Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Panel on Disaffection of Black Youths Airs Concerns, Ideas

Panel on Disaffection of Black Youths Airs Concerns, Ideas - Washington Post

The disaffection of Black youth, and Black males in particular, is steadily gaining attention, but with much less of the dissection required to lead us to solutions. There are at least two parts to solving this problem that if not recognized, significantly increase the difficulty of finding and implementing answers.

The first problem is tactical and about rehabilitating those young people who are currently in or out of school, but disenfranchised from realizing productive lives. The second problem is strategic and about how to change our programs of instructing and parenting, such that the factors leading to disenfranchisement are eliminated, before they take root.

The tactical problem is what to do with hundreds of thousands of Black youth who lack the education, skills, and attitudes to become productive members of their society. For them, criminal behaviors are too easily the only ‘opportunity’ they have to experience their dreams. These kids must be re-socialized and educated to a vocational minimum that makes them employment-worthy, at a level where they can feel good about, and legally support, themselves.

What is required is a government ‘continuation’ training program, or corps, that remediates youth the way the pre-high-technology military once did for marginal high school age boys with limited means of advancement. Youth could enlist voluntarily or with ‘encouragement’ from the same system that stands ready to incarcerate them, at significant yearly cost, for their behaviors. Remediation would include the three ‘R’s’, reading, writing, and arithmetic, but with critical thinking development, the ‘glue’ that was lacking on the first go around.

The strategic problem is what to change in our schools and parenting approaches that will make a difference for kids just starting out. Critical thinking must be added to our curriculums from the earliest point of instruction. Parents must be re-trained and supported as critical thinkers as well, to enhance their ability to practice and impart the science of making good choices in life.

The issues of disaffected youth are daunting, assuring that any solutions will not come easy or at a discount. Doing nothing, or pretending to do something, only results in more disaffection and all the resulting familiar social and economic costs.

James C. Collier

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1 comment:

mark said...

" What is required is a government ‘continuation’ training program, or corps, that remediates youth the way the pre-high-technology military once did for marginal high school age boys with limited means of advancement. Youth could enlist voluntarily or with ‘encouragement’ from the same system that stands ready to incarcerate them, at significant yearly cost, for their behaviors. Remediation would include the three ‘R’s’, reading, writing, and arithmetic, but with critical thinking development, the ‘glue’ that was lacking on the first go around."

mark bey: Yo James this is an excellent post, I agree with you totally and I have argued for similar initiatives myself.

I have got some ideas for some of these initiatives that wont cost the goverment any more than it is already spending.