Poverty, Dropouts, Pregnancy, Suicide: What The Numbers Say About Fatherless Children And Teenagers

The absence of a father has a huge impact on a child.  The impact is heartbreaking.  The necessity for children and teens to have both parents that are engaged in raising, nurturing,  and teaching their children is important.

Fatherlessness has a great impact on children and teenagers, and poses one of the the most serious problems today in education.

This was cited by best-selling author Alan Blankstein to NPR.

He [Blankstein] has spent most of his life advocating for kids who struggle in school. He wrote Failure is Not an Option, a guide to creating high-performing schools for all students.

The question was put to Blankestien, “So, just how many kids are fatherless?”

 24.7 million kids in the U.S. don’t live with a biological father.

A U.S. Department of Education study found 39 percent of students, first through 12th grade, are fatherless.


Children are four-times more likely to be poor if the father is not around. And we know that poverty is heavily associated with academic success. [Fatherless kids] are also twice as likely to drop out.

Dropouts & Incarceration

Dropping out of school, growing up fatherless and incarceration appear to be connected. One study you cite from 2012 titled, “The Vital Importance of Paternal Presence in Children’s Lives,” shows that seven out of 10 high school dropouts are fatherless.

Does fatherlessness affect boys differently than girls?

The research that I’ve seen says that girls are twice as likely to suffer from obesitywithout the father present. They’re four-times more likely to get pregnant as teenagers. Boys are more likely to act out, which is why we’re more aware [of how they’re affected], but if a young girl is imploding, we don’ t see it.

Read full article at NPR


Failure Is Not an Option: 6 Principles That Advance Student Achievement in Highly Effective Schools 3rd Edition
by Alan M. Blankstein is available at Amazon.

Pennsylvania Students Suspended for Tweeting Criticism Over Students Wearing Chick-fil-A T-shirts

school desks photoIn Pennsylvania an Allentown area school suspended 15 students for using Twitter during school hours after two classmates wore Chick-fil-A shirts during a Gay-Straight Alliance event, parents and students said.

Last week, the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance encouraged students to wear different colored shirts each day to raise awareness of issues such as teen suicide and disabilities, said senior Erin Snyder, 18. For last Friday, the club encouraged students to wear rainbow colored shirts in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues.

During the high school’s televised announcements that morning, two students on the broadcast wore Chick-fil-A T-shirts, Snyder said. The students didn’t say anything about the Gay-Straight Alliance or the school’s LGBT community, but she believes they knew what they were doing.

The appearance of the t-shirts started a flurry of harassment and obscene tweets from students during school time. Continue reading “Pennsylvania Students Suspended for Tweeting Criticism Over Students Wearing Chick-fil-A T-shirts”

SAT Admission Bonuses For Black and Hispanic University Applicants

asianamericancollegeElite universities are propping-up SAT scores of Black and Hispanic applicants and deducting from Asian applicants SAT scores.

Anna Lee is an Asian advocate in America,  she recently gave a presentation in California where she mourned the decline of Asian college admissions.

Then she eases into a potentially incendiary topic — one that many counselors like her have learned they cannot avoid.

“Let’s talk about Asians,” she says.

Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column.

African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

She points to the second column.

“Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps.

Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.

“Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes,” Lee says.

Zenme keyi,” one mother hisses in Chinese. How can this be possible?

Academic success is penalized.  Instead of working on the root causes of why some students do well and others poorly its add some points and deduct some points. Problem solved.

US Census Quick Facts Population:
White 77.7%
Hispanic 17.1%
Black 13.2%
Asian 5.3%

Eliminating admission bonuses based on race or ethnicity acceptance rates of Black and Hispanics students would decline at universities. There would be a minimal effect on Caucasian applicants to elite universities. The biggest winners would be Asian students with a gain in acceptance rates at elite universities.

Online:  For Asian Americans, a changing landscape on college admissions


Rachel Jeantel Graduates

Rachel Jeantel Graduates
Rachel Jeantel, right, graduates from high school. (Personal photo)

In a Miami auditorium on Friday Rachel Jeantel was presented her high school diploma. Rachel had promised her friend, Trayvon Martin, that she would finish school.  She was ridiculed during her testimony at the Zimmerman trial because of her dialect, testiness, and use of slang. When she was forced to admit on the stand she could not read cursive, she was mocked almost everywhere.

