“The idea of individualism has such a strong impact on the way people respond to poverty. Obviously, Mitt Romney wouldn't do much to help the poverty rate in the country if he was elected president. The U.S already spends much less on welfare programs than most of the other industrialized nations, which doesn't help the increasing rates of poverty in the country. The country needs more welfare programs in order for the poverty level to decrease. Most people aren't dependent on the government because they want to be, it's because they have no other choice.They are barely any jobs, and the jobs that are available have such low wages that people only get paid enough to get by day by day. Romney doesn't complain about the rich people that barely pay any taxes, or the corporations that only outsource their jobs. In order for the country to prosper there needs to be more jobs, an improved welfare system, and a better distribution of income (higher taxes for the rich, in order to lower the taxes on the poor). Romney is an individualist who finds it easier to blame the poor for the bad condition that the country is in, instead of putting some blame on the corporations that thrive from poverty because of cheap labor.”
pabloM on Oct 7, 2012 at 21:31:18
“Orleida its amazing to see that you have continued to advocate for your community. Your writing is impressive and I am sure that you will continue your activism at Albany University. I hope you don't mind me showcasing your writing to my freshmen.”
“American history has always found a way of concealing certain truths. Lincoln was always recognized and celebrated as the courageous man who freed the slaves.Yet, underneath it all he just wanted what was best for the Union. Why does that part of history not make it to the books? Singing the Emancipation was a beautiful act on Lincoln's behalf, but the truth is that he didn't do it for the enslaved african americans. Lincoln did what he had to do in order to save the Union and keep the nation together. Freeing the slaves was just something that came with it. This should be discussed in social studies classes because it teaches a student that not all of history is written in the textbooks. Also, how essential is it to uncover the whole truth from various sources on your own in order to truly learn. Knowing how to do this type of research will come in handy later on in life when they need to vote for a potential presidential candidate. A candidate that would truly care about minorities, and not somebody that is sugar-coated by books and the media.”
“Its not a surprise that a corporation would take the spot of a community supermarket. A corporation that can probably care less about what the general need of the community. It doesn't care about the amount of elderly folks that need a supermarket close by, only about extending their business. I really hope that the people in Brooklyn keep fighting this for themselves, since nobody else is going to. These corporations shouldn't be getting away with these types of business moves that affect peoples lives. I really hope that Walgreens is willing to negotiate- if not, the people in the community should still continue fighting this. It is their community, and they should have a say on what stores are taking up their space. Word on the petition should be spread.”
“Testing eight graders on irrelevant reading passages, banning un-harmful words from classrooms, and ignoring the importance of global history? Is that what our educational system has come to? It’s become extremely obvious that “Common Core” is another way of corporate heads- like Pearson- to make a profit from the educational system. Pearson Educational is merely making money by producing textbooks and tests for the assessing of students- only reason why they would encourage Common Core. Nothing else seems to matter to the people organizing the educational curriculum in our nations schools. Eight graders should be receiving relevant articles based on real issues and events in order to increase their critical thinking skills. Questions should be based on real facts coming from the given article, not opinion based questions.
The importance of global history needs to not be forgotten, and this is the issue that really bothers me. Every student needs to be taught current events, and the significance between the connection of our country and the rest of the world. History – from any part of the world- is critical to understanding every event that has ever taken place, and currently going on. Without this knowledge, we lose the ability to efficiently understand current events. Common Core is not helping anybody, but the pockets of Pearson corporate heads.”
“Their economical conditions form their personalities, not their skin color. Our community is not the same as it was in the 80's and 90's. You cannot judge a whole group of people due to the mistakes of a few of them. We don't all steal, we don't all bully. We won't all treat a white student differently due to the color of their skin. If schools were integrated, we wouldn't have these stereotypes going around. Being afraid is not a good enough justitification anymore.”
