Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.
Michael, this commentary is not being said in reaction to all of this hubbub about Larry Arnn and Governor Lee. I actually had this commentary ready last night based on some articles that I have read recently about education.
This is a story is from Newsmax, and the headline is: How to Really Be an Anti-Racist. And the answer is to teach black children to read. Now then the article goes on to talk about what a terrible job our current public school system is doing in teaching black children to read.
And so you have to ask the question if our system and I would ask this to the guest who was on here, and I would get the data, and I would hold it up.
And I think that probably in Davidson County and Shelby County, in particular, I would be willing, without even seeing the data, but seeing national data and listening to people talk about our school systems and has participated in our school system for 15 years, many years ago, but still, as a Junior Achievement volunteer, to bet that they would be ashamed of the data on how black children are performing in our government-run schools.
And I’m not going to talk about the magnet schools, because they’re the exception, they’re not the rule. But here’s the national data. The percentage of fourth-graders who are reading below the NAEP’s basic level, and by the way, the NAP’s basic level is not a high level.
It’s a pretty kind of a minimum standard. So all fourth graders, all fourth graders, 34 percent. Hispanic fourth-graders, 45 percent, and Black fourth-graders, 52 percent are below level.
Now, I’m not going to say because I didn’t hear the context of the whole statement, and I don’t know what the whole speech was about, but if the speech was generally about our failing government-run school systems, using the word dumb would apply to anyone who supports the current system because it is an abject failure.
Hold the numbers up. If they still defend it, they’re dumb. Okay? And that might include the guest who was on the show. I’m not defending Larry Arnn. I’m attacking the system and anyone who supports a system that fails. 52 percent of black fourth-graders, that’s national.
But, Michael, I hope your paper will take it upon itself to find out what the data is, particularly in Davidson County and Shelby County, because those are our two largest counties.
They have large black and Hispanic school children populations, and we ought to find out what that data is. And if people are enraged by what Larry Arne said, then they ought to stand up and be really enraged if the data locally is equal to the data nationally.
So that’s my commentary, and I’m laying down the gauntlet and hoping that your paper will find the facts. And then let’s have a conversation about whether or not our government-run school systems and that is what they need to be called.
They are run by the government whether or not those who support that system, if the data is terrible, are dumb, or if they’re just being paid to support something that’s indefensible.
Listen to the Crommentary:
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