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If No Child Is Left Behind, Then What Are Our Churches Doing?
by Alvin C. Romer   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, March 21, 2010
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2005

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This is a Black social commentary essay relative to the problematic issue of better education options for children of color

This is a Black social commentary essay relative to the problematic issue of better education options for children of color, and I have something to say about it. The communities of the inner city are left to vie for every economical bone left from the in-fighting at city halls with not enough care being rendered to the younger generation. The village is dead and it cannot raise a child properly...the big mamas are in the clubs and you basically have children raising children. Are there any solutions for methods to the madness to render any vestiges of success? From corrupt to corrected is the order of the day. Should our churches be doing more to stem the angst and maladies that the young generation is going through today? If you agree, then read just a little further for my insight on the subject.

There’s no excuse for failing our children, and definitely none for them to continue falling behind in the academic and social strata for mobile achievement. Individually and collectively, there should be benchmarks that can readily show results from paradigms that allow success to be affordable and available. Our children are living in perilous times, and for the most part are not reaping the benefits afforded them in many areas of their livelihood. Adherence to cultures foreign to any religious right or spiritual order, they are lost and have succumbed to all things hip-hop, and flawed role model adulation. Public schools are insufficient, families torn asunder, and communities are disenfranchised. Families are under siege struggling to maintain semblances of order, and the digital divide alone has done more to hurt than help. Where achievement to excel is the exception rather than the norm, you’ll find compromised effort without conscious change for improvement. 

Moreover, comprehensive assessment testing more often than not are unfair in what they are desired to accomplished. Equal opportunity means that all playing fields are level, and that mandates dictating the Brown vs. board of education decision of 1954 are not exceeded exponentially, and not enough is being done privately and publicly in educating our kids the right way. The message I want to convey in this essay alludes to factors that I feel are necessary for our children to compete favorably and figuratively for better results, especially giving insight to how the clergy can be instrumental in any improvements. Churches are the last bastion and territory equipped to make inroads, spiritually if not conventionally. Most pastors buy into programs designed for improvement, but what are they doing and to what effect? Most have good intent, but lack infrastructure or spiritually led personnel to bring it to any modicum of success. I hearken back to the aforementioned landmark decision, which allowed the Supreme Court to rule, “When public education cannot deliver equal opportunity for every child, it must move to a new delivery system”. Now comes President Bush with his ‘No Child Left Behind’ program that that gives states, local cities, and towns mandates to achieve excellence in education. 

Time has proven, at least in the Black communities, that there’s not an adequate blueprint addressing maladies facing our children in our public or private schools. I can name quite a few problems hampering programs as it pertains to people of color. The No Child Left Behind mandate is a fallacy. For one, it’s not financed properly, many localities cannot meet the standards set because of budgetary restraints, and standardized testing solely for achievement is unfair without equal parity. Under these scenarios, the desired benchmark is inadequate where academic assistance, remedial training, and an orderly transitory modes are not in place for those who need it most. 

The church as a stepping stone for success 

I’ve always felt that not enough was being done where everybody is on the same page concerning making any pastor’s goal to make better choices for children a moot point. If and when options are met to meet these problems head on, the WHOLE church must be comprehensive and committed to foster proactive results, and that is making sure that all factions or ministries within the congregation are acting in a synergized way for cohesiveness, communication, and collaborative efforts to meld into unified efforts. Programming should embrace the idea of embellishing critical thinking, self-improving measures, and building confidence for a ‘can do’ process. Yes, the church is the cornerstone. Programs already in place earmarked for young ladies as well as boys can be separate in their won modus operandi, but reactivity must be initiated with a generic finality where everyone will be responsible for embracing, implementing, and enhancing ways of involving them to be independent, and have the wherewithal to let academics under any platform work to their advantage. 

Why should churches become involved? 

I’m concerned, as you should be. I want to be a difference maker in educating youths beyond status quo. This concern of mine alludes to the fact that I’ve always advocated a triumvirate of ideas that places all levels of success starting from self-efficacy, embodiment of home ethics, and involving the students’ communities for churches to instill tenets that gives instruction in a biblical sense. In my opinion, churches can do a lot. They have all that’s needed to save a society bent on destruction. Our youths are adhering wholeheartedly to mores outside of the church sanctum. I’ve dubbed the children of this age generically – ‘The Lost Generation.’ Church leaders the world over are chagrined and challenged to come up with solutions, and do it albeit, with “thus sayeth the Lord’ dictums firmly entrenched to help propel their greatest intent and God’s sure-fire plan. Suffice it to say, I’d like to make a stab at stemming the tide to lessen the impact aiding and abetting this form of mediocrity. I want to join my own church’s effort and be viable in producing gentlemen of distinction and sophisticated ladies. 

Solutions for a curriculum of inclusion 

I have a few things that I would like to employ for soluble solutions. My idea is simple. It embodies heavy parental responsibility, a communal concept, and an ecclesiastical approach for the church to be first and foremost in the ultimate scheme of behavioral reform. I mentioned earlier, that three pronged mindset involving self, family, and the community. Equal-part involvement where all three entities must work together for the betterment of the whole is essential to examine and extrapolate educational options, self-empowerment, and advancing the core mission of pastoral visionary efforts. We must get back to the ‘village concept’ where we make conscious effort to use a familial approach to focus on the family and adhere to a combined effort pooling resources and aids. The youth must be actively involved in church adjunct ministries. 

If commitment is a prerequisite to get to a desired point, then all of what has been given thus far must come to fruition. In Brown vs. board of education the highest court in the land held that when public education cannot deliver equal opportunity for every child, it must move to a new delivery system. Nothing in our constitution says public funding for education requires that it be delivered by the current construct. All citizens, including those in the housing projects and depressed neighborhoods deserve a quality education and churches should be instrumental for at least coming up with plans and programs to deliver it to every child. What is YOUR church doing to help? 

Web Site: The Romer Review

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Reviewed by Aberjhani 12/24/2005
A very thought-provoking and challenging article that many, especially parents, would do well to seriously meditate upon. Thanks for posting it.
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