“You bring up some great points on how dangerous it can be for a white person to be integrated into an nyc public school. Yes, the reality is that they would be an outsider and would be treated as such. Yet, wasn't this the case when they first placed a handful of black students in an all white school? They were bullied, discriminated against, and treated unfairly due to the difference of their skin. Its the effect of being an outsider in a particular setting, which has happened to most racial groups. In this case, not all NYC public school minority students would bully a white kid. It isn't fair to stop integration due to a few racial scenarios. How would change occur if people are too scared to take that chance? Black people would have no rights today if they hadn't dealt with all the racism thrown at them by white folks. When it happens to a white person-and any other person of a different race- it is still racism, that is the reality. Another reality is the fact that if a white student is discriminated against everybody cares, when it happens to a black student, it goes about unnoticed.
The fear of being bullied, and "stolen from" is not a good enough excuse. Even minorities are stolen from in poor high schools. It is not because of their race, it's the environment. The kids in these environments are mostly poor, and come from poor communities.”
“Racism has always been, and still remains a topic of controversy. Is it possible for it to ever seize to exist? It’s commonly believed that racism is no longer a problem, just because it isn’t as open as before. Racism has matured in our country, and grown to become more concealed than ever before- but remains a part of our country. Black and Latinos tend to live in lower income areas with fewer resources than other districts. Local funding determines how much financial support schools receive, so the kids in the lower income districts go to the schools with lower financial support. The lack of resources in these lower income schools affect the education that the minorities receive compared to the more well off schools. Why aren’t all schools given the right to the same amount of financial support from the government? Schools are being segregated according to the wealth of the students’ parents; the white kids tend to have wealthier parents, so they attend wealthier schools. Schools in Long island aren’t the only segregated schools, a lot of the schools in NY-including my own-are racially segregated. Personally, I’ve never seen one white student in my high school in the Bronx- this must be a problem. Segregation only enforces racist ideas, when all we need is to integrate in order to live and learn with people from diverse backgrounds and race.”
Carolyn23 on Mar 20, 2012 at 21:08:33
“I agree with every point you just made . Intergration is the best method to achieve a better understanding of others and in the process of ourselves. Intergration needs to happen in every city, town and state through out the U.S otherwise America will not achieve its full potential.”
NYCKitty on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:36:09
“I have lived in the Bronx for 20 years and grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan. Almost every white kid I know w/in my age (38) went to Catholic school (as I did for 12 years) or another private school. You won't find too many white kids in the NYC public school system and even less in a Bronx public high school quite frankly because it's not safe for them, something that most people want to just ignore.
I knew some Jewish kids who attended Kennedy (again, this was back in the 80s and 90s) because they weren't part of the wealthy Riverdale Jewish population and they said that everyday it was a constant fight with other students and solely because they were white. One girl told me she couldn't wear jewelry or it would be stolen, as it had happened to her other white friends.
I also know a Jewish family living in Co-Op City and the parents had to beg the school system to allow her daughters to attend Bayside High in Queens because they would be an easy target in Truman.
You brought up a valid point about no white kids in a Bronx public high school and it's a reality but again, one that will be ignored because when it happens to white people, it's not racism, it's reality.”
“Government positions are quickly beginning to fill up with corporate representatives. The individuals whom control our government are no longer doing it for the love of the country, but for the money in their pocket. These people can care less what improvements are done to society- as long as they profit. Deputy Secretary for Education David Wakelyn once worked for Pearson, a major corporation that now controls a big part of the educational system in the country. Pearson is a for-profit organization looking to make money from educational reforms. Unfortunately, this company only focuses on selling standardized tests and teacher assessments, not whether the students are learning from any of it. Pearson just wants to sell their products and programs, and the country is allowing it. They now control a huge part of our educational system; a system created for the advancement of learning- Pearson can care less about the lack of learning going on. According to Cuomo, David Wakelyn is an “expert in state policy”- yet, we need individuals who know how to teach to control our educational reforms instead of people who are only there to enforce policies and make money. Education needs to be more than just corporations trying to sell us assessments.”
“A safe haven for young immigrant women to be welcomed to, reside in, and find help in is such an amazing idea. The Watson House provided immigrant, Irish women with help in order for them to find their way in America. It’s remarkable to have such a place being celebrated and honored; not to mention turned into an exhibit for all to see. I couldn’t help but wonder why such a place doesn’t exist in our world today. Having a place for young, immigrant women to find help in would be incredibly helpful and needed in America today. It would decrease the stress and hardships that undergo when trying to live in a new place. Unfortunately, I don’t think the government would allow such a place to be established due to the fight against immigrants going on now.”
