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Teachers Passing Students (5th thing holding blacks back)

This quote goes back to John Ogbu’s study at the affluent and high-performing Shaker Heights High school in suburban Cleveland that we studied in the second thing holding back blacks, namely anti-intellectualism. Right after talking about the issues with students, he has a jab at the teachers for feeding into the mindset and culture of the students.

But in at least one important respect, Ogbu faulted the school system itself for the achievement gap. It turned out that teachers were passing students who did not perform at grade level. The practice was widespread, particularly in kindergarten through eighth grade, and well known among students. And the teachers who were setting lower standards for black kids had “good intentions,” he reported. But it had the effect of leading some black kids to believe that they were doing better in school than they really were. Other kids simply didn’t try as hard as they would have otherwise. When Ogbu asked students why their grades were poor, “they would say that they did not take their schoolwork seriously because they knew they were going to be passed into the ninth grade anyway.” Ogbu’s team of researchers also noted that in classes where most of the kids were black, teachers expected less of the students in terms of homework, even going so far as to de-emphasize its importance. Obviously, school officials aren’t responsible for the poor attitudes and lack of effort among black kids, but ignoring or indulging this isn’t going to help close the learning gap.”

Now, if there is anything that is racist on the surface, it is this. I mean wow, this is bad. This is a perfect example of soft bigotry racism. It tells students that they are dumb and inherently unable to do the same work. Think about how many people might be complicit in this, whether they all cooperate in it or not. You have all the elementary school teachers and all the middle school teachers doing this. No wonder their grades are not good. Let’s take my experience. There were two teachers per grade from kindergarten to third grade, so six teachers, three for both fourth and fifth grade, that is another six. So at least twelve teachers, not including art, music, and P.E. We are up at a minimum of fifteen teachers. Then sixth through eighth grade had seven teachers per grade, so twenty-one more teachers, not including extra classes, so let's round up to twenty-five. So in just one elementary school and one middle school, we have fifteen elementary plus twenty-five middle school teachers. So forty people all agreed that it was more honorable and best for these students to be passed, not based on merit but instead out of either pity or some sort of condescension.

The part that gets me the most is that the students know that they are being pity passed. It would be like an Asian mother coming to her sixth grader and telling him that she believed that they could get into Harvard and become a neurosurgeon, so he did not need to study or do homework. He would be able to get in on some other merit. To me, if there are any white people involved in passing these students, they should be ashamed of themselves. If there is any white person who should apologize, it should be these ones. This alone explains why most blacks graduate with only an 8th grade reading level while white students, on average, graduate with a 12th grade reading level. How are these kids ever supposed to overcome the anti-intellectual bias that their culture already has if they are being told for nine years straight, almost a decade, that they are not actually smart enough to pass their classes with good grades, let alone pass at all? To me, this is intellectual child abuse. If a parent was “homeschooling” their children but expected nothing, but for them to clock in by sitting at the desk for a couple of hours, that parent would not be schooling their children. In the same way, if kids are passed for nine years straight, it is not surprising when they finally graduate that they expect the rest of the adult world to treat them like they all have perpetual special needs.

Until this stops, blacks stand no chance of doing well in any STEM-based fields, even though there is a high demand going into the future. If we put the fathers back in the home, the students believe in self-development again, and yet this doesn’t change, then they are stuck in intellectual slavery by the very people who are supposed to be training them in the universal basics of education.

Tim Bankes II

Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” YouTube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, He even has a free digital ebook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish

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