In the city of New Haven, Connecticut I read that the high school dropout of inner city male students is 45% In my home town of Orange, a suburban town and part of a three town regional high school the dropout rate among male high school students is about 3% The answer as to why seems obvious to me. Would you as the reader venture to express a reason or reasons as to why?
Some would say because the teachers are not as well trained in the inner city as in the suburb school system. Another might say that it is a matter of inheritance. That those who are most successful in incomes migrate to suburbia. The inner city has the famous Yale University from which comes all sorts of discoveries in science including medicine and environmental matters as well as the best liberal art teachers alive and an outstanding music program. Science tells us that the intellectual potential among inner city children is as good as in outer children. One New Haven area high school has produced chess teams that compete successfully with high school teams all over our Country. What can we learn from comparing these two areas of education, namely the inner and outer city high school students?
It seems frighteningly obvious that somewhere along along the educational path there are differences leading to such different results. Let's take the inner city groups' path. Somewhere, although both groups start about on the same path there comes a fork in the road for most but not all. If only society and that means you and I knew where that fork started and could keep all on the path that the outer children were on all would be equal entering their early public education.
It seems to me that that fork starts soon after birth although perhaps some can make a case for somewhere during pregnancy. How did your and my first 5 or 6 years differ from the inner city youngsters? And when? I said it is frighteningly obvious and it seems to me that at least a few days after birth what goes on in the environment of individuals of the two groups are quite different and there we have the answer to the cause of the 45% male dropout of inner city children. What about the chess players? Chess is a little involved for infants so there comes a period in brain development when all may be equal and if at that age inner children are tutored by excellent tutors they will excel at chess. In that case it's opportunity that could be equaled by the outer if given the opportunity. In the case of athletics the inner are often superior.
I f my proposal is valid a fairly obvious research project could prove or disprove the conclusion. Give the inner city children the advantages of the outer. How? Set up cottages in the center of a research population to have the parent or parents with their newborns to be given instruction by trained teachers of the same ethnic backgrounds to demonstrate the best instruction for the parents and children for the six years prior the Public schooling.
What a great opportunity for a great University as Yale is to adopt such a plan and to follow students after the cottage graduation. There might have to be some additional help after such a graduation but I would bet students would emerge capable of attending Yale University with those involved in such research becoming emotionally involved in seeing such children not only equal but excel compared to the outer group.
Do not under estimate the results of such a research project producing leadership rather than potential incarceration. I f negative results result so be it. I was wrong but it would be worth the effort to find out.
At the beginning of say first grade a test of say, vocabulary would be given and the teacher would divide the inner students and the outer students scores and I would wager the innors would be well above the outors. Moreover at high school graduation there would be many scholor athletes honored of the innor children.