My View: The moral imperative for education policy
In 2000, Jesse Jackson organized this march in Chicago in part to address school funding issues.
June 12th, 2012
06:05 AM ET

My View: The moral imperative for education policy

Courtesy Rainbow PUSH CoalitionBy Jesse Jackson Sr., Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. is a leading civil rights activist and president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

(CNN) - It has been two years since the administration’s Race to the Top education competition was implemented, and scholars, advocates, practitioners and journalists are asking whether the program has been effective. From my perspective, this is the wrong question. We must instead determine whether a contest that provides support to some but not others is sufficient for addressing the structural inequities that make separate and unequal education a persistent fact of life in America today.

Race to the Top and other competitive grant programs are essentially designed to help those who can run, but our nation must be committed to lift from the bottom in order to provide equal, high-quality education for all children everywhere. Our present education policy does not meet this moral imperative.

Heralded as an innovative method for incentivizing states to adopt higher academic standards, “turn around” low performing schools, improve student and teacher evaluations, and recruit and train more effective teachers and principals, the Race to the Top contest is an inherently political response to the widely recognized need for education reform. It pretends to offer a solution for all when it provides only a band-aid for some.

Education policy based on the moral imperative of lifting from the bottom would address the systemic funding disparities that continue to plague schools in high-poverty neighborhoods. A legacy of the 1973 San Antonio Independent School District vs. Rodriguez Supreme Court decision, is that we continue to allow our public schools to be primarily financed through local property taxes. This is morally unacceptable, because property taxes are a function of the relative wealth of the surrounding neighborhood.

The result is education redlining and an uneven playing field with a different set of rules for poor kids attending schools in poor neighborhoods. Already starting from behind due to structural inequalities, poor kids attending disadvantaged schools are also penalized through the “turn around” policies of No Child Left Behind and the administration’s Blueprint for Reform that include mass firings of school personnel and disruptive school closures that are often executed without input from parents or the community.

And, new data from the Department of Education shows that poor minority students are disproportionately subjected to harsher disciplinary procedures that can have the effect of pushing them out of school before graduation. We must also respond to the crisis in out-of-school suspensions and the resulting community and school violence. We can’t keep closing schools and feeding our children into the prison-industrial complex, building jails, and expect our country to be respected by other nations.

We must argue the moral imperative and build a new framework for public education in America. Our education policy must guarantee access to early childhood education opportunities to offset the effects of household poverty on student achievement and remove barriers that deny poor kids access to high quality and highly effective teachers. A new study by the National Institute for Early Childhood Education shows that funding for public early childhood education programs is steadily declining even as enrollment has grown dramatically, almost doubling the percent of the population served in the past decade.And our current and proposed policies contain disincentives that keep good teachers away from students who need them most.

Many prominent advocates for education reform may believe that their efforts to link teacher evaluations to student test scores, close low-performing schools, conduct mass teacher and principal firings, and increase access to charter schools are in the best interest of poor children. But the problem is that many of these reforms are not based on best practices rooted in research evidence. Education policy that starts with the moral imperative would not allow poor and minority students to be used as guinea pigs for untested educational theories and practices.

For the sake of our country, we should all agree that there should be a common foundation beneath which no child falls. Yet, too often we’ve given up on the moral imperative for the politically expedient alternative when it comes to our nation’s education policies. To do what’s best for our nation and our children we must embrace a principle that's higher than politics. We should ensure that education policy starts with morality.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jesse Jackson Sr.

Posted by
Filed under: Issues • Policy • Race to the Top • Voices
soundoff (546 Responses)
  1. Sean

    So let me get this straight... Because the answer to the question "Has the 'Race to the Top' program been effective?" is a resounding NO... then it's the wrong question? I guess nobody pointed out to you that there is NO WRONG QUESTION, only wrong answers. And the answer you don't want to listen to is that the Government will never solve this problem. Education is not started, nor finished, in a classroom. It starts at home and finishes on the shoulders of the student. Stop ignoring the problems of the culture and society that is failing the youth. And stop pretending like schools will solve those problems. You are writing the wrong article. You should be writing about how to change the battle for the minds of the students that are turning to urban gangs and drugs.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • GeraldDayton

      Finally, a well thought and educated answer....doesn't matter if I agree, at least it makes sense and gives many something to ponder, unless they are out trolling or race baiting....

      June 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • yep

      Agreed. You can't throw money at a problem and expect it to be resolved. That's like buying a weight set, not using it, and wondering why I'm not gettting stronger.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  2. cashmeremafia

    Jesse Jackson – it's no accident that inner city kids are subject to more harsh disciplinary action – if you bothered to took, see how they behave!! They talk back to the teachers, bully kids, commit crimes like theft and assault, do drugs, blow off homework, and they KNOW they can get away with most of it. How will they learn respect if they think their actions don't have serious consequences? I know b/c I grew up in that environment! I respected my teachers, worked hard, finsihed my Masters, and now I'm heading to law school, while my "less well read" classmates are either high, in jail, dead or dealing drugs.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rose

      The behavior you described includes white kids too; Do the words "crank,""ecstasy," Oxycontin, etc. sound familiar to you, your kids, nieces, nephews and cousins and others of your ilk? Thought so.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Rhonda

      @Cashmeremafia..... I am the same way....... respected my elders, respected authority, got my education, served the country and got my MBA, life is good. Married, raised our son.........we pray that our cycle isn't broken by choices, societal influences, etc.....

      June 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  3. AlongTheWay

    Wow. And the more I read the responses here - it's obvious that the majority of folks commenting simply don't want to hear this...angle of thinking anymore.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • GeraldDayton

      Which is what? I would love to hear what it is you are speaking of.....

      June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Michael Chapel Hill

      Sure. Jackson is a leader who knows only the rights and not responsibilities. Let him educate his folks to be available at home for their kids. It will change the families, kids, schools & the nation.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Michael Chapel Hill

    You are not touching the real reason for failing schools. You take any society where kids are achievers, the achievement comes with a price that disciplined dad and mom pay. When no dads available at home, even if the schools are better and all other factors come together, kids may not meet the goals. The next thing to do is to kill the TV at home along with explicit language music. Please help your sheep to meet the family goal first; when it is met the educational goal will follow.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  5. GeraldDayton

    Cowardly words from a true coward.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  6. AlongTheWay

    Garbage. Oh - and use an up-to-date picture. The one shown with this article is either from AGES ago or doctored to make him look younger. As much fun as reading a brittle piece by Roland Martin. Bleh.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • GeraldDayton

      Wow, because your comment really matters to the issue or non-issue....

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  7. Mark

    Love the picture! Hahahaa..

