Bowman and Torres

That is Jamaal Bowman and Richie Torres, who are both congressmen from the Bronx and who can learn from things that I discussed with Congressman Charles Rangel back in the day.

This article comes to you as it has just been mentioned that arrests of teens (under 18 cited) for gun possession in New York City has risen from 2 percent to 10 percent. And there is a hell of a lot more that I could point to as I hope to start a city-wide campaign called There is power in learning (Hay poder en aprender in Spanish which takes me back to my visit to Manoguayabo in Santo Domingo to the program of Pedro Martinez (the one that all baseball fans know well).

In getting back to Charlie Rangel who I really like very much, the history (story) goes back to the early days of my campaign in the Big Apple. It was an event at Pace University and I met David Jones of the CSS there. The CSS did one of the first well publicized reports about GED and other reports followed it.  I can still picture in my mind the area where I spoke to the congressman and he was amazing. He was amazing, but his chief staff member was not. Charlie asked me to call him about doing a GED event with the city council of New York, the state assembly, and the Congress of the United States. That was then and this is now and nothing really has changed. I was turned down by Charlie’s education coordinator and rest is history.

I see in both Congressmen Bowman and Congressman Torres right now the same kinds of disconnect that existed back then, a disconnect fueled by not knowing the complete picture of education in New York City, budget considerations at all three levels of government, and decisions made with hardly any other thought in mind. Eric Adams was around in those days and I cited him in my last article for recently mentioning that 80 percent of the men and women in Rikers have never graduated with a diploma. And I sent information to members of The Squad when I was being published in Jewish Business News in Israel. I am known for accusing people and those people should be reading J’Accuse: Emile Zolá Is My Guide.

I just did an outreach to WNYC in New York, providing information about things that the next chancellor of NYC schools can do. I have not heard from a specific individual there that I contacted nor have I heard from the team that receives emails. The next chancellor appointed by the mayor elect will be on a show there today and I sent information to Eric Adams and one of his top lieutenants. Could it be that his staff is doing the same thing to my efforts that Charlie Rangel’s own point man did?

Bowman and Torres can pick up the play Quixote and Zolá to read. Why are progressives making the same mistakes that have been made by people who are less progressive? Richie Torres just stated that 50 percent of the residents of the Bronx are paying 50 percent of the income for rent. He cites the poverty of the Bronx which I was citing when he was just a kid and now he is Richie on the Block who has not realized one important thing that I started revealing about the education of adults in the Bronx long before finding out that the Bronx is a plantation county (gap of 20-30 percent for African Americans on the test) for education since African American statistics revealed that New York was the 49th state in the nation for graduation from high school and one of the worst states in the nation (large state) for GED success. So both quietly and even not so quietly when failure percentages were first published by the American Council on Education, African Americans were failing in both ways. When Michael Bloomberg took over the schools of New York City, the overall graduation rate was 42 percent in 2002. In 1970 the national graduation rate was 70 percent and it kept on climbing, but New York City and other major cities (Rochester) kept on stagnating.

Let’s go back to eleven years ago and watch this warning to New York City. I’ve watched this dozens of times and those words of the other Martin stating please don’t cut the budget ring loud and true. Robert Jackson was there as well and gave US a speech that Richie Torres can easily relate to about family and poverty. Robert Jackson speaks. Go ask Robert Jackson what happened after! Go ask Tom Suozzi what happened after I helped write an educational component when he ran for governor in 2006. Go ask Eric Adams if we are going to have the same old same old when he takes control of the city that he calls my city. Go ask him to confer with Malcolm Smith and hip hop about where things went wrong. Go ask Bloomberg and DeBlasio and Joel Klein, Dennis Walcott, and Carmen Fariña. They were supposed to make this city much stronger to weather the storms including these soon to be two years of the pandemic. So can we really bank on Steve Banks to get the job done that is still needed since the education of adults is suffering.

Yes New York State is a plantation state for GED just like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and almost two dozen other states And the current Secretary of Education comes from one of those states. And at times the waiting time has been far in excess of two months (as high as 7 months) in order to retake the test which I have called a communist system because people have had to wait on line for essential items. And things have clearly gotten worse since the new TASC test started in 2014. And the TASC test will be gone at the end of this month and will be replaced by the GED. Ask me for more. I know what to do. We should all be learning about the best practices to improve outcomes in New York City and across our nation now.