RUSH: Rachel Jeantel was on television with somebody, and she said that she's educated. She has a 3.0 GPA. At her high school, I guess. She's 19. I don't know where she goes to school, but she said that it's wrong to think that she is uneducated. She's got a 3.0. I don't know in what. Just overall GPA? Now, it leads to an editorial here in the Chicago Tribune about Chicago public schools.
"Chicago Public Schools officials revealed Tuesday that only 52.5% of the district's elementary students met or exceeded state academic standards in the last school year. That's a nearly 22-percentage-point plunge from a year earlier." That is horrible. You know the numbers in New York, the dropout rate in New York high schools are 50%. In Chicago, public school officials reveal that only 52.5% of elementary students in the district "met or exceeded academy standards."
And let's all acknowledge that academy standards ain't what they used to be. So it's pretty pathetic that just barely over half of Chicago public school students with meeting current standards. That is a 22% drop from just last year. "Students didn't suddenly get less intelligent," it says here. "They were not doing as well in the past as everyone was led to believe. The state had dumbed down the tests and lowered cut scores to avoid sanctions from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
"Educators fed parents an illusion that the vast majority of Illinois elementary students -- more than 8 out of 10 last year -- were performing well. Fed the illusion that they were on track to succeed in high school and go to college. They weren't." They weren't learning anything, and that was being camouflaged. They weren't learning anything, but that wasn't being reported. The school district was doctoring everything so as not to lose federal money.
As this editorial points out, "This isn't exactly news. We've been talking about this for several years," they say here at the Chicago Tribune. "The state finally moved last year to toughen the Illinois Standards Achievement Test in anticipation of meeting new national standards known as the common core curriculum. Chicago has now reported its results, the first indication of how much inflation was going on with the ISAT. We don't know yet how big the drop will be across the state, but you can count on shock from Zion to Cairo.
"The Illinois State Board of Education has preliminary figures but says it won't release them until final figures are available in the fall," when everybody's forgotten about this. "The board, which took a lot of heat in pushing through the higher standards, should release the preliminary figures now," the paper says, "instead of letting them trickle out district by district. The results will be ugly.
"Thousands of students statewide who were rated as meeting standards in 2012," just last year, "will not make the cut in 2013," and their work is no different. Their work has been pathetic, their performance has been pathetic, and they've been passed, and they've been told that it's okay. This was done for a number of reasons. It wasn't just getting federal money. It wasn't so the teachers would meet their performance examinations, and it would so the teachers would get raises.
There are all kinds of reasons for this, but students weren't performing, and that was covered up, and it was covered up dramatically. "Yes, as poorly as everyone thought Chicago schools were performing a decade ago, the reality was much worse. The current results show the achievement gap between minority and white students remains wide, and in some cases even wider than in past years," and what this means is that African-American students are in even worse shape than the district-wide average.
Now, this, to me, is inexcusable.
Who runs these organizations?
Who runs these districts? Who comes up with these requirements? Who then comes up with these techniques to avoid proper assessment? It's leftists, folks. See, this, to me, is one of the starting points for discussing race, because what we're talking about here is how the people in charge -- the people who claim to have their best interests at heart -- are not educating them. They're simply not being taught. I'm sure Rachel Jeantel thinks she has a 3.0. She believes she's got a 3.0, and somewhere she probably does.
But it ain't a 3.0 that is recognized as a 3.0 by current standards. But she's got one. Which is the point. Rachel Jeantel and people like her are being... What's the word? Exploited? Ill served? What's the term? Used? Thrown away? They're being dumbed down. They're being thrown away. They have no choice. They're not learning anything. At the same time, they think they know it all, and that nobody else knows anything.
It's compounded. At the same time, they think they're on the cutting edge. They think they're trend-setters. They aren't being prepared. Nobody really cares about them, and the people who don't really care about them somehow get away with being thought of and perceived as their protectors and as their guarantors! It's just a shame. It is an absolute crime. And then, "Rush, don't talk about it. Rush, you can't talk about it. You're not supposed to go there. There's nothing to be gained here."
The sad thing is, that's probably true.
But at least when I finish I think I've given it a shot, what little shot it can be from a radio show. But still, I feel like I have given it a shot. Do you remember all those stories that came out of Atlanta about the same thing? The teachers and the superintendents and so forth were changing the grades, literally elevating the grades of the students so that better results would be shown so that everybody involved would end up getting more money -- the district, the teachers, the superintendents.
While it was a scandal, and it was perceived and reported as a scandal, the real scandal was not commented upon, and that was the damage done to the students. I remember one of the interesting characteristics or facets of the story out of Atlanta was the students, some of them, were outraged that they'd been short-changed. Some students had the presence of mind to understand, "You mean they gave me an A and I didn't qualify for it?" They didn't want that. They didn't know anything.
They had not been taught anything.
They had not learned and actually passed tests that qualified them for an A, and some of them spoke out and were upset about it. And the people doing this are the ones that care about them, the ones that love them, the ones that are protecting them against all this racism out there. The people responsible for this are the ones supposedly looking out for 'em, and the ones doing all this are destroying their futures. They aren't teaching 'em anything and they're not preparing them.
Furthermore, they're filling their minds with a bunch of destructive things. I'm gonna tell you something, and I fully expect to get in trouble for this. (interruption) Well, that got their attention in there. It probably got your attention, too. So we've got this piece by David Goldman in which he asks, "What Do You Do When the Oppressed are Their Own Worst Oppressors?" He's a civil rights activist from back in the fifties, and he says that the greatest damage being done to blacks in America is being done by other blacks.
That's the summary of what he's saying, and then this piece out of Chicago with what's happening in the school district there, and that comes after what's happened in Atlanta, and then you go to New York where the dropout rate's 50%, and you look at how much money is being spent per student to educate them and you look at the results -- and, folks, it's just unacceptable. I'd call it criminal. We're talking about American kids here! We're talking about Americans gonna grow up clueless.
Worse than clueless, they're gonna grow up thinking things that are absolutely no use. They're gonna grow up thinking things that end up being destructive for them. When I watch cable news, and I see a guest from the left wing of the civil rights movement -- I don't care if it's a Columbia professor or a University of Pennsylvania professor or some activist -- it appears to me, in listening to them and watching them, that they don't think that there is anything good or positive or enriching or joyful about being a black person in America.
All I see is anger and rage and dissatisfaction. They just don't seem happy, and it's depressing. Of all the places in the world... See, this is where I get in trouble. Of all the places in the world where enjoying life to the fullest extent possible... Of all the places where you can do that, it's this country. But, see, that's where it breaks down. Because while they're not taught anything in school, and while they got grade inflation, they're also told stories about how rotten this country is.
Maybe it isn't any wonder why they're not happy.
Maybe it isn't any wonder why they're not positive or forward thinking.
It's something I've noticed for a long time. I don't have to mention names to you. There are exceptions. It's not universal. But on the political side, there just doesn't seem to be any joy, any happiness, anything good or positive about being a black person in America. I wonder, "My gosh, are they teaching young kids that?" It's profoundly dispiriting and depressing, and that's what made me remember. I think it was Alistair Cooke, the British historian, who said that, in his Letters to America, that America would never overcome the original sin of slavery.
There was nothing they could do, nothing we Americans could do, that would ever put that in the rearview mirror -- and that's depressing, too. 'Cause going back to the first thing I said about this, we all only have one life. In the United States of America, to see so many lives not even get close to realizing full potential and dreams, it's just really depressing 'cause it's so unnecessary. To think that this exists because of a set of circumstances is helpful to some people, the Democrat Party.