Letters: Why are black students failing? - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letters: Why are black students failing?

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Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 3:45 am



Last week there was a letter to the editor regarding the NAACP. After reading it, another topic came up and I looked up the Arizona Educational Achievement Ratings by racial/ethnic (Hispanic is not a race, fellow Chicanos... it's an ethnicity) breakdowns. It was shocking to me. I grew up smack-dab in the middle of the South-Central Los Angeles ghetto (L.A.P.D.'s 77th Street precinct), a block away from where the Watts riots started.

Back in the 1950s and up until about 1963, the black kids who I went to school with at Edison Junior High and J.C. Fremont High School students were better educated than they are today. The 2010 Arizona Achievement Ratings show black students in 4th grade below "basic" knowledge scores at 41 percent in math, and 48 percent in reading. By the time black students reach the 8th grade their score in math has gone up one percentage point to 42 percent below basic knowledge, and in reading it has improved only slightly to 42 percent. Hispanic basic knowledge scores are the same or worse.

Can you blame not having the right to vote, not having the right to serve in the military, being denied admittance into higher education because of skin color, being restricted by job quotas or not being allowed to buy a home or rent an apartment? The answer is "no." There is a black U.S. president, first lady and first family in the White House. Blacks sit on the Supreme Court, and were four-star generals. So why are today's young blacks failing in schools?

Leon Ceniceros, Mesa



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