copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
In California, students are crushed by the weight of exit exams. Some feel defeated. After numerous failures on test after test, pupils presume, rather than make another attempt, it is best to just dropout. In 2006, 24,000 high school seniors dropped out, about 10,000 more than just four years earlier.
Â© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
Dearest Hillary . . .
Your speech at the First Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama moved me. The words, as written are glorious. I cried as I listened to the sentiments; "It matters." Yet, I am conflicted. The issues you mentioned are important. I trust you care for your countrymen and women. Those of color are no less significant to you than their white counterparts are. I believe you too work to defend the rights of the impoverished. Still, I struggle. I have done so for days. I meant to share my thoughts with you alone, for Hillary, you were the object of my renewed realization. However, finally, I recognized that I am not equating your contrary views to a personal biased bigotry. I am speaking to all Americans that think combat cures all or any ills. Thus, I publish this treatise, a letter to you, or perchance to all of us. I offer possibilities, probabilities that we all might wish to contemplate.
However rarely, do we discuss the situation in the schools. We dance around and dialogue some; we speak of students and state there is a need to promote success. At times, educators, and even the greater community consider the topics of "standards," "teaching to the test," and "accountability." Still, these issues stay on the periphery; those in power tie our purse strings. Thus, we capitulate; we yield to their unwitting wisdom. As sad as this may be, we do little or less to better the educational opportunities for our offspring. It may be sadder still that we house our healthy students in decomposing buildings.
I wrote of Darfur, Sudan, Rwanda and the world refuges a time ago. I offer World Refugee Day. What Does This Mean To U.S.? ©.
My own writing caused me to reflect on the homeless and harmed in America, This Could Be You! Homeless in America ©.
Since sharing my recent missives, my musings on Native Americans, I learned. Many of our countrymen feel no responsibility for what is, was, or will be as long as we choose not to care. I realize many citizens of this nation feel separate from the world around them. Few ponder the plight in their neighborhoods, their communities, their country, or throughout the world. Many barely know the families they live with.
In this season of giving, I offer a few options.
You may prefer to reach out beyond your shores. Perchance you yearn to help those at home. If nothing else you might want to peruse what the mainstream media thinks is above you, below you, or not within your heart.
I invite you to explore the world around you. After, you may wish to give yourself generously. Perhaps not; the choice is yours. I only present possibilities.
After screening this video you may wish to contribute to Save Darfur. For me, the Voices from Darfur are haunting. [Please view this Save Darfur Advertisement]. Save Darfur is striving to assist those that will help themselves once they are physically able. When they are strong, they will be empowered to attend to a political structure that now sacrifices their gentle souls.
As I read this information, I was reminded of a two-pronged topic that I think needs discussing, “Abundance and Scarcity.” Apparently, there is a belief amongst Americans, that there is only so much wealth to go around. We must divide what there is. Some will prosper and the others must suffer. I think this notion contrary, as does the natural world.
Mother nature does not deplete her resources; she regularly replenishes these. On occasion, there are circumstances that seem contrary. Droughts, a horde of locust, or a spontaneous fire might reduce the wealth within the ecosystem temporarily. However, these occurrences serve to protect nature. They restore the environment. Nature returns to its balance. Only man makes long-term deficits, imbalances. While shortage need not be, man continues to actively create these. Please consider the passage of a convoluted Bill that boosts the minimum wage while leaving low-wage workers with less.
Some readers were ready to read my underlying message, others glossed over it. People responded; yet, they did not. I realize it is easier to see what is external to our selves. Looking at our own “stuff” can be far more stressful than dissecting what is happening to others. Nevertheless, I think we must discuss what is occurring in our own backyards.
There are millions of homeless persons in American.
Currently, there are fifteen to twenty million refugees. There may be more. There are millions of persons without a home, a community, a family, or any real belongings. These individuals have experienced violence that few of us in the can imagine. We sit in our safe havens, and occasionally, we watch the misery on television. We read of their lives, and the plight these people suffer. At times, some American citizens acknowledge that the refugees have lost their homes and their health. Their existence has been threatened. We know something; yet, we understand little. Our lives in the U.S. are so separate from those that were banished from their homeland. It is beyond sad.
As I reflect on the homeless in distant lands, I remember, there are those here in the United States that are also without permanent shelter.
The results were announced; Florida students overwhelmingly failed the science portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test [FCAT]. More than two thirds of the population tested below grade level. Science instructors are looking at the recent test results as an opportunity. They have a chance to improve their curriculum. The Science studies departments are planning more hands-on instruction. They intend to attend seminars on how to best prepare students in the summer.
J.P. Keener, the supervisor of secondary science education for Broward County promotes the positive. This official says, ‘‘we're in a good position to line everything up to attack this exam seriously.” Then, the administrator adds, “Now, the last part is the kids, and that's the unpredictable part.''