Race baiting by several Telegraph (Macon) columnists seems to be on the rise. Faulty arguments and misleading information are being propounded about alleged discrimination and segregation in the Bibb County School System to sow dissension in the Middle Georgia community. This fabricated but politically motivated animosity, instead of bringing the community together, is causing dissension and hurting the very “minority and disadvantaged” children they claim to speak for.
The title of the recent article by Leroy Mack, “Bibb’s schools: Separate but not equal,” is needlessly inflammatory, and the narrative that follows is more of the same and contains misleading information to force through a point of view that is more tendentious than constructive. His essay is based in part on a previous article in the Telegraph that the author did not cite and which he chose to cherry pick in his statistics. The data Mr. Mack chose to cite for the 2016 Bibb County public school system, contrary to what he wrote, is not “in stark contrast to 20 years ago.” In fact, the difference in black and white student enrollment in those 20 years is relatively small and some of it can be accounted, as the initial article stated, because of the changes in the Macon-Bibb population at large: While the black population is increasing, the white population has been decreasing over the years. The facts are that demographics in the United States are changing and white population is decreasing while minority populations are increasing, and the public school systems nationally are reflecting that reality.
Changes in enrollment are also taking place because more families are exercising their free choice of either homeschooling or placing their children in private schools in search of better and safer education for their children. Some private schools are even enticing poor students and minority enrollment by participating voluntarily in the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program. But there is a caveat for receiving such scholarships; the children must be able to meet scholastic requirements at the private school they wish to attend. Last year (2016) 44% of Goal scholarship awards were given to minority recipients and 50% were awarded to children whose families had an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $24,000.
The truth is black and Hispanic families have the same free choice to educate their children at homeschooling or sending their children to the different options of the public schools, including charter schools and cyber academies, or private school. Democrats and other progressive politicians seem to forget that our nation was founded on liberty and freedom of choice, not authoritarian government compulsion. Discrimination and legal segregation as took place in the wicked system of the 1950s and early 1960s, have been righteously dumped in the dustbin of history. If Mr. Mack could prove that the Academy for Classical Education (ACE) has a discriminatory policy based on race or ethnicity, then I would agree that some punitive action should be taken. Orchestrated school segregation based on race or ethnicity is not only immoral but also illegal. We would have expected Mr. Mack to provide a modicum of evidence for such orchestrated segregation, which he characterizes as “separate but not equal,” but he provided not an iota of evidence, only the venting of anger and hostility to anyone who listens.
If school segregation in Bibb County, then, is on the rise, it is by choice and perhaps inattention of some parents who haven’t done their homework in finding for their children the best schools available to them. Mr. Mack’s article implies there is some conspiracy by parents or the school system to segregate the children by racial or ethnic discrimination. That insinuation is wrong, misplaced, and irresponsible. Continually telling black children they cannot succeed because the system is stacked against them, does not benefit them but hinders them in their ability to achieve a good education and reach their full human potential. Is Mr. Mack implying that the government needs to exercise compulsion to achieve equal racial enrollment in all public schools? He will probably deny his compulsory intention, even though in reality that is where he is heading in a disingenuous and roundabout way. Or is Mr. Mack simply upset because a family member was not able to attain admission to ACE, not because of racial, ethnic discrimination or financial need, but because of the scholastic rules or the lottery aspect of that system?
Mr. Mack goes on to further lambast the system: “Charter schools like ACE are ‘white flight academies’ because they are simply ways for middle class populations to create a publicly financed private school, which I believe is morally and ethically problematic.” I disagree. Middle class citizens are part of the population, and they are paying the lion’s share of property and income taxes. They deserve to receive some of their money back in educating their children via vouches or charter schools, like anybody else. Mr. Mack seems to be using false logic when he demands that the “ACE come up with a weighted system that allows poor and disadvantage minority students better access to ACE.” What is impeding parents of those children from entering ACE within the objective rules already in place? Does he want to make it obligatory for some of those children to be forced into certain schools by government fiat or quotas, regardless of scholastic achievement or lottery regulations? Until parents of students, minority or otherwise, begin to take personal responsibility for their children’s education, this segregation based on freedom of choice may continue. Creating an adversarial environment for our children via race baiting is counterproductive, irresponsible and detrimental to “the poor and disadvantaged minority children” that Mr. Mack thinks he is championing. Parents need to do their part to help the teachers, as well as to pick the schools that best fit their children.
All that Mr. Mack and some of the other race baiting writers have been doing is fostering racial animosity and attempting to create racial strife — only because white, black, and Hispanic families are voluntarily exercising their right to place their children in the public school systems of their choice. Some parents have been relinquishing that responsibility totally to the government. Others have been inattentive to their children’s mediocre scholastic performance so that their children have no chance of participating, for example, in the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program. Therefore, a better topic for Mr. Mack’s essay would have been providing information to parents of the “poor, disadvantage and minority” students in how they can best pursue a better education for their children by actively researching and also paying attention to what is available in terms of charter schools, such as ACE, or even better in my opinion, in Georgia’s cyber academies.