“Unlike the characters of a Shakespeare play, the politicians of today have no sense of mercy, justice, and truth. They radiate greed as they continue to impose their unreasonable opinions and ideas on us. Bloomberg believes that it is unfair to compare the grades of the teachers who work in different environments, because of the difference in race and economic class of the students. All without considering other aspects that can affect the performance of a student on an exam, aside from their race and economic standing. That being said, it is the fault of my color and income if I do poorly on a test? You cannot use the superficial qualities of a student to try and justify the performance of a teacher. And vise versa. Teaching is no longer the same when learning is not the first priority in the classroom. When all that the student worries about is reaching a certain grade on a test. When a teacher is no longer teaching, but training a student to memorize and answer -just so they don't get fired. It takes the fun and yearning to learn out of the school experience and environment. It becomes boring, and probably the reason why real teachers end up leaving the classroom and doing something better with their lives. The rules and curriculums being set up by these politicians are destroying the way that the school system was meant to be like.”
“My school- University Heights High School- was one of the lucky schools in the city that had to deal with an unannounced inspection from the NYPD. Students where forced to be searched like criminals, while their personal belongings were taken away. It doesn’t come as a surprise since most of the student body consists of Black and Latino students. Do they honestly believe that most students come to school with weapons, just because they fit the “usual suspect” persona? Nowadays, police officers in the schools decide whether the behavior of a student is punishable or not. While school officials and staff face consequences if they question the decisions of the police officers. It all sounds more like a jail than a school to me- I’ve witnessed it all. Seriously, why does uniform matter more than the creativity and learning taking place in the institution? So much time and money is wasted on trying to punish and hold back kids, that the real meaning of education is extracted from the equation. Suspending a student is not as effective to the mind as helping the student try to understand why their actions were wrong. Why punish a young adult when you can just try to counsel them, in order to help them grow and become a better person. Being treated like a criminal affects the psyche of a student, and can cause harm to their mental development. The line between the treatment of a criminal and a student needs to be drawn.”
“Police officers in N.Y have always been discriminatory against the people that they should be “protecting”. They target innocent individuals whenever they feel the need to, instead of making sure they have evidence on the person beforehand. The main target of police discrimination is mostly black males, but it has come to the point where any minority is picked on, no matter what race, color, or gender they are. A few years ago, I was with my family driving in downtown Manhattan, nothing out of the ordinary. Out of all the cars and people that travel down there, the police officers decided to stop and search us- yet; we had done nothing suspicious or illegal. They used unnecessary force against the men in our group, and spoke to the rest of us as if we were dumb and incapable of understanding them. Their argument was that we had no reason to be driving down there at such a time, but why didn’t they stop all the other hundreds of people that were there? It was obvious how little respect they had for us, due to their condescending tones and rough actions. Why were we stopped, and not the other white folks driving around? Obviously, the unjust behavior of the police officers had to do with our race and skin colors. So, people cannot exclaim that racism is non-existent in this country; I’ve witnessed enough to say that it is still one of the leading concerns in our country.”
“While reading this article, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Social Studies books used in schools. Yes, these books provide us with a lot of historical facts and past stories- however, do they always convey the entire story? Of course they don’t, history has always been sugarcoated and it has always protected the white man. The New- York Historical Society has provided the public with just enough facts to satisfy the people, and protect the rich at the same time. The exhibits in the museum may show some of the positive actions taken by certain people, yet they fail to provide credit to the little people that helped create change. The New- York Historical Society presents things in a way that they believe to be acceptable, instead of showing every side and angle to the issue. The exhibits hang on the idea that the American fight for independence awakened radical calls for the acknowledgement of universal human rights. Why don’t they mention how much blacks had to fight for their own human rights, while the American’s failed to acknowledge how they deserved it? The simple truth is that Americans still don’t believe in universal rights, since racism is still a huge undercover issue in the country. By not mentioning vital issues like this, the New- York Historical Society has failed to truly portray the revolution and continuing fight that has shaped the new world.”