    June 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  8. John in California

    John in California......a friend of mine who is an IRS criminal division agent told me that they had been forbidden years ago from auditing or examining tax returns from Jackson and Sharpton so as to not 'stir things up'. So much for equality. Two words describe Al Sharpton.........Tawana Brawley..........most of you probably don't know who she is.....Sharpton built his entire 'career' off of that fraud. Jesse Jackson ran a corporate shakedown scheme for years. Both of these guys are wealthy. Where did they get their millions?? There is a critical lack of responsible leadership within the black community.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • GeraldDayton

      That is your main problem, telling a "Black" that Jesse or Al is their leader is like telling a "White" that Rush or Hannity is a "White" persons leader.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • cashmeremafia

      Don't forget Jackson fathered an illegitimate child – some role model he is.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  9. FAIL

    Nice picture there CNN: FAIL

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  10. SmartyPants

    The idiot in the picture holding a sign upside down asking for better schools instead of jails says it all. Rather poetic, actually.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • fred astaire

      Good Point

      June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • vahellbilly

      Great post!!! So good in fact, am surprised there was anything left for anyone else to comment on as what you said nails it!

      June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • vahellbilly

        my post was to SmartyPants...

        June 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  11. ArmyLT

    The only thing I really have a problem with is this article is there is only a reference to poor black kids. There do exist poor kids of every race. I know I was one of them. I am white and grew up with a drug addicted mother who moved us kids 26 times before my sophmore year in high school. Some of the schools I attended were horrible but I joined the Army 18 years ago and have never looked back. I was lucky.
    I do understand what Mr. Jackson is saying, with schools funded with local taxes, the quality of education is uneven. To me the solution would be to change how primary education is funded. State and local taxes should go into a collective fund and then distributed among the schools on a per student basis. The same for federal education funds.
    Based on my childrens education (21.19 & 9) I have seen schools teach to pass the No Child Left Behind tests., and the results are extremely subpar. So while I do not feel that standardized testing is effective I certainly do not feel that a "contest" is an effective way to boost education. Learning is not a contest.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jackson is not now or has ever been interested in “equality” for anyone but the Black community.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. FAIL

    Nice picture CNN, making the blacks look real educated there. FAIL

    June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  13. Andy in NY

    Every conversation about education needs to start and end with Asians. Look at terrible schools, look at great schools, Asians go to both of them and are always on top. Frankly, even rich whites can't compare to Asians in top public schools (see NY and CA). Why is that? I won't answer this, lest I be branded a racist. Let's just ask someone like Jesse Jackson to answer this question.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • HPN

      That is because the difference is in the parents, not the teachers. It is the time for the black community to stop its pity party and take some responsibility for solving its problems. Not every thing can be given to you there are some things you just have to earn yourself.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Assyrian

      Jesse Jackson is the biggest dous-h on the planet. This guy is the biggest racist followed by Opra. All Jesse Jackson cares about is black people and to him other colors and races are not even worth talking about. You know what Mr. Jackson, at the end of the day whatever you do will not make a difference and your kind will stay uneducated just like the dumb asz thats holding the sign upside down.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  14. phneutral

    Jesse, some friendly advice. When you speak, enunciation is the key to communication.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  15. Ken

    Some of Jackson's points are valid, but they are completely lost in Jackson's persona of a perpetual race baiting, victimization politics and "shake down the man" tactics. A real shame that the world is really better off without him.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  16. DavidW0909

    If you want to help improve schools then you need to get rid of all of the ESL programs and focus on improving the schools as a whole. The United States has literally hundreds of thousands, heck millions of immigrants come to this country every single year and all of them, ALL OF THEM, save ONE GROUP learns to speak ENGLISH prior to coming here and enrolling their children in our schools. Requiring special "attention" to this particlar group of people brings the schools down as a whole because it forces them to spend millions of dollars developing programs to teach a foreign language to one group of students when they could put that money to better use. ANY other country in the world, including those in Central and South America, if you migrate there and don't learn their language, you are LOCKED OUT, you cannot function. I'm sorry but it should be the SAME HERE PERIOD. Don't like that, too bad. The truth hurts but it can set you free.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • DavidW0909

      I meant to say millions of immigrants come to this country over the years, not every single year.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • larry

      How do you figure giving an 11 year old immigrant from another country who speaks little English ESL class training brings down the whole school?

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Hooligan

    As much as I despise to agree with Jesse Jackson on ANYTHING.... he is right. Building premeditated jails shows that something is very wrong with our country when we expect more people to be criminals then try and give them the tools to be successful. The reality prisons are a big business for cheap/slave labor though no one likes to admit it and just tacks it up to "can't do the time don't do the crime" even though no one even looks at WHY they did the crime or even why the "crime" in question was a crime to begin with. We have so many petty drug addicts and dealers serving long sentences for minor offenses. we have illegal immigrants who should not be housed on tax payers dime just so cheap labor can be exploited. It's an ugly business that feeds off our money and abused the lives of every inmate regardless if they deserve to be there or not.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Moncada

      What is the use to invest in upgrades for a school if the students are probably going to ruin them?

      June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Gaffs

      We wouldn’t need more prisons if people convicted of violent crimes, and or prisoners were given a three strikes you’re out rule while in prison,(meaning if they’re violent against other prisoners while in prison three times) a copper lobotomy, instead of a place to sleep and three square meals a day, along with cable TV, an exercise program, games, books, education and etc., then maybe; that would help kids focus on an education instead of criminal activity.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • cashmeremafia

      Hooligan – Research all the non-profit, govt, and church groups across the country, and you tell me there are no "tools" to help those in poverty?? Turn on your televsion or radio, and you see PSAs constantly; on billboards, magazines, etc. Unless you're deaf and blind you can't NOT be exposed to at least some of these messages. The problem is actually making the effort to turn your life around.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  18. devilisinthedetailsagain

    Reverend Jesse Jackson is about as relevant as Kim Kardashian. Blacks want equal rights but they just sit on their butts. They are lazy worthless good for nothings. I certainly won't hire them.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Moncada

      I have met some respectable black people, they are not all the same.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • Deez Nuts

        I have met respectable white people as well. The yare all not pedophiles or plan to steal your pension.

        June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Hooligan

      who are you kidding?

      you probably work at McDonalds.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • sandy

      I hope you are joking. You really cannot be dumb enough to condemn an entire race. I hope you or your children never need life saving surgery – and the doctor who could save your life is black. Or the firefighter who saves your house, the policeman who protect your possessions or the soldier who keep you safe. Statements like that are just pathetic.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Alan

      You're just about as bigoted and repugnant as they come! I hope you're not in a position to decide who gets hired and who doesn't!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  19. Joe Jarvis

    You want better educatio--get rid of the teacher unions. They protect inapt teachers to colledt union dues to funnel back to the democratic party. It's a losing rotating drum for students!!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • paul


      June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Wake-up

      Education starts at home and not with the unions. Without unions people like you would have all teachers fired that has a student fail. It's time to stop blaming the teachers and blame the parents.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  20. cindy

    ok.. the 1st thing I notice is the second to people in the photo can't even hold their signs correct.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  21. gunnde

