President Obama has signed an executive order. He has set up a new bureaucracy. This bureaucracy plans to make inner-city education so good that whites will move back.
You remain skeptical? O, ye of little faith!
This executive order has this goal: to give black children top-flight public education, which means non-flight education. Blacks who have been able to get out of inner-city school districts have been fleeing for several decades. This is what the President is trying to stop.
There is a problem with his plan: public education. It has been declining visibly for approximately 100 years, give or take a decade. The decline has sped up over the last 50 years.
For blacks, the decline has been a disaster. The inner-city schools have been deliberately dumbed down as policy. Thomas Sowell has written on several occasions about the all-black high school in Washington, D.C.: Dunbar High School. From 1870 to 1955, it provided education as good as any white district’s program. (It was surely better than mine, 1955-59.) It taught Latin. It taught advanced courses in science. Its students went to college. Ralph Bunche was one of its graduates. It was deliberately dumbed down half a century ago as a matter of district policy.
President Obama intends to smarten up the inner-city schools. How will he do this? With a new bureaucracy.
His executive order is a litany on the failure of tax-funded education in America. It’s hard to fault him on this. The problem is this: the federal government has been laying down the law to school districts for 40 years. The schools have gotten worse. Dr. Charles Sykes’ book has it right: Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves, But Can’t Read, Write, or Add.
Candidate Ronald Reagan vowed to shut down the Department of Education. Its budget went up ever year he was in office.
Obama’s executive order is nothing short of messianic. It proposes to achieve the following.
(1) The Initiative will help to restore the United States to its role as the global leader in education; strengthen the Nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and help ensure that African Americans receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a satisfying career, and productive citizenship. . . .
(4) In working to fulfill its mission and objectives, the Initiative shall, consistent with applicable law:
(i) identify evidence-based best practices that can provide African American students a rigorous and well-rounded education in safe and healthy environments, as well as access to support services, which will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation;
(ii) develop a national network of individuals, organizations, and communities to share and implement best practices related to the education of African Americans, including those identified as most at risk;
(iii) help ensure that Federal programs and initiatives administered by the Department and other agencies are serving and meeting the educational needs of African Americans, including by encouraging agencies to incorporate best practices into appropriate discretionary programs where permitted by law;
(iv) work closely with the Executive Office of the President on key Administration priorities related to the education of African Americans;
(v) increase the participation of the African American community, including institutions that serve that community, in the Department’s programs and in education-related programs at other agencies;
(vi) advise the officials of the Department and other agencies on issues related to the educational attainment of African Americans;
(vii) advise the Secretary on the development, implementation, and coordination of educational programs and initiatives at the Department and other agencies that are designed to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and
(viii) encourage and develop partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit stakeholders to improve African Americans’ readiness for school, college, and career, as well as their college persistence and completion. . . .
And how will his executive order achieve all this? By providing lots of jobs in Washington!
(c) Interagency Working Group.
(1) There is established the Federal Interagency Working Group on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Working Group), which shall be convened and chaired by the Initiative’s Executive Director and that shall support the efforts of the Initiative described in subsection (b) of this section.
(2) The Working Group shall consist of senior officials from the Department, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and such additional agencies and offices as the President may subsequently designate. Senior officials shall be designated by the heads of their respective agencies and offices.
(3) The Initiative’s Executive Director may establish subgroups of the Working Group to focus on different aspects of the educational system (such as early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education (including HBCUs and PBIs), career and technical education, adult education, or correctional education and reengagement) or educational challenges facing particular populations of African Americans (such as young men, disconnected or out-of-school youth, individuals with disabilities, children identified as gifted and talented, single-parent households, or adults already in the workforce).
(d) Administration. The Department shall provide funding and administrative support for the Initiative and the Working Group, to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. To the extent permitted by law, other agencies and offices represented on the Working Group may detail personnel to the Initiative, to assist the Department in meeting the objectives of this order.
I can see the progress! I can see the SAT scores rising! I can see hope restored in inner cities!
And all this from a man who never spent a day in an American tax-funded school.
Only in America!