R U in Need of a Diploma My Child

RUN DMC and more about this coming.

A young man who hails from Michigan from the Dearborn area walked over to the area of a pool where I was sitting weeks ago. I had been talking to Mark on the cellphone and had my characteristic red cup which contained Barceló and cola. The young man was wearing a red sneaker and a yellow sneaker.  Mark explained to me what I had no knowledge of which was the young man had a favorite basketball player which his sneakers represented. I was urged to talk to young man whose name is Eeshontay or something like it, but the Ee is correct.

In two seconds I found out that the basketball player is Michael Jordan. And he and I share the same birthday, which I mentioned correctly to Eeshontay. Of course I was correct, it’s my birthday and I do not suffer from Alzheimers.

The conversation continued and continued from there as I had just mentioned the Palestinian community of Dearborn in one of my articles. Eeshontay and I spoke about the music business and why he was down in Miami for the first time. He had never been there before nor had I been really in Miami except for the beach areas which was pretty far from the Port of Miami. Miami-Dade College was right behind where I was staying on Biscayne Boulevard.

As we spoke about music and Rap it was mentioned that Reverend Run had just been down there. I mentioned how I had connected with Hip Hop and how the brother of Jam Master Jay had been my keynote speaker at my Save the GED Test Rally outside City Hall in New York City. And I had the proof which you may see by clicking the link. Eeshontay watched the video and said it was amazing.

I commented to him that I had gotten into trouble when I was teaching and people thought I was possibly going to kill a youth. He quickly expressed support for me by telling me, a stranger, that you couldn’t do that. This reminded me of the very best of experiences that I had as a teacher of GED where the students had my back because I was about doing the right thing, always.

I did not mention my article that used to be on the internet called R U N – D M C. Oh I had others such as Put Down Your Gun and Earn a GED and more.  With over five hundred articles on the internet back in those days, I was much easier to locate, but all that ended tragically when the website supporting my work had problems and my content had to be eliminated.

This was written in December 2002 as I hoped to get all NYC Housing residents on track who had dropped out of high school. “The GED is the key to the future success of our nation.  We need hundreds of thousands more people in security positions and nursing (just after 9-11 the idea hit me) .  The GED is required to get to those jobs.” And even before that and while I was teaching, I wrote this to William Thompson in January 2000 when he was a member of the old Board of Education. “The GED programs are violating the rights of GED students.  Several categories of students are involved, affecting thousands of students at ASHS and Offsite Educational Services.  In addition the policy that requires students to pass a predictor test with a score that exceeds the passing mark on the real GED is harmful to the entire school system.  The so called standard at the GED programs is not backed by any curriculum or courses that can help the students reach 250 on the practice test.  It is an illusion for everyone except the administrators who designed it.  Some students have told me that if they had known that they were going to be held back in the GED program, they would have stayed in regular high school.” And on a national level I have written this. “If the President is not taking the steps to lead, then who will?  The Democrats?  I must know what progress my ideas have made in the White House.” That was written to Laura Bush in June 2002.

I was fortunate enough to put together a GED Conference in the Community Garden in Queens provided by 50 Cent to that community. HERE YOU HAVE A LIST OF CRITICAL ITEMS FOR YOUR COMMUNITY.  THE STIMULUS PACKAGE HAS GONE TO THE BANKS AND THE AUTOMOBLILE COMPANIES, BUT IT IS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT NEED A STIMULUS PACKAGE.  GIVE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN MOST NEED THEIR OWN STIMULUS AND YOUR COMMUNITY WILL PROSPER.  DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE FIGHTING TODAY OVER WHAT THE COLLEGE LOAN SYSTEM SHOULD BE WHILE MILLIONS OF YOUNG ADULTS IN OUR NATION HAVE NO DIPLOMA AND WE FACE DANGERS FROM DRUGS AND THE POWERFUL MEXICAN CARTELS THAT NEWS PROGRAMS REPORT ON. 

1. AN EVENT THAT FOCUSES ON EDUCATION AND JOBS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.  CUT DOWN ON THE VIOLENCE, GANGS, AND GUNS IN YOUR COMMUNITY TOO.

2. SOLUTIONS TO AMERICAN PROBLEMS THAT HAVE EXISTED FOR OVER 40 YEARS. 

That was May 2009 and the parents of Sean Bell showed up to speak at that event.

And yes the need for a diploma among youth and those who could have benefitted throughout life with a diploma on the resumé still impacts greatly in the city where I do so much work, so much to wake it up. It appeared to wake up, but whatever anyone actually did was minor from the election of Michael Bloomberg until today. What has been discussed in the mayoral race related to GED I really do not know. And I do not even have time to do the research. All I can do is point to one of the greatest failures in education in the last twenty years as crime is discussed with disgust for what a city has become. But the problems have always been there. The City Council of New York City has to take a closer look at itself and former officials who know me who have gone on to leadership in the office of City Controller, the office of Attorney General, borough president, New York State senator, and others are included in this.

And there was a shortage of $2.1 million in the state budget when Pataki passed the baton to Spitzer and I was called to intervene on behalf of the state education department and within days there was a committee meeting and it was agreed that the money would be included in the budget. So the money increased then experienced cuts which affected communities everywhere. And when the same head of GED who asked me to intervene, asked me to intervene again, I was there to take action. A meeting was held on the Democratic side of the New York State senate which was put together with Senator Efrain Gonzalez (a GED graduate himself who I had already known and whose staff member I had met with in the Bronx). We had previously met at a meeting in a church on the Grand Concourse. My already known Dominicanidad  or the state of being a Dominican had played a role in shaping things. At this meeting the head of GED was fighting for a higher percentage of passing which I would not tolerate as I know GED and what has been needed all along was more diplomas, many, many more. Governor Paterson’s right-hand man agreed with me. Check the records of that meeting. Days later, I discovered among the data provided to everyone that not a single person had taken and passed the GED in Rikers Correctional Institution in the Rotten Apple (very limited rehabilitation) that year. It was reported to Mark Leinung, then working with Governor Paterson who called the head of GED to find out why this happened to the people in New York City.

Rikers got a meditation program later, but not the progressive program that I would have started.

Now we should ascertain from a paper trail of the candidates through their work in government (whether for the city or one of the counties) what they have done or advocated for those youth each year that have dropped out of school and for those who dropped out long before my effort began. And for those candidates that have not interacted with government, what have they advocated since announcing their candidacy? Of course this applies to Republicans and Repugnicans wishing to become the next mayor. I have my own personal stories of working with one of the founders of The Guardian Angels. Ask me for more information on that.

So let’s get to the bottom of this finally. A full investigation of the money for testing, comparisons with other states, including similar states, what went right and what went wrong, who is to blame and who gets credit for what, what are the practices of programs that have set the people in New York City (or Rochester, Hempstead, and Central Islip or elsewhere back and continue to do so. You may see what I have called a “communist” system or what might be called a “defunded” system playing into the hands of policing and those progressives who are what I called recently “Poorly Prepared Progressives” who really do not know the history and the road to success through education.

From Adams to Yang, I see someone governing, but not particularly well. Will someone take a message to Garcia (haha)? I wonder if you agree that I’ve being a little wiley here (haha). And all things criminal is not just about what Hispanics called morales. Stringer knows me from those days and Mc Guire doesn’t. So what!

And I have to report that I saw the video that made news of children just being missed in an apparent gang shooting outside a bodega in the Bronx (the children are 7 and 2 and did not know the other men involved).  I would hope that the leaders of the Bronx and the city would demand a complete, thorough investigation instead of just what the beef was about. Where’s the beef?