    Actually, what would resolve almost all of the nation's K-12 education problems is for children – regardless of their skin color and gender and household family income – to not be born out of wedlock, for their biological parents to be and remain faithfully and lovingly married for their entire lives, and for their nuclear families to have a stable income source that provides at the very minimum the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. As an ordained minister, I'm surprised Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton don't both preach this message until the black community hears it in their hearts as well as their ears to heal their community the only way it can ever be truly healed. They both need to tell families to turn off their TVs, put down their cellphones, and get out and exercise together as a family a little each day and to connect and talk to one another vs. at one another. As a nuclear family, they should also be ever mindful that smoking, drinking alcohol to excess if at all, doing drugs, and gossiping about others is far more harmful to your family's and community's environment than the air pollution that's mentioned on the TV weather reports. There is so much simple pleasure that people can enjoy if they will just look around them and see it, keep life clean and simple, save a little of what comes in even if it's a little of tonight's dinner for lunch tomorrow, and treat the people you come into contact with like they matter, because they do - no matter what they look like or sound like. It's all about the "both, and" in life vs. the "either, or" that the learned and the wise keep preaching that makes every American community part of a greater American community that can and in many cases does live productively and peacefully. America is just off-message now. Most of its strife will go away if we can get back on this "both/and" vs. "either/or" message.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ArmyLT

      How is the view from the soapbox? Do you have an data to back up your claims? Regardless, reality is what it is and wishing for a return of old fashioned morals will fix nothing now or in the future. My view is look ahead and come up with possible solutions or alternatives versus looking back and wishing for what was.....

      June 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Johnh77

      Oh my God. Don't you realize how racial you sound? I mean how can you say such things. People will think you are insensitive. I mean you may hurt the feelings of others for saying such things.

      Personally, I thank you for saying such things. So close to the truth that it reminds me of that cartoon a couple of years ago. Jesse and Sharpton were praying for a world without bigotry and hatred. The next framed showed that the two of them vanished!

      So refreshing, thanks again

      June 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Johnh77


        Oh my God. Don't you realize how racial you sound? I mean how can you say such things. People will think you are insensitive. I mean you may hurt the feelings of others for saying such things.

        Personally, I thank you for saying such things. So close to the truth that it reminds me of that cartoon a couple of years ago. Jesse and Sharpton were praying for a world without bigotry and hatred. The next framed showed that the two of them vanished!

        So refreshing, thanks again

        June 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Pk

      You are spot on with this. Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson however are not trying to help anyone. They are in it to hold on to the power and money. Children from broken homes are far more likely to drop out of school and children who drop out of school are 4 times more likely to end up in jail. The problems in education can be traced directly to the break down of the "nuclear family" and not any difference in teachers or the few teachers that may not be qualified. Instill in children a love of education and the importance of personal responsibility rather than always blaming others for our shortcomings and failures.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jeff

      You cannot possibly be serious? What does wedlock have to do with access to Education? I'm usually not a fan of Jessie Jackson, but he is absolutely right. If we keep allowing our children to be dumbed down, we will be taken over and they will be the ones working in factories producing goods for the Smart kids in India and China, etc.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Sheepleherder

    As long as there are minority "leaders" like jackson telling their "people" what a terrible life they have, and how much better it would be for them if it weren't for the "white man" or the "rich man" or "big business" keeping them downtrodden, they will continue to see themselves as victims. Whatever resources that get devoted to "helping" them will never be enough, in America there is always a community just "on the other side" who has it better. They don't tell their people that all you have to do is work hard, keep your FAMILY together to help each other, and make a little luck for yourselves and you can live in that nice community too. Instead it's "they owe us" because of pick-your-choice-of-oppression, so we deserve what they have. The ONLY obstacle to you moving upward is your belief that jackson, and people like him, cares one lick about you or yours.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  23. eroteme

    I have never known where the Rev Jackson's church is or was.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • megaloteras

      It called a Bank.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  24. theseconddavid

    Egalitarian education is a poor education. Teach to the lowest common pupil and you get the 28th best education system in the world. Some people really are meant to grow up to be ditch diggers.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  25. marc about bring our the haters. Many of you seemingly "edeucated" people need help.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  26. Moncada

    Learning is not a "White" thing, it's simply learning regardless of race, nationality or ethnicity.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      No, I agree with the poster. in rap music, you hear about the "white way" which is educating yourself, getting a job, and raising a family. Over and over again, I hear (from racists blacks in music) that the white way includes eating certain foods and acting a certain way. Until blacks actually try to melt within the American community, they will always be seen as being outside of it, since they preach about it and do things like have "black this and black that...BET, and others. You can't argue for equality if you tell everyone you shold be separate!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  27. rev Al and Jesse were right all along

    ALL RACISTS. AMERICA IS RACIST. YOU CANT KEEP THE BLACK MAN DOWN. Sharpton and jackson are the great civil servants of this country. Clearly you are racist if you don't like them simply because they point out the truth. Its easy to say a priveleged white kids make school work when they arent oppressed every day.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Moncada

      We don't like them because they promote "blame others for you failures and whine, whine and whine."

      June 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Yes America! get with the times. if you don't like Al or Jesse, you are racist...forget whether you like black people or not, you are still racist! Isn't that logical?

      June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • michaelw777

        Uh, no it isn't logical. I detest Donald Trump and don't think much of Romney, but that doesn't mean I hate whites or businesspeople. To be more specific, I think David Duke is an idiot and I can't believe anyone listens to the tripe spewing from the orifice of Rush Limbaugh – but that doesn't mean I hate whites either. It apparently hasn't occurred to you, but people can dislike people of another race having nothing to do with their race.

        June 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • ArizonaYankee

      You are so delusional you are beyond help. Jackson and Sharpton have set race relations back at least 50 years. They are totally EVIL...

      June 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • megaloteras

      The real truth is in what Rev Jackson once said: Shake the books, not your A$$es and you will get ahead. Now take that to the bank!

      I have seen more than one minority student break through the 'poor' syndrome. I was a matter of wanting to do it, and working hard (just like everyone else) to get there.

      As long as you are seeking the easy way out, you will always be seeking it but never getting it.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Truth...HAHAHA

      Check your facts… If anyone is keeping the “Blackman” down it is the self proclaim Reverend himself. He preys on lower income people to benefit his own family. Back in the 80’s when he claimed that Coca Cola was the enemy; his half brother received the lucrative contracts from coke. When the senate seat opened up in Illinois, his son (suspected) was involved in the deal. When discussing the first black President of the United States, it was the Rev. who used the “N” word against him. It’s time to move forward and begin to realize that only an individual can keep themselves down…. Not someone else.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • megaloteras

      I grew up on the scools of DC. What I noticed was this:
      1. the minority students who made progress in the room were critisized, rediculed, called 'black on the outside, white inside' and a host of other names. The ones that were doing the name calling were of the same minority.
      2. The Rev. Jackson once said: 'shake the books, not your bottoms' to get ahead.
      Good advice, but who is listening? Time to stop blaming everyone else, and everything else. Look in the mirror and
      blame that person.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • BeadlesAz

      Well said. I, too, am sick of the excuses. "Leaders" such as Jackson & Sharpton play up the victimization of blacks. Yes, there have been injustices – but many people have faced adversity and come out on top. Bill Cosby has no problem telling the truth – and he genuinely cares about his race & his country. Jackson & Sharpton care only about their own self-aggrandizement & filling their bank accounts.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • megaloteras

      I think both the Rev and Al should adhere to Dr. King’s message. Meet the challenge; don't go around blaming everyone else for your personal lack of achievement. There is no reason why one black student of the same neighborhood, same financial position, in the same school, makes it to college and becomes a successful citizen while others don't, or don't want to.

