Monday, July 10, 2006

Plan for getting kids reading and writing on their correct grade level
I believe that if a woman signs up for Welfare, her kids should have to pass a reading, writing , ect test. If the mother cant read well enough to assist her children, there should be tutoring lessons available. These lessons would be given by tutors , volunteers, interns and staff. I would love to make this a military run or assisted group of programs. This is how it could work, when a woman signs up for welfare, she signs a contract stating that she will keep her children’s grades on average grade level for their age. This means she will enforce their homework policy, make sure they study, find and create study groups for her kids . They will be regularly tested to ensure that they are functioning on grade level. There are already programs of this sort being run by the government, schools, churches, recreation centers. Ect. So some of these programs could be melded, recreated, expanded ect. A woman who signs up for welfare would have a bonus taxed on her check that is collected into a bonus to equal $ 1000 dollars.

Job Training/Entrepreneurial program
Once youth are in high school maybe we could set up youth core programs that would train youth on the skills and acceptable ways to conduct oneself at work. We could also teach them Entrepreneurial skills. For example DC has a large tourism population. Why not set up youth run jobs such as tours of dc historic neighborhoods, youth ran lawn care services and clean services for the city. Especially the rivers and wild areas. We could also set up arts programs for musically and dance talented youth , the youth could stage shows and performances , sell tickets and learn business skills.

Manhattan Project type effort to find a cure for aids.
Their have been several times when the nation has pulled together in a group effort for the common good and interest of the nation. The nation should do this and find a cure for aids. In the early 1940’s the US government created the Manhattan project to develop a nuclear bomb for the nation. It had been widely understood that Nuclear Energy could be used to create the most power weapon in the history of the world. So with that in mind the US government brought together the best scientific minds in the field, in and effort to beat the Germans. After bombing Germany’s heavy water and Nuclear bomb plant the Americans finally succeeded in creating the bomb, in time enough to use . After dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Japanese surrendered thus ending WW2. Also in the early 1960’s President Kennedy proclaimed that America should make it a priority to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and the American space program made it happen. I say we can same do the thing, when it comes to finding a cure for aids. We get together the best thinkers and scientist in the Field. Have them meditate (think tank) on it, create a program and then get to work finding a cure. We set up massive concerts such as freedom fest and Live Aid (especially featuring the black celebrities we have) to raise money for a Manhattan type of program to discover a cure for aids. Also people with aids should be able to have up to $500.00 dollars of their taxes differed to this effort. This project should make it a goal to find a cure within the next 10 years. We could try to get Bill Gates to add his muscle to this program.

I look forward to any comments or ideas anyone may have. Mark Bey


Sherril said...

Hi Mark,
First I'd like to agree with Cynthia about the difficulty in reading your posts, especially the red on black. It must be my aging eyes, but I have a little difficulty with the black background in general, but when the font is bright, like white or bright blue, that works better for me.

Now onto more important things. I am not sure that I believe welfare should be contingent on anything, except trying to find work if at all possible. I have some other ideas of my own regarding education. We live in perhaps the most Capitalistic society in the world, for better and for worse. One thing is certain regarding today's youth. Money rocks! I believe for many people money is the biggest motivator of all. I think if the government wants to see progress in schools where the kids are failing, money should be used as a motivator. My daughter teaches math in a NYC High School, Washington Irving. One of the biggest problems she has teaching is that many of the kids miss as many days as they come, maybe more. Or they come two days and then are out three. To learn anything, but especially math, attendance on a fairly regular basis is crucial since the concepts build on each other. So,my plan would go something like this. For every day the student attends school he/she receives some kind of compensation, a dollar a day, 2, 3, whatever works and is reasonable. Then for every A he/she gets on the report card he/she gets, say $10 or 20 and the B is a few bucks less, C is less, D is less and E get nothing. Then there can be bonuses for different things like mentoring other students, perfect attendance, etc. The idea is that the rewards are tangible and the end result is that the kids get a valid education. In schools where college is in the picture for a lot of kids, the money can go into a college bank. There are many possibilities. Now, I know my critics would say that this is appealing to the lowest instincts, but with that I would disagree. In the world outside of school money is the compensation for the work we do. I think eventually if the students started doing better and the schools improved, the money motivator would become less necessary. Education should be and ultimately is its own reward. But until more kids experience the rewards from education and it becomes the norm in the culture, money can be an interim substitute.

I have a feeling this may get some negative reviews, but I put it out there for serious thought.
PS, Mark, I have responded to your comments on my myriad of musings, so please come back.

Cynthia said...

Plan for getting kids reading and writing on their correct grade level

I would also include making sure kids get a balanced breakfast. In Chicago, many parents are sending their kids to school on cheetos, chips, pops etc. Instead of pouring money into programs that are already here, I would investigate why kids can’t read compared to kids in the 60’s & 70’s. Something is up.

Job Training/Entrepreneurial program

As far as job training, all of the jobs that doesn’t require education that pays are going overseas. I believe kids are being undereducated so that they can fill the lower paying service jobs. Afterall, someone must fill those jobs.

