! She had a 71 percent endorsement win rate in the mid-terms.
You Obama-loving dolts have zero credibility, and I say that whatever idea comes into your little brains, we go with the opposite. It is simple: Obama is not qualified to run a Dunkin' Donuts.
Cory T. Di Geronimo
One "lone wolf" Republican senator is holding the planet and its 6 billion people hostage. One senator, the "point man" for the Republicans, is putting the country and its national security at risk.
Arizona senator Jon Kyl is blocking the new START Pact nuclear reduction treaty from being ratified in the Senate. One Republican senator is keeping the world from being a safer place, because Russian nukes are no longer being verified. This is a crazy upside-down world when one rogue politician can put billions of people at risk.
Nevada City, California
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