Wednesday, January 12, 2005


The problems: "Teenage girls become unwed mothers while males are allowed to walk away without taking any responsibility. The incarceration rate of our youth is accelerating with devastating consequences for our families and neighborhoods. Children are being killed by stray bullets in territorial gang and drug wars. "

The causes: "Most of these ills stem from several factors, but an important one is the lack of education of too many of our young people. Studies show a correlation between inadequate schooling and a wide range of distressing outcomes, including early death, a propensity toward violence and substance abuse. "

The solution: "Proper education has to begin at home. We must demand that our youth have an understanding of spoken and written English, math and science. We must transform our communities with a renewed commitment to our children, and that means parents must show that they value education. We don't need another federal commission to study the problem. What we need now is parents sitting down with children, overseeing homework, sending children off to school in the morning well fed, clothed, rested and ready to learn."

I would only add: if parents demanded better grades from their kids, then the kids would get better grades - and it wouldn't cost another extra dime!

(Proof of this is the different average grades which Koreans and Hispanics get in the same NYC schools - Koreans average "A's" while Hispanics average "C's". Why does this happen? Well, if a Korean kids gets a "B" they get punished; this does not normally occur in Hispanic households unless the child gets a "D". Perhaps if Hispanic parents were as demanding as Korean parents, then Hipanic kids would do just as well as Korean kids. BTW: many Korean homes are bi-lingual, just like the Hispanic homes - so this is NOT a reason for the disparity. Neither is race!)

Because the social cost of a uneducated youths/citizens is HUGE, I believe that we should find a way to incentivize better parenting. Maybe we could increase the amount of the federal child deduction (create a "BONUS") for households in which the children get a "B" average? And decrease it if the children get below a "C" average? Ditto incentivizing the school districts.

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