Besides charter schools like ACE, there is another charter school option for families in Georgia. I refer to cyber academies, such as Georgia Virtual School, Georgia Cyber Academy, and Georgia Connection Academy. We have personally found Georgia Cyber Academy to be an excellent school that helped propel our last child to do successful academic work in college. Parents who are very much interested in the education of their children and are willing to go the extra mile should look into these cyber academies. They are considered part of the public school system as a tuition-free, online alternative to homeschooling. They are more than deserving of the amount of their share of public education funds. They are open to all Georgia children who apply. The student works at home during the day, attending classes online, completing assignments, and studying. All books and supplies, including a computer if the child does not own one or cannot afford one, are provided for them. School materials, textbooks, and computers are mailed to the student’s home address via UPS, and return packaging and a postage paid return receipt is enclosed for use at the end of the school year. The only item a parent must provide is reliable internet connection. Since so many people are streaming movies online, they already have a reliable internet connection and can afford this minimal expense. Let’s be constructive, not needlessly disruptive and divisive; our children are too important to be used in personal or political agendas.
Written by Dr. Miguel Faria
Miguel A. Faria, M.D. is a retired clinical professor of neurosurgery and long time medical editor. He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is https://HaciendaPublishing.com.
This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Good education requires parental responsibility. HaciendaPublishing.com, May 17, 2017. Available from: https://haciendapublishing.com/good-education-requires-parental-responsibility-by-miguel-a-faria-md
Copyright ©2017 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.
3 thoughts on “Good education requires parental responsibility by Miguel A. Faria, MD”
I advise my friends to read, as you all know, but it is even more important to assist our children in their education, teaching and encouraging them to read and appreciate learning! A few years ago I had a conversation with a friend about this that may be of interest to my fb friends as well:
Homeschooling is the best alternative in education options, even better than private schools. And if you cannot do that, then supplement your children’s education at home (I did) and neutralize the PC indoctrination they get in school. Additionally, our children underwent summer school with me and my wife — physics, Western culture, creative writing, math, geography, history, and reading. Years later they all attended college with scholarships.
We were fortunate because a program in Georgia helped tremendously with homeschooling. Our children initially went to public or private schools. At one school, the teachers were so politically correct, we met with the principal about it as well as because of their requirement for mandatory community service. They had many PC and liberal concepts and that school was not affiliated with any religion. We eventually took our children out of that school.
At a second private school, our youngest child became distracted and the teachers inattentive. Our daughter was miserable and insisted we remove her from that school as well. Since we live in the country, we didn’t have a lot of choices, and we didn’t want to send her to a public school.
While doing research on homeschooling, we found a well hidden and superb alternative, K12, cyber academy. It is almost a closely guarded secret because the various state departments of education want to keep it under wraps. Few people know about this, and the public school system has been extremely opposed to this Charter School alternative in Georgia. In addition, the K12 program was developed by Bill Bennett, who you will recall was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Education. In fact, it is a win-win situation because it is accredited by the public school systems in the states, while it is the most conservative and best academic program we could find. So with K-12 cyber academy you get the best of both worlds — and it is homeschooling approved by the Georgia education system.
The public education system hates this program because each student that enrolls means that an amount of money is subtracted from their coffer and placed in cyber academy funds instead. A few years ago, we had a great battle which we won in the state legislature, and the cyber academy K12 charter school survived with renewed impetus.
Our youngest daughter did extremely well. She finished high school still part of the cyber academy via homeschooling. She also participated in dual enrollment at Georgia College and State University (GCSU), taking all courses on campus. She received full academic credit both in high school cyber academy K-12 as well as college credit! She went on to graduate cum laude from college and today is doing well working in NYC! I hope Georgia cyber academy K-12 is still available.
The bottom line is that if parents do not home-school their children, then they must follow their curriculum and education closely and supplement the child’s education at home, as we did, to neutralize the PC indoctrination and correct the bias and/or incorrect information they receive in school. Children should learn how to think, not what to think, in order to prevent their enslavement and becoming automatons.
Very informative articles, Dr. Faria. Thank you.
Children should be taught not only the basic academic subjects but also instructed in civics, the constitutional principles of government, and the meaning of liberty. Simply restated, education is important and should also serve the purpose of supporting constitutional governance that teaches the price of freedom and the benefits of attaining and preserving individual liberty.
Instruct not only your own children but your neighbors’ and those of your extended family. Supplement your children’s education at home (I did), after school and every summer. Not only supplement their education but also neutralize the PC indoctrination they get in school. My books can help! My last books especially, Cuba in Revolution Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002) and America, Guns, and Freedom (2919). Have you bought and read your copies yet? If you are a long time FB friend, active at my timeline, and can not afford my book, let me know and I’ll send you of one of copies at my expense! But Get a copy, read it, learn, teach your children, history and civics — and combat the disinformation and indoctrination they are getting from the popular culture and the government schools! Home school as I did with my last child. They completed college and all got scholarships — and were immunized against indoctrination!— Dr. Miguel A. Faria.