By: Bobby E. Mills, PhD
Life is about priority setting. Priorities are values, and values are about importance ordering. Educational development for children should be top priority, because of 21st century technological advances, technical skill employment requirements and the developmental consequences. We must follow the scientific community’s advice regarding COVID-19. However, regarding the educational development of children and WI-FI access, we must immediately continue to provide our children with a quality education in their homes and community-based computer centers; even though they can never replace quality teachers. It is a moral imperative that we correct the educational deficiencies in the Black community. In fact, it is of the utmost necessity that our children have access to computers and WI-FI connectivity, as well as a quality, community-oriented newspapers to fully keep individuals informed. No doubt about it, obtaining a quality education is of the utmost importance, because obtaining a quality education is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st century.
For almost 20 years, Bridging the Digital Divide (BDD), a non-profit (501 C-3) organization has been installing educational Computer Labs in churches, low-income apartment complexes, City of Houston Parks/Recreation Facilities, and child development centers. HISD, under the State’s new evaluation system for school districts, recently received low grades on key educational domains. Fourteen schools received “F’s” on all domains, and 78 schools received “D’s” and “F’s” on all domains. Overall, HISD earned a “C” for student achievement on the STARR test. HISD is petrified by TEA’s letter evaluation grading system. Some educators argue that the new letter grading system relies too heavily on standardized tests. Yet, most teachers teach the test, rather than teaching children how to listen to learn, and learn how to analytically think. Children who come from urban environments need to be taught: (a) reading skills through “PHONICS” (b) mathematical skills by learning their “TIME-TABLES” (3) writing skills through REPETITION, REPETITION and more REPETITION.
Our children need spiritual-moral-instructional development in their homes, churches, schools and everyday social environments. BDD has developed a computerized educational system geared toward teaching children how to read/comprehend, mathematical computation skills, writing skills, and Black self-awareness based upon the historical achievements/contributions of Blacks to American society. The only weapons that the Black community has against White Privilege (INSTITUTIONAL-RACISM) are the BIBLE and the spiritual-moral-development of our minds toward heavenly things.
Therefore, if Blacks desire life and life more abundantly, we must: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Philippians 2: 5-6). There is joy in serving! Selah!