      As an immigrant, my first year in the US, I learned English, how the government works, laws of the land, etc etc.

      While in DC's public schools, it became very clear as to who was interested in learning and who was not.

      Unfortunately, those who had more interest in socializing, dancing at the street corners and less interest for learning are probably the same people that are complaining of inequality.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Annie

      racism is racism no matter what color mouth it comes out of. one solution is for ALL the races to stop thinking in terms of race and think in terms of humans...period. as far as the article goes...dumbing down the classroom for the slowest student does NONE of them any good. it bores the bright students to tears and doesn't challenge the slow student enough. we need better TEACHERS! we don't need more coaches or administrators who were once coaches. the focus needs to be on EDUCATION not sports. don't get rid of sports but take some of the emphasis off of it. the kids need to know how to read and write more than they need to know how to play football or basketball.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  28. luke

    CNN- can't you see? You have an unmoral, racist person preaching morality. You should be ashamed of yourself for posting such rubbish.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  29. Chris

    Jesse Jackson is a racistttttt

    June 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  30. ferari lover

    i think Jessie Jackson is worse than a armpit.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  31. Deadus

    He used the term "moral imperative" six times. I'm just sayin'

    June 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  32. GauisCaesar

    This coming from the guy that wanted to cut the Prez's stuff off for talking about personal responsibility? This guy isn't a leader of anything. Instead of preaching to blacks about the music and entertainment industry which gives black youths a alternative avenue than the maintream (finish school, get a job) method, he ignores this and blames the problems on the govt and rich people. This guy has been lost for decades!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Jesse Jackson started losing his relevance when Al Sharpton appeared on the scene. Since the election of Barak Obama he has been further marginalized. The man he keeps claiming as his mentor, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., never used the politics of victimization to achieve his goals. He found out what the problem was and confronted the issue directly. He never blamed anyone else for not being able to reach his goals. Jackson has never learned that lesson. To him, it is always someone else's fault that young black men and women drop out of school and do not find jobs they can be proud of.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  33. Wardo

    Jackson talks about "moral imperative".

    Rather than blaming everyone else, he needs to spend more time preaching to "his community" about moral imperatives of personal responsibility and accountability associated with being a father, mother and a family.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Heather Halligan


      June 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  34. whosurdaddy

    lol now he is gona blame all the failure from Black communities to rich people who refuse to put their kids into getto schools.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  35. sww

    "is an inherently political response to the widely recognized need for education reform. It pretends to offer a solution for all when it provides only a band-aid for some."

    Ding, Ding, Ding... this can be said of most of the President's intiatives...

    June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  36. rev Al and Jesse were right all along

    jackson and sharpton just say it like it is. White people find new ways to opress us every day and mask false sense of equality. Give a N a bone and they shut up? I DONT THINK SO. this program clearly singles out black schools and black kids to help out priveleged whites.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Andrew

      So silly. LOL

      June 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Moncada

      Were you a product of a underprivileged education? Your writing needs improvement. Stop blaming others for your misfortunes it makes you seem ridiculous. My parents always said that it did not matter where I got an education, whether it be at a "rich school" or "poor school," all that really mattered was my determination to get an education.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • michaelw777

        Following that logic, then we don't need "rich" schools at all, do we? The money pulled from taxing those wealthier neighborhoods would be better spent somewhere else. After all, it's just about determination, right? Available resources for training those that want to learn are unimportant – determination and only determination matters. Determination does matter – but it is not the sole criteria by which others get ahead. It is one resource of many.

        June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      lol, now Obama hates blacks too huh? he is part of the conspiracy, the "man" if you will. No talking about the rap music or the way they portray the black race, only white people are conspiring to keep us down.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Steve

      I also agree that Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are the biggest racist on the planet and only do what they do for money. They have no intention on helping anyone, they just want to be on TV and get paid!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • BC

      Could you please define a "black school" for us? I am not aware of any segregarted schools in this country,

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Irategrandmother

      So stupid. Get a job, get off welfare, find your babies fathers and get off my butt.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • sandy

      What is happening to this world? 90% of black males. Is that what you think truly? You really think the world would be better without people like Dr. Ben Carson, Robert Curbeam, Dr. Freeman Hrawbowski, Colin Powell....

      June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  37. pablo

    Anything JJ says here is totally spineless. Howabout preaching about parental responsibility? If you're so concerned about kids, stop being a union lackey and promote the voucher system for kids? The voucher system works. Washington DC schools proved that already.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  38. phneutral

    Jesse, you can't expect the school system to raise your children. It's up to the parents. Look at the percentage of Black parents activily involved in raising their own children, specifically the number of Black men in jail, You need to straighten up your own acts before you start criticizing others.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  39. maquignon

    What hypocrisy for Jesse Jackson to talk about morality!!! How in the hell did he and Al Sharpton get to be spokesmen for black people? There are many intelligent, moral, respectable black people. Why does anyone listen to these two clowns? If money were the main factor controlling quality of education, we would have the best schools in the world, but we don't. No matter how much money is spent, children are not going to learn unless they have parents or guardians who care and are involved in their education.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      And maybe some help from some strong black role models that the music that is prevalent in the black community is causing the black race to undermine their own advances. But no, people like Obama are still going to tell the world they like Lil' Wayne and tell the US children his girls listen to it.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  40. luke

    Jessie Jackson has done WAY more bad than good for the black community. This message is just like ALL his other messages. Poor me, It’s the white people or rich people that are to blame.
    The only person you care about, Jessie Jackson, is you.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • tank

      Luke I agree. It time Men Black or White to stand on their on two feet and stop blaming everyone . Stand up and be a Man and crying about someone else. I have word hard all my life and no one has giving me anything. That is what wrong with Washington. No man up there is a Man . Eveyone points what is wrong. BE a Man stand for something.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  41. Teach

    There are two things that needs to be address with the education in America – family impact and the actual education system.

    Regardless of where the school is (poor neighborhood or super-rich) the important factor is the teachers. I was a NYC Teaching Fellow and worked in some of the worst schools in NYC. I cared about the kids and went to do the best I could day in and day out. The principal got us new books for the kids with any money she had and guess what – it was the kids that destroyed them! So throwing more money at them will be useless! They received a whole cart of laptops and instead of doing their non-fiction research, they were on youtube "learning" how to dunk/ rap. It is not about how much money a school gets if the children in the school do not appreciate it! It takes a child to want to learn in order to succeed in life – this comes from a family that cares about their child and wants them to succeed.