I like your entrepreneurial scenario. If people are going to make it, they are going to have to be creative.

Manhattan Project type effort to find a cure for aids.

It’s a well known fact that HIV has never been identified. You can’t find a cure for something that has never been found. If you’re interested in what I have to say about this, I’ve talked extensively about this.

kactus said...

Mark, I have to quibble with you about the welfare/reading thing. Where are mamas supposed to find the time to fit in this extra shift of teaching on top of satisfying welfare work requirements? I agree 100% that homework and schoolwork are extremely important for children, but to put it all on the mama's shoulders and then punish her for not being able to keep up is the last thing we moms in poverty need.

Moms in poverty already get punished if our children are truant from school; punished if we miss work for school meetings; punished if we miss work because our children are sick; punished if we miss work because of family needs that can't be dealt with except for first-hand by a mama who's there, instead of at her welfare work assignment.

And if education is so important, why is it that welfare doesn't think it's important enough for grown women who would dearly love to go to college so that they never have to go on welfare again? If a woman tries to go to college she is punished by the welfare all over again because she's supposed to also, still, fulfill her welfare work requirements.

And by punishment I'm not talking about a slap on the wrist. Sanctioning of a family's welfare payments doesn't teach the mama to be responsible (especially since it assumes that the mama is being irresponsible in the first place); instead it makes the entire family suffer because of the loss of income. And poor stressed-out mom is still supposed to be a schoolteacher and make sure her children's grades keep up? This is highly unrealistic.

I'm not even going to go into how problematic this idea is when it comes to teenagers. I just finished raising one teenager who did everything in her power to drive me crazy, all the while ducking schoolwork, school, housework, chores, and anything else that could have kept me sane. To expect me to be punished because my child was a rotten person is ridiculous.

I didn't intend to write an essay here, but I'd also like to point out that the people who are getting over on welfare aren't the poor people who need it. It's the welfare agencies and poverty pimps and non-profits who get billions of dollars in federal money just to punish and sanction families in poverty. For a break-down of the true cost of welfare, you should read this post on my site:

kactus (who's usually not this long-winded)

mark said...

Kactus I feel what your saying, but at some point black people are going to have to do somethings different.

What if we (black people) are going throught the same thing as far as men not taking care of thier families and women having to use welfare becauese of it.

I know that women on welfare have it tough , and dont think I dont care because I do, but at some point in time we are going to have to make changes.

The reason I why I mentioned attaching thier benifits to children keeping up in school is because kids who grow up on welfare are more likely to have to use the system. What they see is what theyll be.

Welfare is no way to have to raise kids, its not much. But even so I see women pulling out the credit card (public assistance) who are dressed a whole lot better than me, so are thier kids, I see quite often.

I can not understand how it could possibly be right to have to get free money from the goverment but your kids are wearing $70 shoes, and $50 dollar jeans.

P.S I have no special love for the goverment, however black people need to get thier shit together. Period. Also we should close ranks as a community and put together a plan to get these men to take responsiblity for thier kids. Embarass him, encourage him whateve but what's going on with brothers not taking care of thier kids is deplorable.

kactus said...

Mark, I have to tell you I live in a very poor neighborhood with its share of people on welfare, and I'm not seeing an epidemic of kids in $70 shoes. Not to say that it doesn't happen, cuz face it, there will always be folks who don't pay the phone or light bill so they can dress their kids right, but I think you need to be careful about not dealing in harmful welfare stereotypes.

As far as getting black men to take care of their kids, I'm not going to touch that (not being a black woman myself, altho I do have a biracial child)--I'm just gonna turn it around and say that all men need to start taking care of their kids, whether they were never married to the mamas or are divorced and remarried. People in welfare rights have been saying for decades that welfare is just gov't guaranteed child support, and the government is doing what the fathers are unwilling/unable to do. And that needs to change.

I'm of the belief that you can find an example of every stereotype out there--whether it's racial or class or political party or religious dogma--but that doesn't mean you start believing in its universal truth.

I also don't believe corporations or politicians should be getting paid better than the average working joe--especially since they usually do less hard labor than any man or woman in the working class--but that doesn't stop them from raking in the government welfare hand over fist.

Hummingbyrd said...


Reading is white.

At least that is what many black children think.

Your statment regarding the government and reading presumes that the government perceives itself as being responsible for ensuring that modelminorities learn how to read.

The education of the baby starts when the baby is in the womb, not when the momma signs up for welfare.

I have given a lot of consideration to the issues that you have mentioned.

Perhaps we can collaborate on our ideas.

mark said...

Yo Mrs. Fierce you are correct reading should start in the womb but unfortunately our people do not seem to understand or care about that as much. The said part of it to me is that when folks tell like it is you are accused of dogging blacks.

What I would like to do get people around me who are willing to sweat intellectual and be creative on how we can begin a new progressive movement in the black community. Something like the civil rights movement. Except this one would be focused on things we need to do, without anyones help or money.

Here are things I would like to explore, investing in ourselves, africa and the world. Education, health, business, ect. Thank you for stoping thru Mrs. Fierce I look forward to exchange ideas with you and other true progressives.