View From Here
By David Mark Greaves
As we try to digest the angry violence too prevalent among our young people that exploded and took a man’s life on a city bus, let this image of recently-passed photographer Jim Belfon intent on instruction and working with young men such as student photographer Donovan Poole, right, be an example that lights part of the way out of the violent world too many young people are in. But additionally to paying personal attention, we have to understand that they can viscerally feel where they are in the world economy, and that’s on the bottom. And the facts buttress that opinion. CNN reported that in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (or PISA) — a leading survey of education systems conducted every three years by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of the world’s richest economies, the United States ranked 36th, and in that mediocre world ranking, where do the school districts in New York City fall? The web site www.schooldigger.com has provided the answer with a ranking of 694 school districts in New York State. The listing is in descending order and if you’re looking for local districts, other than Harlem Success Academy Charter schools with 4 of the top ten slots, it’s easier to start at the other end. Districts in the Bronx and Kings Counties have over 650 schools ahead of them out of the total of 694.
This means the education and social development we are leaving them with is putting them at the bottom of a mediocre barrel and they will never know the lives they could have lived if only people had cared and fought for them as militantly as our forebears did for us.