“Obama values “an education that examines the world, rather than one that just prepares students to perform on high-stakes standardized multiple choice tests”. Oh really? Why didn’t Obama value this during his last four years in office? The simple truth is that Obama would say anything to satisfy the people, because he knows people want to trust him.The man makes fake promises in order to get some votes, yet doesn’t go through with them. People can go around making up excuses as to why the Obama administration wasn’t able to do much during his election. However, I believe that change could have been made if enough effort and work was put into it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem like Obama attempts to do what’s best for the people in America. Instead of giving the job of Secretary of Education to a person who truly knows what they’re doing, Obama assigned it to one of his old buddies. A buddy with little to no experience when it comes to education- when did government positions become so easily to hand over? It’s all become a business, and they are constantly dragging education down with them. Where is the government when for-profit edu-companies are conning families’ -in search for education- out of their money? They are busy getting paid off by lobbyists of the online companies, instead of cooperating with the people. Government is now a business, and Obama is in on it.”
Jazmine Pena70 on Dec 23, 2011 at 10:20:15
“I agree with everything you wrote. Obama makes promises and breaks them. When he first became president he solemnly swore to protect and follow the constitution and not so long ago he signed the martial bill which goes against the constitution. I just dont understand him.”
“Mr. Bloomberg goes around trying to "improve" the educational system, continuously claiming his actions are aimed towards the best interest of the students. Bloomberg tries to enforce larger class sizes, less teachers, and more assessments on the public school system- all factors that make it that much more difficult for a student to truly learn. Bloomberg doesn’t actually believe that these things would help the students- he only worries about how he can benefit. Needless to say, it’s obvious Bloomberg wouldn’t let his own children attend the type of schools he attempts to force down on the rest of us. He truly recognizes how ineffective his methods are, and believes his own kids deserve better. What makes the kids in The Spence School so much more deserving and worthier than us? Is it the fact that their parents give hundreds of dollars to the school, in order to pay fewer taxes? The kids in this school are encouraged to “dig deep, and ask questions”, whereas we are told to sit down and answer test questions. They have smaller class sizes; while we have approximately 30 students jam-packed into one room each class. They have two gyms, while my school has to share one gym with a whole different school. These kids get almost triple as much as we get- are we not good enough to receive the same type of education since our parents aren’t prosperous? Michael Bloomberg’s name should be the dictionary definition of the word hypocrite.”
“What knowledge and experience do government officials have on the right way to deal with education? They don’t, because they aren’t trained to deal with students, and the right ways of teaching. Their true intentions of trying to “fix” the education system are to benefit, and compete with one-another. So much time is wasted on trying to be the state with best test scores, that the real meaning of education is lost. The students in need of some serious learning are overlooked, and judged by test scores on an unnecessary exam. Principals are given so many absurd, time-consuming tasks that they don’t even have time to regulate the learning going on. Then, teachers only worry about improving test scores, because the test scores end up evaluating them. It’s like everybody is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and no time and attention is going to the students. No wonder schools are failing- the students aren’t being properly taught.
The government officials are the ones that need to be taking tests in order to earn their positions. It’s beginning to seem that any dense person can get a government position- no matter how senseless their ideas may be.”
“Schools in The Bronx continue to be closed, and they blame the “students” or the “teachers” for their failure. No money or attention goes into the advancing of the school, because they can care less how the school actually does. The only concern is getting that school out of the way, to put a more profitable school in it’s place. The education system is now handled like a business, and the learning going on seizes to matter. Our “orphan” schools hardly make money, so Bloomberg and Gate schools are put into place. These schools are considered “the best”, yet they don’t do any better than the schools before them. And what in the world is the DOE even there for? The DOE is doing nothing for the improvement of our schools, and they don’t offer any real options either. As a current student of University Heights, I was there to protest for my school when they wanted to close it down. My school wrote letters, got families involved, protested, rallied, and we were still overlooked. On the bright side, we got relocated instead of closed down, even if it was to a more dangerous neighborhood. Every school should come together and fight for the rights that they deserve because that’s all they can do-what is there to lose?”