    On the flip side – there are numerous teachers that are just sitting on their behinds for a "few more years" to get that bigger pension. Don't blame the teachers – it is human nature that we would want more. Blame the people setting these benchmarks.. the politicians that have not been in a classroom for one day of their lives. Reward a teacher for the impact on her kids, not for the number of years she/he has in the system.

    How about we get EDUCATORS to fix the system instead of POLICITIANS looking for exposure/support.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  42. Anthony Quatroni

    There's no profit in education, so more jails are built, 'cause you can always make up a new law to fill them up! think about it, back in the 80's when the crack epidemic hit the streets, what was our wonderful government's answer to all the new drug arrests? You got it. . . build more jails! Rather than build more rehabs, or help our citizens, we spent billions of taxpayer dollars to build more jails. Nice.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  43. KMC

    Ok – enough with the comments about the signs beng held wrong. These are still pictures – the video shows them twirling the signs around.
    There is plenty to comment on – but you want to pick on that ? Makes YOU look stupid

    June 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  44. kc in nc

    If Jesse and the other whiners wanted to help their people they would do everything possible to stop unwed mothers from having children they can't support. The Hispanic community will become far more successful than blacks. With a focus on family, faith, hard work and education. These are values the black community does not embrace and will therefore never be successful.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  45. Mike

    It all starts at home. I'm sorry but it is not my fault those people can not keep their guns on safety, drop the drugs, and keep from reproducing like bunnies. Alas, they are used to the welfare state, it won't last long.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • sandy

      I know it doesn't matter to you, but these comments make me so sad. To know I have to raise my child and the son or daughter she may have when she decides to marry – in a world filled with this kind of hate and disrepect. I am so naive. People have told me over and over that people who feel like this are still out there but I want to believe we have begun to grow beyond this. It is hard for me to believe that there are are still people who do not realize that while some people in the black community have made bad decisions and are a drag on our society – there are 1000's of others who are contributing to it in ways that would make anyone proud. Hearing these venemous comments truly makes me fear for the safety of my daughter just because her skin is black.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  46. fam5will

    CNN lost what little credibility they had when they asked this bigot-for-hire to write for them. Let's Farrakhan to write about US / Israel relations or David Duke to write about the problems with racism in our country.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  47. John In PA

    Why does CNN even give this joke of a "minority leader" a forum? Jesse, read the comments. 90% of America understands that the problem is the community itself, not money.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  48. x-ring shooter

    Until such time that the parents start demonstrating that they care about their childrens' futures, this will recycle again and again. Single mother households raising children alone (i.e., without a male role model for the children) are already behind the 8-ball – they HAVE to work to feed, clothe, and house their children, and cannot be at home to teach their children right from wrong. (This is, of course, assuming that they are not merely taking advantage of the "public dole", and doing bugger-all to improve their lives.)

    I hold the men responsible for their abandonment of the children they father out of wedlock. If you father a child, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for that child! Grow some "character testicles" – the physical ones are working just fine, but it's not about bragging to your buddies about how many illegitimate children you may have fathered. Take some REAL RESPONSIBILITY for your actions, stay in your child's life, cowboy up, and BE A DAD!

    As for Rev Jesse ... Has this guy ever held a REAL JOB in his life??? What church does he preach weekly at, what help does he offer to those who need it daily, and does he have an actual PLAN to help people who need it, rather than to just to milk the teat of public sympathy? He, and Al Sharpton, are nothing but opportunists who always play the race card to further their own agendas (remember the whole Tawana Brawley thing?). It should be noted in passing that neither Jackson nor Sharpton has any REAL credibility anymore, seeing as they are both blatantly biased – they'll do anything they need to do to keep themselves "relevant" and in the news. Black Citizens of America, you are being CONNED by these charlatans and poseurs!

    All I can say is "Step up and take responsibility for the things you do!" Every action has a result, and I am sick of being demonized simply because I'm a Caucasian male who works for a living. I work with blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Indians from the sub-continent, and even Bosnians. They are ALL hard-working and ethical people who fulfill their responsibilities, and I am proud to work with them! When the Revs Jesse and Al want to get down and dirty, and actually WORK for a living, perhaps I'll listen to whatever they may have to say.

    At present, they are both just "noise in the background", and irrelevant. The minority vote should carefully review whatever (little) these two clowns have accomplished, and decide whether or not to be swayed by their positions (knowing that they have a LOT to gain by getting "face-time" on national TV news broadcasts, to further their own agendas).

    It's all about "personal responsibilty", people. You either have it, or you don't. But, if you don't have it, don't expect society to fill the void YOU left by screwing blissfully and walking away. Children are very precious and valuable – if you don't have the character to be a father when a child is the result of your actions, then you should be in a monastery, where you can't make the same mistake again.

    My two cents' worth ...


    June 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Moncada

      It would also be the woman's fault for getting pregnant for the tenth time (assuming she was not raped) from someone she met 30 minutes ago and knows nothing about. Don't you think?

      June 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  49. Joel

    Here we go again ......Jackson says it is class warfare. The problem is not money. Sure money plays a factor, but real problem is the families, the broken homes, the lack of motivation to excel at school, the lack of good role models. If we take money from the rich and give it to the poor, they will become successful......NOT. Are the kids role models going to change just because we spend more in the schools? Of course not.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  50. Hymietown

    Another attempt to blame disastrous black culture and values on the government, from the extortionist shakedown artist adultering racist Reverend Jesse "Hymietown" ("No, I didn't say it. No, I didn't say it. Well, OK, yes I did say it, and OK, yes I did lie about not saying it.") Jackson.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  51. reasonably

    Who wrote this article? Certainly not you, Jesse. Your hate filled, poor-woe-is-my-race vitriol is missing. Go back to yelling about justice for Treyvon with the Black Panthers...

    June 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Fedup

      I find it so comical to read the words 'Moral' and Jesse Jackson in the same article.. I guess family values is passe, what with his indiscretion with his secretary.. And as for Treyvon, maybe the education system did fail BOTH the shooter and the victim, by not teaching proper manners, how to dress, and ethics.. and there we are full circle, back to morals and ethics.. just like Rev. Al and Tawana Brawley.. or has the world forgotten that too

      June 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  52. deathstalker187

    If it is true that school funding comes from local property tax and because of that schools close to low income housing is getting short changed then yes that is a valid issue. If on the other had that is not true and the school gets the same funding as other schools in better neighborhoods then the issue is obviously the people running it and not the money.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  53. chris

    We just saw a story that made national news of a homeless girl whos parents abandoned her. She did not protest, she did not say she needed more money, she worked at the school as a janator and studied till 2am..with help from supported teachers she made it to Harvard. Had nothing to do with her skin color, it had everything to do with her determination to better herself and her life. No amount of money is going to create kids like her. You either want a better life or you want a better handout.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Moncada

      Then you have some people screaming not employ children as janitors.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • bh

