Archive

Right on Promise | TribLIVE.com
News

Right on Promise

Jake Haulk is right on all counts in his column “The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program: Promises & more promises” .

I saw graduation class after graduation class leave Brashear High School, many students “not prepared to do college-level work.” Many factors inhibited rigorous study in my English classes: First and foremost was the district’s core curriculum. Little to no grammar was written into the scripted curriculum. Occasionally, it suggested teaching “semicolon usage” in some reading. But how does one teach that to kids who cannot correctly punctuate using a comma or period? Most students graduating did not understand the necessity of a verb; hence, comma splices and sentence fragments were abundant in written work.

In his 2012 column “Rising black social pathology” , Walter Williams wrote: “Over the past couple of decades, I’ve attended neighborhood reunions. I’ve asked whether any of us recall classmates who couldn’t read, write or perform simple calculations, and none of us does.” Haulk opines, too, that “meaningful improvement in academic achievement” via low qualifications is a recipe for failure at the college level.

Today’s students lack passion or excitement for learning. Sadly, Mr. Haulk, many don’t want to work toward what the Pittsburgh Promise affords them: an opportunity for a successful future.

A co-ed told me after the Promise was announced in 2007: “That’s great. But how am I supposed to get there? Are they going to buy me a new car, too?”

Marva Collins summed it up best: “Success doesn’t come to you … you go to it.”

Nicholas Evanish

South Park

The writer is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.