Jeantel said of her accomplishment,

“I did it. The witness who didn’t know how to speak English knows how to speak English through the 12th grade now.  I never quit.”

Continue reading “Rachel Jeantel Graduates”

Recycled Cartons Create Desks That Double As Backpacks For Needy Children In India

India Student Help DeskAarambh is a non-profit charity organization in India that helps the most marginalized families living in urban slums and rural
communites. Aarambh video says that students sitting on the floor all day lead to “bad posture, poor eyesight, and bad handwriting.”

It created the “Help Desk” which is a backpack that can fold out to become a desk. The “Help Desk” is made from discarded carton boxes. The discarded cartons are stenciled to create a desk that can be folded up into a backpack, for less than 20 cents a piece.

Aarambh distributed the Help Desks in schools in rural Maharashtra, in western India, and students were able to study more “comfortably and cheerfully.”

An amazing helpful idea.

High School student shoves elderly teacher to the ground

school signA 16-year-old young man has been charged with injury to the elderly after cell phone video captured him shoving a substitute teacher at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas.

“She took his phone because he was in class texting,” said senior Calvin Bennet Rainwater. “ We’re not supposed to have our phones out. He pushed her like three times.”

“Aldine Independent School District police on Thursday filed a criminal charge of injury to an elderly person against a 16-year-old male student. The charge stems from an incident that occurred Thursday afternoon at Nimitz High School when a substitute teacher confiscated the student’s cell phone. The student is accused of physically shoving the substitute teacher to the ground and then retrieving his cell phone. Other students witnessed the incident and immediately reported it to school officials, who then summoned an ambulance and the campus-based police officer. The substitute teacher, who is a retired Aldine teacher, was treated at a local hospital and then released.”

Online:  Video shows Nimitz High School student shoving elderly teacher to the ground

Involved Fathers Are A Key To College Success

5880468163_87be44cfcb_q_dad-childFamily structure and parent involvement, especially fathers, has a massive impact on children and their education success.   A college diploma is an important component in achieving economic success in today’s economy. An article by W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia looks at what is a key to college success.

I find that young adults who as teens had involved fathers are significantly more likely to graduate from college, and that young adults from more privileged backgrounds are especially likely to have had an involved father in their lives as teens.

Bradford Wilcox looked at the kinds of family structures most likely to facilitate father involvement; adolescents are much more likely to report that they have a father who is involved or highly involved if their biological parents are married. An involved father from all education levels is more common for adolescents living in an intact, married family.

Continue reading “Involved Fathers Are A Key To College Success”

Harvard Professor: “The Closing of the Collegiate Mind”

harvard photo“The Closing of the Collegiate Mind“ is a feisty opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Ruth Wisse that should be read.

There was a time when people looking for intellectual debate turned away from politics to the university. Political backrooms bred slogans and bagmen; universities fostered educated discussion. But when students in the 1960s began occupying university property like the thugs of regimes America was fighting abroad, the venues gradually reversed. Open debate is now protected only in the polity: In universities, muggers prevail.

Today across the United States and across much of the world university and college campuses are “closing the mind”, closing intellectual discussion.  The discussion is being closed basically to Christians, those on the right, to conservatives.  To those who might “offend” anyone in a group that must not be offended.  Conformity and repression of ideas is valued and promoted over the democratic ideas of America.

Continue reading “Harvard Professor: “The Closing of the Collegiate Mind””

What Kids Are Reading

Children ReadingGreen eggs, stick figures navigating school, football, foster children, and teen battles are all found in the books American children are reading. Robin Hood, stick figures navigating school, and teen battles are all found in books United Kingdom children are reading. There are many similar authors being read by US and UK students.

The reading habits are detailed in the 2014 reports for the school year 2012-2013, which was released by Renaissance Learning. The reading choices of school children are tracked through the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader (AR) program.

Continue reading “What Kids Are Reading”