A lot of parents tie their hopes to their children's athletics. No one makes these kids sign for college except the parents, the legal guardians. However, you can say that an 18-year-old is legally an adult in the NCAA's and the ruling jurisdiction's eyes. If so, then the the kids are responsible for their choice to accept the terms of the contract.
Only when an alternative, for example, the professional leagues, diverts these kids away from big-time college athletics will it change. It's a farm system promoted by consumers of the sport, and all are consumers from those who sign to play, buy tickets, buy and sell media.
Baseball, for example, has a real farm system. The NFL has the NCAA. The consumers love it, and some dreams come true when the extreme minority of college players earn great wealth as pros. Imperfect, opportunistic, profiteering, tribal, pragmatic, often ugly. Turn the NCAA into "club teams" of non-enrolled students at the highest level of competition, and Div. III (Rhodes) becomes college football like it should be.
The park could be renamed "Union Park" as it both resides on Union Avenue and it could acknowledge the Union's victory over the Confederates with the addition of multiple statues, plaques, and appropriate memorialization of the Civil War. NBF's statue would therefore remain in this scenario as it would be part of a larger context.
The north side of the block could be the North's side, literally and figuratively. It could house multiple Pro-Union monuments from the Underground Railroad to the acknowledgment that U.S. Grant was stationed in Memphis following the Battle of Memphis in 1862. That's when Memphis switched flags, going from Confederate control to Union occupation in relatively short order.
Surrounding NBF on the South's side could be a proper memorial to the Battle of Memphis with the addition of memorials to the most significant West Tennessee battles.
In total, Union Park could be home to a regional memorial chronicling the Mid-South's and the Western Theater's roll in the Civil War remaking the controversial downtown location into a viable tourist attraction, one telling the whole story, a story culminating in Union preservation, abolition of slavery, and the reconstruction of the embattled South. Such an endeavor compliments existing cultural icons of our area's rich and oftentimes troubling history, and it tells a complete story as a public park for all citizens while driving needed tourism dollars here.
Second point, with regard to your previous position against private school vouchers designed to provide opportunity, if legalized, for public school children, you stated that public school employment would be threatened as a result. Your priority unapologetically supported African American public sector employment over quality of children's education, public or private. Well, that mindset has not worked out for the most vulnerable among us. I do not see it written that municipal jobs are sequestered for minority employment. Did I miss that in the city, county, or state charter? Tell the children whose TCAP scores read "basic" or "proficient." You'll have to tell them because, sadly, those TCAP designations are inflated, and "basic" borders on "illlierate"...and it's a crime! Jobs security prioritized over children's foundational learning and grade-level mastery is evil.
You could be correct that some public school-related jobs may become threatened under vouchers given positive competition to the government school monopoly, and if so, former public school employees (teachers) would be free to apply for new private sector jobs, jobs that have no ready employees available. The best teachers should be rewarded with this opportunity, and the majority of these employees would be African American. The children served by this would have freedom of choice like never before. These children will be AA. These schools would largely be AA-supported by neighborhood and regional churches, the faculty being veteran public school teachers, free now to teach more in line with their values in coordination with national standards.
Overnight neighborhoods could be improved with the new school entity offering everyone involved a fresh start, an entrepreneurial accelerator supporting kids, employing cafeteria, maintenance, custodial, administrative, and security staff. These are middle class jobs, primed by vouchers, growth opportunities now seeking private philanthropy. Property values would rise. It's an American opportunity, a public/private partnership.
Remember, private LeMoyne-Owen College received public dollars in order to stay operational. The private Salvation Army receives public dollars. Citizens' tax dollars being returned in the form supporting private enterprise or private vouchers has precedence and could enhance and promote many African-American lives.
In short, if the family structure is a primary predictor of an individual’s life chances, and if family disintegration is the principal cause of the transmission of poverty and despair in the black community over the last 50 years, then family integration will stabilize the institution and offer children hope.
