Thursday, May 19, 2011

If I Made the Educational Decisions…. “The Adam Vernon Trotter Experimental Education Program.” (Initial Draft Copy)

May 18th, 2011

If I were the official making educational decisions for any affluent/middle to upper middle class township, community, county, or city, I would invite some predetermined number of desirous and deserving underprivileged children/students from a potentially less-affluent nearby community to attend my well-funded school systems. Of course, any such program could be started on an experimental basis and the results could be assessed after a set length of time. As the adoption of county-wide [or the likes] school systems to level the educational opportunities available to all students across economic borders appears as a never materializing non-reality in much of the American nation, such a program as what I put forth herein potentially could provide fantastic returns for all parties involved in the educational effort.

So, as some examples (with no intended offense to any listed community or school system), if I were the Township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I would invite say twenty children from nearby Camden to come and attend Cherry Hill High Schools. If I were Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, I would invite a handful of students from Philadelphia. Garden City, New York, could invite some children from Hempstead. Andover, Massachusetts, could take on some students from nearby Lawrence. And, Palos Verdes and Torrance, California, could educate some students from South/South-Central Los Angeles. This list of cities is merely meant to delineate a few examples, of course; but the list could go on endlessly throughout the states of our nation.

For this type of ‘experimental’ educational program, some simplistic application process could be developed which could then be followed by a lottery to determine which students from the less-affluent region were chosen to attend the more-affluent region’s school systems. If it were up to me, I would provide free transportation from a set location to the destination school. The states of the schools could maybe even help to defray some of the costs for, say, transportation – for starters.

The invited children/students would have to agree to the terms of no truancy, no troublemaking, and the maintaining of a decent/respectable grade-point average. Failing these terms, the child would be replaced by another more desirous underprivileged student. (Additionally, in extreme cases of behavioral difficulties, any severely misguided and dismissed student could even be billed for the costs of the opportunity – just as a penalty to keep everyone honest, so to speak.) This program would have no resemblance to the forced racial ‘busing’ programs of the 1970’s (etc.) – as the students of the subject hypothetical program would want to go to the other school and the students would be welcome in the host school as well.

The envisioned main and stated goal of any such ‘experimental’ educational undertakings would be that any benefits gleaned from these educational opportunities by the students would hopefully be taken back to the underprivileged students’ home neighborhood to help foster an improved educational and business environment in the less-affluent region. While such a program may have some amount of increased initial costs for the host-school communities, it is likely in the long-term that such a program would provide beneficial and even immeasurable returns for all.

And, I mean..., what the heck..., some of the more affluent school systems spend exhorbinant amounts of dollars per capita student. So, what’s the harm to show the benevolence to educate an additional handful of students who may otherwise never have been privy to a better-funded and possibly more-enriched public school educational opportunity as would likely be available in the better-funded school systems? Has it not been said: “Cast your bread upon the waters and it will be returned to you…,” or something to that extent? I think such prophetic logic would apply to this experimental educational program as I hereby propose.

Currently, I am not aware of any existing or on-going educational efforts to undertake such a program to offer higher-quality secondary school educations to underprivileged students as I have described herein – though that does not mean any such programs necessarily do not already exist. However, as I know of no such plan of widespread spreading of the educational wealth in the nation’s public school systems, maybe I will dub this plan as the “Adam Vernon Trotter Experimental Education Program.”

Adam Vernon Trotter / AVT

PS. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones … he will certainly not lose his reward."

Follow-on note, August, 6th, 2011:
I have since learned that some amount of benevolent communities across our nation have educational programs in-place and operating to the end of which I blogged herein - such being the allowance for under-privileged youth from other communities entry into the more affluent and neighboring communities schools. Maybe I should change the name of this blog entry?