I am a noted author and just spent the last year teaching English as a Second Language to students who immigrated to this country with their parents. My objective is to teach these students how to read, write and speak English so that they can use pass their academic requirements in our educational system. I am the Past President and current Vice President of Read Aloud Virginia, which increases reading literacy by encouraging parents and even older siblings to read to their children. Studies have shown that this increases reading literacy.
I saw Black in America produced by CNN. All cultures here in America have their problems. However, the problems I have seen in schools that are predominately Black is a severe lack of respect for teachers of all races (mostly Blacks) who teach Black students. A substantial number of Black students drop out of school in the ninth grade because they can not read. Organizations that maintain statistics on reading literacy report that some Black students can not read because their parents can not read as well as their grand parents. This applies to some White students, who have reading literacy problems also. I commented during some literacy meetings that education is free, so why is there such a substantial reading literacy problem here in America. The responses are always relative to children not being able to read when they enter the public school system. Again, the generational problem of generations of family members who could not read, created generations of family members who can not read either.
I have read about improved reading programs in about five states, where Black students are taught to read using strategies that are used to teach immigrant students how to read, write, and read English. I use these strategies myself and further noted that the same (with advance variations) strategies are used by the maker of the best (learn a foreign language software) on the market .
In closing, research statistics on the world wide web about reading literacy problems here in America. The statistics are shocking and looking at what Black American (youths) need to achieve (educationally) in our high technology world, reading literacy issues are crippling our youths chances for prosperous futures. Lets read to them as infants, toddlers, and throughout their elementary and middle school education years.
I am heading back to a middle and high school in about two weeks and continuing my quest that Black Youths will respect themselves, each other, and teachers. I will stand like a rock and always say during times of disobedience, "WE HAVE A DREAM. BUT SCORES OF STUDENTS STANDING HERE IN THIS HALLWAY AND NOT REPORTING TO CLASS IS A NIGHTMARE."
It is time for community leaders, parents, and celebrities to go back to school and read to the students. If we do not get things straight at the schools, then the paths or roads to success will continue to have a crisscross of paths or cross roads leading to the commission of serious crimes, drug abuse and long term incarceration.