      Excellent post.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  54. Jack

    I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Rick

      That was a classic SNL skit.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  55. slowjammer

    Please Mr Jackson time to go away. You comments during Mr. Martin's death (let's get Mr. Zimmerman) is not the way you were groomed. If Dr King was alive he would be very disappointed in you. What happen to the non-violence stand? Instead of calling for Mr Zimmermans head you should ask black people to vote. You know they will not vote. You should ask black producers and directors to stop making the pimps up hoes down type movies. Start making movies about some of the least know black people who help form this country.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  56. Gareth

    In general, I don't disagree with the opinion of Reverend Jackson. It is true that our education system is fragmented and those in lower income communities, both urban & rural, receive less funding. My concern is how the money is spent by districts. Where I live, approx. 80% of the budget is for pay and benefits. This leaves little investment for infrastructure updates, modernization of equipment & tools, etc. Knowing using the word "public sector union" is not PC, one must ask, if we restructured the benefits and increased the flexibility of communities and boards to change, would we be able to invest the savings into the kids?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  57. Kevin

    This article misses the boat. Urban schools typically receive as much money per student than suburban - and almost always receive more per student than rural schools. Mr. Jackson provides zero data to support his stance that inner-city kids are getting shortchanged on funds.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Denise in LA

      Not true – inner city kids funding is always received from local taxes (business & personal property) so if there are no businesses nearby they do not receive the same funding as a more affluent area would. I know plenty of teachers in urban areas where the kids do not have books. How can kids learn if they don't have books?

      June 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  58. carlyjane6

    June 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  59. Robert

    Sorry Jesse,
    You lost all cerdibility when you used the N word to refer to Obama.
    You're as big a bigot as those you claim to fight against.
    You and Al Sharpton should go off somewhere and hug.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  60. Jason Smith

    School's are becoming scapegoats for lazy parenting. My Dad (single parent) dropped out of HS at 16 and started driving a truck at 18. He has been a Teamster now going on 30 years. He couldn't come home and help me with my algebra or spanish homework, but he did show me what it took to survive as an adult. Hard work. I graduated HS and joined the Army. Now I'm a successful, functioning adult who wakes up everyday, puts on work boots and provides for my family. Not unlike my Dad. Not a single teacher, principal, or text book showed me how to be an adult. I've become very disenchanted with modern education for putting such an emphasis on college enrollment when in reality colleges have become overrun by liberal, socialist agendas. "Come to Blanky University, where you will drink, smoke, and incur enough debt to buy a small house and decent vehicle." The only thing I can say with the utmost authority is this, watching your parent(s) live day to day has much greater influence than any school textbook. If the parents are parasites to our socialist government, the children will replicate it. There isn't a diploma or degree in the world that can teach children better than their parents.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • max3333444555

      I didnt experience the socialist agenda when I went to school. If you hadnt ranted about socialism so much I would have found your post credible.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I am sorry to point this out, and I know it is a cultural thing (My guess is your Southern), but if you are the same as your father, then your father is a failure.

      Men have a moral imperative to see their childreen are better than they, not the same.

      I have labored both hard, and smart, so rest assured I can speak with experience.

      If you choose to reproduce, PLEASE educate your children.

      You owe it to them, and to us all.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Jason Smith

        Bill, can I call you Bill? You are 100% accurate in your assesment. I'm from the beautiful bankrupt state of Illinois however. Are you ashamed of the hard work you've done in your life? We always want better for our children, but in a sense, I think these expectations of grandeur can cripple them. One thing I learned in college, ( outside of the difference between good and bad pot) is that we all are subject to the "cycle of poverty". Whereas we all want our children to be smarter, richer, and more successful than us, 85% of the time (totally made up percentage, again i reference the good and bad pot) our children will actually earn within 15k or what we do. They will live in similar houses, drive similar cars, and have similar size families. It's work ethic and responsibility that we embed into our children, not dillusions of something we're not. I knew I wasn't going to be a rocket scientist, my kids will know the same, that " You can be whatever you want" is unrealistic and a lie. "You can be whatever you work your butt off to be" is what I'm going to tell my children when I finally find a woman to go on a date with me. BTW, I'm on a tangent, but Jesse Jackson Sr. and Jr. are walking left handed waterheads. I wish nothing but terrible things for them both.

        June 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  61. humtake

    Sigh...just another person who thinks the problem is with the government and not the parents and students themselves. You can't force someone to learn and you can't force people to force their kids to learn. The ones who want to learn find a way. It may be more difficult than a "privileged" kid, but in my opinion that would just make me want to hire the person more who worked harder. And most people have the same opinion. Don't blame anyone but the parents and kids. They have an opportunity to learn. They are the ones who have to take it. You could put a 500 gazillion dollar school with every amenity ever created in the poorest district in the country and I will bet you money that it won't make a difference. The kids have to want to learn and the parents have to teach them the value of learning.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  62. John

    Jesse is the only person in the news I've worked with. I'm white. He's helped out the community I came from, not from Chicago, on many occasions. The town is 95% white. He didn't look to make news, just come and help fight for some workers. Jesse's a good man. Not judge somebody based on how Fox new portrays them.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  63. Peter

    This is written by a guy who steals from the poor, flies around the country in private planes has children out of wed lock and lies about it. Then pays for the child and mothers expensive condo in California with poor peoples money. Blackmails A/B into selling distributorship in Chicago to his son to ensure he is further enriched. While the poor people on the south side of Chicago give him money and buy his beer. Jesse you are a low life! I have not even mentioned your son Jesse Jr. that is a whole other story.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Irategrandmother

      I agree. Jesse and Sharpton really haven't done anything proactive in their "careers" except show up and take photo ops when possible. You can actually see Sharpton jockeying for position to get his picture next to "innocent victims". Rainbow Coalition? Its the teachers that make for a good education. But in NC with the "No Child Left Behind" policy, children are passed through the sytem and still don't know how read, write or put together a simple sentence. And these are the ones who are teaching our children AND will be our next leaders. America is becoming the dumbest nation because of our bleeding heart liberals who won't stand up to people like Jesse who don't really care about education as much as he does getting his name and picture out there.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  64. mpt1123

    Poor schools? Aren't they still busing the kids from inner city schools to other schools? What about the voucher program that allows kids to go to other schools? This guy does nothing but complain that nothing is being done, when plenty is and has been done to help. By now, if you haven't taken advantage of the numerous programs available to you, then shame on you. Of course, if you haven;t, you'll always have Jesse in your corner complaining that you're been held down through no fault of your own.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Hugh

      Actually, busing as a means to integrate or level the playing field is a thing of the past. Too expensive and didn't work.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • Irategrandmother

        Not it doesn't work and it is expensive but good ole North Carolina has continued to use it for 40+ years.