For once and for all, we must reach out and “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Walking on eggshells out of fear or guilt, being angry at the sins of the past, or throwing money at a problem that only the heart can solve must end. Dean Kalahar
Keep Fuente and his staff's momentum = Big 12 invitation. Should be top 3 on the Chairman's Circle list of civic "Moon Missions."
Well, let's see:
"Truly accredited private schools will not accept less than full tuition from the state."
Again, an unsubstantiated generalization, but I'm acquiring a taste for your methods.
Private schools are like businesses, varied by mission/purpose, cost, clientele, program, facilities. Most are not-for-profit, but some are proprietary and owned by an individual. Some are home school associations operating as a sort of co-op. What they share is that they have both legal authority and selfish motivation to operate. They are varied in philosophy and practice with regard to pedagogy and curriculum. Some are independently chartered, some private and owned by churches or synagogues or other faith-based nonprofit organizations. States require each be to accredited by a select group of region/national accreditation houses in order to satisfy state education law requiring its young citizens to be enrolled into school.
The point is, there are many different kinds of of these schools. Historically, the USA reports about 10% of its secondary students (high, middle, elementary) enrolled in private schools. The overwhelming majority of these schools operate on a strong majority of annual tuition if not exclusively. Very few operate on significant endowment income that annually offsets operational expenses, just like the select wealthier private colleges who benefit from the magic of compounded interest over the decades while regularly soliciting additional financial support, and who still charge tuition.
Some private schools locally, just like private schools nationally and internationally, benefit from a myriad of scholarships established exclusively to fulfill the restricted criteria of the donors' benevolence. Minority scholarships, need-based financial aid, and academic scholarships are the most popular. Athletic scholarships are illegal in accordance with state athletic associations. In Memphis, numerous foundations and trusts distribute millions in tuition education dollars.
Why? Because the district schools (who annually receive adequate per-pupal funding for what can sustain a private school student if the strong majority of said dollars are allocated to the classroom instruction) are overwhelmed, underserved, and sadly dysfunctional given the accumulated morass of their gargantuan, self-serving monopoly. More, the complex social systems associated with multi-generational poverty and female-led homes from which these children emerge and to where they return each night is too much for the government to handle.
Donors know that a nimble, faith-based private school can be held particularly accountable, and, in addition, has motivation and abilities and liberty to make a strategic, family-centric impact in accordance with the abilities and needs of each student as the student aligns with the school mission. It's not perfect, but it is a significant improvement over the monolithic alternative. It's almost incomparable. That's why vouchers are needed to follow these students who want the freedom to choose for themselves an appropriate private school.
in any number of schools, one student could represent numerous scholarship dollars supporting him/her from from varied sources, including his own money, in order to fulfill the annual tuition expense.
Therefore, if a state voucher came to a private school, assuming the Establishment Clause brouhaha is settled, that voucher's impact could range from covering 100% of the tuition price up to any portion, depending on the tuition.
Again, private schools are each a separate financial entity with an individualized budget. Money is green. Budgets are tight. Staffing and programs are expensive. A private school receives no government funding except in the rare case of Federal free and reduced lunch benefits for enrolling the needed percentage of poor needed to qualify for such funds…and most private schools who do receive these funds are Christian schools. So, here is a clear example of government money already supporting religious schools, and there is no conflict with regard to the Establishment Clause because kids are being served and taught and therefore fed…by the Fed.
Memphis is home to numerous nonprofit private schools who could not operate w/o this benefit, and all of them would gladly accept whatever voucher dollars came their way b/c, as is, they operate from the benevolence of charitable funding. These schools can have $5 million annual budgets to more than twice that size. Enrollments can range from 250 students to over 1000. There is tremendous variety of mission, a diverse base of applicants, spirited alumni, and the city could benefit from many more of these schools given the sheer size of our urban poor population who currently have only the monopoly of the district schools as their option.
So, I believe that you are clearly a victim of your unfortunate ignorance, selective web searches, and continued naive generalizations. You should get out more, go see these schools and their children for yourself. You may like what you see, that is, if you are humble enough to allow yourself an open mind based upon the evidence your own research.
All Comments »
By Richard Alley
download this issue
click here to see more »