Education Starts At Home

A recent Schott Foundation study showed the dismal state of high school education in the United States. The picture is extra pathetic when looking at the graduation rates of black American males.  I am not just embarrassed about the figures, I am completely ashamed.

From the Palm Beach Post article dated August 17, 2010:

“Graduation rates for the 2007-2008 school year

* Black males:

Palm Beach County: 22%

Florida: 37%

Nationwide: 47%

* White males:

Palm Beach County: 50%

Florida: 57%

Nationwide: 78%

Source: The Schott Foundation for Public Education”

After nearly two decades in New York City, I relocated to Florida to start several businesses and improve the quality of life for my family. Education was a consideration, as I knew the quality of education in Florida’s schools is sub-par compared to other areas of the country. However, I knew before my move that with my wife and I serving as role models to our son, he will see that education is important. I know my son will become highly educated. His options are: get his ass kicked by me, or get educated – it’s his choice.

The reasons for the poor educational record in Florida are many. However, education must start at home. Dysfunction at home is a precursor to dysfunction in school and in life. I cannot tell you how often I’ve been in the homes of people and observed more CDs, DVDs, and TVs than books. Many homes are complete with complex home theaters, but no library or books. In my house we call the TV, “the dumb box,” because the more you watch it, the dumber you get.

Hey, let’s get it together!!!! Education is important. The following is an excerpt of a poem I wrote and included in a previous blog post:

“On the Shoulders of the Souls of My Heroes”

I stand on the shoulders of the souls of the tens of millions of Africans who never had the opportunity to educate themselves.  It is because of the great Africans, many whose names are not known, and individual stories may never be told, that I strive to achieve despite the obstacles in my path. The deaths of my heroes from the middle passage bound in chains, through centuries of hardships would be in vain if I did not constantly educate myself, strive to achieve, help others, and make the world a better place.“

-Gregory Holland Collier

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