        June 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • asdf

      Education is almost entirely state-run, so any programs are state-based. Some have vouchers, some have bussing, others have nothing.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  65. spent

    What a bunch of crap Jackson. Go to your hole and dig yourself deeper into it, money and buildings are not the problem....Look in your back yard and you will see the problem...oh that's right you do not have one do you?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  66. Moncada

    Sorry Mr. Jackson but money is not the answer. Let me put it in a simple manner... You can spend thousands of dollars to buy new books for a school but then if the children do not take care of the books and tear them right after receiving them there is no use to invest in books as it is probable that they will meet the same fate. Education starts at home.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  67. Rolf

    I feel so bad for good, hard working Parents who ARE doing right by their children, yet are lumped in with those who do not. Everybody is so afraid of being attacked that nobody wants to say it to their faces, especially if one is of another race. Too bad, we all lose.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  68. TomGI

    I don't believe JJ wrote this article. He's just the signatory. It's not "Jessie speak".

    June 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  69. American

    Aren't there "black only" universities? He says, "From my perspective, this is the wrong question. We must instead determine whether a contest that provides support to some but not others is sufficient for addressing the structural inequities that make separate and unequal education a persistent fact of life in America today." Seems like the wall needs to come down from the "other side".

    June 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Charles Roman

      No, there are no "Blacks Only" colleges. There are predominantly black colleges. At one time the Jim Crow laws would not allow whites to attend "black colleges," or any other kind of racial cohabitation, but that ended long ago.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Irategrandmother

      Reverse Discrimation is okay. You can't have White Only universities or anything that excludes blacks. My daughter's high school had a scholarship offered by a black sorority that could only be given to a black student. Try doing that for a white student. In fact, try finding an all white sorority.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  70. Everett Wallace

    NOPE! jesse we do neither just because you make a suggestion, you need to talk to farrkahn that's who u wit.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  71. johnnnnny0

    bad mojo- jesse only thinks of himself... remember when he denied being the father of that child.. says alot about mr. morals..
    do not listen to this guy or his offspring...

    June 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  72. ItsDaPoleece

    I completely agree with Jesse Jackson. I never thought I'd say that, but he seems to have hit the nail on the head. If you're poor, live in a poor neighborhood, go to a poor school, probably get taught by poor teachers (financially at least), whats the incentive to get an education if the richest people in your neighborhood deal drugs and steal? I wouldn't go to school either. That takes 12 years and effort. I could be making hundreds of dollars next week if I just stole things.

    It's sad how many other commenters on here think it's alright to not even try funding these underprivileged schools, with outdated books, minimal Internet access, etc. If you think you have a grip on reality, visit a poor neighborhood's school. See the equipment with which they're working. Then come back and tell me all schools teach the same education with different funding.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Moncada

      I have been too a "underprivileged" school when I was attending a magnet school on the same campus, I had to go to their building when I had Spanish class. Trust me when I say that most of the damage with books, windows, and electronics are done by the students.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Valerie

      Amen! I agree!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  73. Dean

    Jesse why are you not at Auburn protesting about violence against Blacks?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  74. chris

    As the public becomes more educated on how the public education system/union work they become educated in the money given in rarely reaches the student or the teachers salary. I'm 57 years old and have heard since I was in grade school that the schools need more money. I volunteered in K-12 while my kids went to school. Self employeed I had greater access to my particular K-12 system than most parents. I was not impressed. Counselors and principles saying to me face to face they are the advocates for the teacher, not the student. The school had no accounting for where the money we parents raised was going. And teachers spent more time studing behind their desk to get a higher degree and move out of the K-12 system than teaching. Two particular 3rd and 5th grade teachers took us three and four years respectfully to fire. Mr. Jackson has been heard to repeat these words over and over but I don't see him in the black schools telling kids and parents to get their act together. Thats not racism thats a fact. You go to jail because you break the law..theres the moral standard. You can't learn in school if someone in your life has not sat you down and driven it in your head that your going to go, your going to study and your going to do well then all this money is pointless. In every corporation they ask themselves how to become better at what they do. Where is the school system self improving?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • matt

      Amen. The problem is they system as a whole. There's no accountability anywhere...

      June 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • carl47

      I AGREE

      June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  75. LeapinLarry

    This is from the same guy who said he wanted to cut the president's balls off.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Yes and he made that rediculous comment simply because on fathers day then candidate Obama had stressed the importance of black men in America owning up to their responsibilities and being there for their kids! Our problem in the black community is we are always disrespecting each other and we are too often divided and unless we learn to work together as a community and learn to love and respect each other, we would always be looked down upon by the rest of society. Plain and simple!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  76. Joan

    How about teaching the kids how to hold a sign right side up.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  77. reader

    How about hitting the core of the problem and doing something to change the poverty-stricken communities from within before blaming others for not doing enough to bring changes? Consider, for example, what leaders like you, Rev. Jackson, can do to help restore the broken family structure in so many of the poverty-stricken, urban communities.How about educating young, single parents, helping them get on their feet, and empowering youths that come from broken families? How about educating parents to be real parents. How about finding ways to lower teenage pregnancy rate? These are difficult challenges but ones that need to be addressed in order to change the future of our youths for the long-term.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Well stated!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  78. disgustedvet

    Jesse Jackson is a liar,race baiter and all around charlatan who has been milking the community he professes to serve for decades. How can smart people be so blind and deaf?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  79. Takara

    Does anyone else realize that they are holding the signs wrong?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  80. Realityman

    Reading this article just reaffirms what's wrong with Black America today- real leadership. Hang it up Jessie, no one listens to the victim mentality you propose.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • 225frank

      Listen to Bill Cosby instead of Jessie. Bill wants to re-establish pride in the black community. Jessie is looking for more handouts for nothing.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Intruth23

      Did you even read the article dumba ss! We are not talking about victim mentality, we are talking about ACTUAL victims!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  81. Gaffs

    Lets see Jesse, how about you and all of your rich Democrat buddy's, like the Hollywood crowd, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Ried, Al Sharpton, Warren Buffet, and such take all of the millions ya'll have and rebuild all fo the inner city homes, and schools. If you really care like all of you complain you do, think of all the wonderful things that could be done with all that money instead of shaking down taxpayers and the government for more money. Aren't you in the crowd that believes that the government should take the rich monies and give it to others. So how about you start with you and all your rich Hollywood and political buddies and rebuild those areas. Think of the miricle you could perform instead of relying on the government.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • guest


      June 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  82. Revvvverand Jackson

    First question... is Jackson making money off this gig?
    2nd question... is he getting publicity?
    3rd...has he in the last 40 years shown an ounce of wisdom?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • 225frank

      Jessie has shown us that socialism fails. He has shown us that our politicians will use our hard earned tax dollars to fuel a social program that pays people to have kids (for more social program money..not because they want to be parents) in exchange for votes. And yes, Jessie makes money off this.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  83. 225frank

    All the money in the world can't replace parenting and family support. Parenting is step 1 to improving community economic standing, generating more tax $. Throwing more tax dollars at a system where parenting isn't available is throw away. Fix parenting.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Adrian


      June 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  84. MRC

    Jackson has ZERO credibility!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  85. Brian Paul

    Anything Jesse Jackson does takes away it's credibility. I think Jesse does much more harm to our african american citizens than good.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Geoff

      Spelling "it's" (it is) instead of "its" takes away your credibility.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • disgustedvet

        We having a quiz Teach ?

