Friday, December 14, 2007


Ours is a time when children are taught there are never any losers. Kids play on sports teams that do not keep score, others play on teams where the score always ends in a tie. The lesson that is learned is that you never lose, and you always will be equal to everyone else regardless of performance. It is a bad way to teach children as some of the greatest life lessons come through defeat and hard times. This child centered philosophy is not only for the young, it is an ideology that you can track all the way through their school years. Which brings us to an East Harlem high school principal who sent the following in a memo to teachers, from the wires;

"If you are not passing more than 65 percent of your students in a class, then you are not designing your expectations to meet their abilities, and you are setting your students up for failure, which, in turn, limits your success as a professional.Most of our students come from the lowest third percentile in academic achievement, have difficult home lives, and struggle with life in general. They DO NOT have a similar upbringing nor a similar school experience to our experiences growing up."

You can hear it in Principal Bennett Lieberman's words, expectations must meet abilities, in other words bring the bar down to meet the student, instead of teaching the student to reach the higher bar. It is what produces adults who cannot stay married, cannot hold a job, who live with an entitlement philosophy that they have learned from an early age. The good news is that some students were offended when they found out about the memo, again from the wires;

"That's not the way to pass," 12th grader Richard Palacios said. "That's not the way to get your education, so you're basically cheating yourself."

Good for Richard, he is sign that there is still hope. There are still children being raised to believe that hard work is what is needed in life, whether you are in school or are the principal of the school. A lesson that Richard could teach his principal, if the principal were willing to listen and work hard at changing. An interesting situation where the student is further along than the master!

blog you later,
pastor tom