Gene Marks, a contributor to Forbes Magazine has written an article entitled “If I Were A Poor Black Kid.” The premise of the article is that despite economic and racial inequalities, education and technology is the new equalizer.
Marks states that if he were a poor Black kid, he would utilize technology and attempt to get into private or charter schools and focus on academics. What Marks does not explain is if he were a poor Black kid, how he would have knowledge of the various technologies, websites and schools he advocates.
If I was a poor black kid I would first and most importantly work to make sure I got the best grades possible. I would make it my #1 priority to be able to read sufficiently. I wouldn’t care if I was a student at the worst public middle school in the worst inner city. Even the worst have their best. And the very best students, even at the worst schools, have more opportunities. Getting good grades is the key to having more options. With good grades you can choose different, better paths. If you do poorly in school, particularly in a lousy school, you’re severely limiting the limited opportunities you have.
And I would use the technology available to me as a student. I know a few school teachers and they tell me that many inner city parents usually have or can afford cheap computers and internet service nowadays. That because (and sadly) it’s oftentimes a necessary thing to keep their kids safe at home then on the streets. And libraries and schools have computers available too. Computers can be purchased cheaply at outlets like TigerDirect and Dell’s Outlet. Professional organizations like accountants and architects often offer used computers from their members, sometimes at no cost at all.