        June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Phil Woodard

      Couldn't agree more... where has Jesse Jackson ever been a part of the actual solution? How many millions is he worth and has he made off of championing such causes?

      June 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  86. Weldon Gebhard

    I mentored at a local school for 3 yrs.
    What Parents"
    And, too many of the Do Gooders are "enabelers". We need to teach self sufficiency.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  87. BobbaFett

    Jesse Jackson = 60s artifact.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  88. chris

    BooSkoo may be right about more money in education. But I know that less money is not the answer.When our elected officals take money from education, They take my money from my childern's education.I pay property taxes and more. Tke money from THE MILLITARY INDUSTRAL CONPLEX not from my children's education. VOTE OUT ALL REPUBLICANS WHO SUPPORT ROBBING FROM THE POOR AAND GIVING TO THE SUPER RICH!!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Drew

      Your prospective is wrong.. the politicians pull from one coffer and funnell to other areas they want to – which is wrong. It isnt the rich folk taking financially from the poor.. last i checked, mare than 50% of the population in the US paid zero taxes! It;s not just republicans either dude.. All politicians funnel and rob the american people spending $$ on crap when the focus should be infrastructure, education and jobs development.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • LD

      Don't mean to be rude but you're an idiot. It scares me that you actually vote.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • IndependentinCA

      Ever hear of proofreading or is it that you just can not spell?

      June 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  89. Fredagunda

    I've taught in a district which is mostly black, and the problem is, indeed, with the parents. Give them a nice school and plenty of supplies and they just steal, tear up the place, and fight. Why bother, when they don't even want to learn? Learning is "acting white" and that's Kryptonite to the black community.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Drew

      Yo dat's whack ya hurd!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tenoeight

      Unfortunately, that does seem to be a fairly acurate portrayal of the low income mentality regarding education. If we did away with most public assistance programs over a period of time (say10 years), perhaps the desire for education would be increased in this demographic. Further, why do we allow people to get driver's licenses who drop out of school? We want someone who couldn't handle 10th grade to wield 2 tons of steel at 70 miles per hour? Seems crazy.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  90. Education is waht you make it

    I do not agree with this article. Education is what you make it and children and families that want to learn and rise above their environment will and those that don't won't. It is as simple as that. No one is coming to the rescue of children in rural areas where the nearest school is an hour away and the classroom size is less than 10. These children do not have access to advance mathematics or foreign language classes but yet, they are advancing and going on to higher education; many as first generation college students. This is not a race or a class issue and should not be treated as such. This is an "I did not get a fair shake in life all because I am poor or I am a minority." Stop making issues that are clearly traced to the family unit about unfair treatment and make it what it is, a family crisis. Do your job at home and change the pattern of failure.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  91. mike

    they should make a requirement, the child's parent chaperone them through the entire day of school for a week of probation when a student gets suspension for fights or uses violence in school. let the parents serve detention with them!! it will also make the bullying student look less a threat in the eyes of their peers when they act like one. and maybe this will allow the other parents the insight in the way their public education system works in relations of faculty to student.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  92. wagnertinatlanta

    So Jesse's flogging the time-honored political solution for every problem - throw money at it and hold no one accountable. Sorry, Jesse, you've worn that one out. Maybe next time, but I hope not.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  93. imjustsaying

    I agree with booskoo, education always begins at home with parents. Poor or not, if the parent isn't working with a child to teach the importance of education, there is little anyone else will be able to do. You could funnel all the funds you want and create all of the special programs you want for those that qualify but if the parent isn't teaching their own children the value of education, it isn't going to matter. If I saw any kind of sign that individuals (kids or parents) in poor communities truly had a desire for improved education for themselves then I might agree but I haven't seen this. If I haven't seen it as your average joe, the makers certainly aren't going to care.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  94. publicskew

    Nice try Jackson, but you are extremely out of touch. This is not the civil rights era. The classroom is a prison for decent students. The school has become a place for gangs and unruly and destructive behavior. It turns nice kids into either complete shut ins or stunts their academic growth. The focus shifts when teachers cannot deal with disruptive pupils who have no respect for the school.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  95. JoJo

    Maybe you should post a picture of someone holding their sign right side up. Also, education does start at home. Taking an interest in the kids life. Also, there is no uneven playing field Rev. I do believe that the "no child left behind" program was a mistake, but it all goes back to the parents. I don't agree with the Rev on anything he says. He is a hate filled wanna be man of god. Remember, he's the one who throws bricks at schools.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  96. wrm

    horsepucky – the problem is with the parents. There is no amount of money that you can spend to overcome indifferent and disconnected parents. Until the "black community" learn to act collectively like a people who want to be educated they won't be, no matter how many white people bend over backwards for them.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  97. Booskoo

    Sorry, Jesse - Spring ISD near Houston built the newest, state of the art school in the Houston Metropolitan Region about five years ago and filled it with 60% Black, 30% Latino and 10% white students.

    The school has the same sorry graduation rate as most minority schools. The students fight, disrupt classes, never study, have trashed the place and they rule the teachers.

    Education BEGINS at home with Parents who Care about their children's future.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • spent

      I taught in the inner city for about 26 of my 34 years and money is not the problem...I agree.....

      June 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  98. mdt

    It's not often that I agree with Reverend Jesse Jackson, but he is correct in his evaluation of what ails the American education system. It is not all the teacher's fault, blame doesn't solely lay with principals, nor parents, nor students. The problem is preferential funding for certain schools, while ignoring the monetary needs of those schools in poor neighborhoods. The punitive actions taken against low performing schools have not resulted in schools miraculously improving, rather it has resulted in those schools being shuttered and students being displaced at a vital time in their education.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Booskoo

      See my post above - more money won't change a thing. Sorry.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Not really

      You do realize that most studies show there is is little correlation between money spent per pupil and education outcomes. Washington DC has one of the highest spending rates and one of the worst school systems in the country.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Todd in DC

        Actually, Not Really, there are 2 DC school systems. The 3rd and 2nd wards have decent systems, and the other 6 wards do not.

        The difference? Parents give a damn in the 2nd and 3rd wards. That makes all the difference, not money.

        Yes, I realize I am generalizing, but I'm talking about trends, not individual students.

        Even in a "poor" school, a kid who learns and a parent who cares can make any lesson plan work.

        June 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • asdf

        Agreed- NJ is another example of this. About 15 years ago, the NJ Supreme Court said that the worst schools should receive the same per-pupil budget as the best. Now, those schools are called the "abbot" districts (the name of the case). Newark, Camden, and other hell-holes spend $15k per year per pupil, and graduate about half as many kids as some schools in rural areas of NJ that spend $9-$10k. And this is after 15 years to make it work, as well.

        June 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
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