“Obviously, the entire charter school system is another hunt for money and power-another scam from the rich. These schools aren’t really doing anything for the students; they are just receiving “good grades” for others to believe they are working out. Charter schools don’t care about preparing students for college; they care about how much money they can make from each student. Bloomberg and friends have no truly idea what it means to educate young people. They can care less how much learning is going on, yet the minute their incomes decrease they want to “help”. These charter schools aren’t helping anybody, except the people making a profit from it. The public school system is hurting because of the greed of individuals, and the youth is feeling the effects. It isn’t fair to mix money with education- they are two things that shouldn’t interact.”
“The government can’t just choose to teach the youth what they decide is adequate, and leave out other pieces of history-it’s unjust. You can’t sugar coat reality, and form it into something you prefer. Slavery is such a huge part of American history, which makes it mind-blogging how you can write history without it. It’s important for future generations to recognize slavery, and how big of an impact it partook on society today. Slavery had such a big influence on our country, that its effects are still felt today. The people of today can still feel the racist beliefs of certain people that grew from the slavery periods. It took a huge amount of determination and effort to fight slavery, and it isn’t fair for those individuals who died fighting for it to pretend like it never happened. We need to learn from slavery, in order to develop in the future. We can’t grow as a society without understanding our past, every single piece of our past- no matter how bad our past is. It’s great that individuals are trying to integrate slavery into the education system, but the government needs to let it happen. It’s awesome to read about the great accomplishments of our country, nevertheless it’s also important to learn about our countries faults.”
“It’s safe to say that A LOT of places in New York are in need of some major reconstructing. I can take the train to Manhattan and feel like I’ve been transported into a whole other world. The difference in the atmosphere is so noticeable that it makes you wonder why our areas don’t look like that. These wealthier areas get all the good treatment, while I walk to school feeling like I’m in a third world country. I get off the 4 train in 170th street to walk home, and find myself surrounded by homeless people and drunks. I see two liquor stores on my 5-minute walk home, and then people ponder why our communities aren’t safe. Getting rid of LIQUOR STORES would be a good start for improving our neighborhoods. It’s unfortunate when you realize you don’t feel secure in the place where you live. Always afraid of being mugged, and recognizing how necessary your peripheral view is when walking on the street. SAFETY is one of the main matters when it comes to trying to develop our neighborhoods; perhaps there should be more friendly cops around. Additional safety when it comes to public transportation should also be enforced, considering the fact that I don’t feel protected when taking the train alone at night. Our local councilmembers should be addressing and dealing with these type of concerns. Council members get money for each of their districts, where is that money going? Obviously, not on modifying our communities.”
LoganMcNeill on Oct 11, 2011 at 16:14:03
“Also, where's all the money going from our tourism? People come to the Bronx for Yankee Stadium, the Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, and much more. Those three are HUGE attractions, so where's the money going? And what's our borough president doing to help make sure our concerns are addressed?”
“You couldn't have said this any better. People would do just about anything to make a profit, even if it means undermining the education of innocent kids. Since you believe money is the root to all evil, what do you think people can do to change that? Do you believe that eliminating money from our entire society would fix a lot of the problems going on?”
“I agree with you on the fact that it is stupid to open up more charter schools, when they continue to fail. They should atleast pretend to fix what ever was wrong with the previous failing school, and not make it so obvious that they can care less if the school works out or not. Yet, I don't believe that teachers are the main problem right now. I believe all the wrong doings are coming from the people in power, the ones making these decisions. James Stovall is, of course, one of them.”
“I agree. There are a bunch of professionals out there that call themselves teachers, yet provide barely anything for a student to really learn from. On the other hand, how can we be sucessful students if we aren't given the right information? We have no wisdom if we aren't being taught the way we should be. If a teacher doesn't know what they're doing, are we really being taught?”
“I completely agree with you, and think you make such great points. It's like the Charter Schools want the Public School system to fail so they can continue making a profit from each student. They treat education like a business- it's all bout making a quick buck for them. Their playing games with the education of thousands of young students, and this shouldn't be put up with. I completely agree with you when you say that we should all get the same type of education. We all deserve to be treated as equally as any other group of students in this country.”