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Monday, January 09, 2006

Description of The Deprived Project

There seems to be a large number of children who think they cannot make it in this country, so they drop out of high school without getting a degree. Their thinking goes that since they're going to a have a crappy life, then why get a high school degree? Or they believe that getting good grades is a waste of time.

I think there should be a club for children who think their lives are hopeless. I came up with a name for the club, The Deprived. The idea is that the children in The Deprived volunteer to have a better life. I know, that sounds kind of strange, but the problem is that too many kids are just so screwed up in the head that they feel deprived of their birthright. I mean, in America each child should have a reasonable expectation that their lives will be better than their parents. What if the parents have dropped the ball? What if events have conspired to make it seem impossible for them to achieve even a modicum of prosperity?

Whereas the Hiring Hall Association addresses people who have not gotten the training they need to succeed, why not try to keep kids from dropping out of school and having to get help from the Hiring Hall Association? Why not try to catch the kids before they make the mistake of rejecting an education?

Too many children are being raised in single parent families. Any sane person knows that children in a single parent family are in deep trouble. What if you could get the kids to believe that they ARE in trouble? What if you said that there was a way out, if they joined a club for people who ARE losers, but want to win? What if the club offered college scholarships to everyone who went through the program? Or alternatively offered scholarships to trade school? OR promised to back them financially so they could start their own business?

I can see the posters to be put on the walls of the school.

Are you having a rotten life? Do you feel your future is a deep dark chasm about to suck you in? Is there no light at the end of the tunnel for you? Maybe you need to consider joining The Deprived.

The way I conceive of the club is for the children in high school to swear off promiscuous sex, drugs and alcohol. There would have to be some pretty hefty parties to make it seem worthwhile. There would have to be quite a few lectures and application of lectures on personal finance, job interviews and starting their own business. The goal of dating would change from having sex to getting ready for marriage.

Let me tell you a story from history. In the early 1800's, England became very wealthy, very fast. The time period was called the Edwardian era. The family crumbled. People were rootless. The kids of the Edwardians became the Victorians. The Victorians REALLY wanted structure. They were tired of having families falling apart. They established one of the strictest codes of conduct I have ever run across. You thought the Puritans were straight laced. These folks were REALLY straight laced. The problem was that no human could live up to that code of conduct, so there was a huge amount of hypocrisy. In public, people acted proper. In private they acted as they pleased. I am not in favor of a strict moral code. I only give this example to make the point that the kids of libertines CAN decide they don't want to go the same way as their parents.

You've got to understand that too many children in this country are growing up in an unhealthy family environment. When they get to high school, they seek out cliques to provide the structure that they are not finding at home. In some cases the cliques are destructive gangs. In other cases, it's just a set of friends to hang out with. The problem arises when the clique has a self-destructive outlook on life. I read a book called, Beyond the Classroom. In it the authors did a ten year study of seven schools to determine what was wrong with the public schools in general. They were trying to decide why school reform was not working. I mean, the battle cry of the 1970's was that things would get better in the schools when the Pentagon had to hold bake sales to buy supplies. In short, we should be spending as much on our school systems as we are spending on Defense. Well, we have done that. Right now the federal, state and local level governments spend more on schools than the federal government spends
on the Pentagon.

Why are the schools still so bad? Or rather why do people still seek to improve the schools, because they do not perform at the level people think they should perform?

Anyway. This book, Beyond the Classroom, determined that children in high school form cliques who either reinforce their drive to better themselves or destroy any hope of bettering themselves. The cliques for Orientals pushed their members to make A's. The cliques for Populars pushed their members to make something close to B's. The cliques for Blacks pushed their members to ignore school all together.

The whole point of the book was that once children get to high school, it's the clique they are with that makes the difference in whether they succeed in getting a high school degree AND at what grade level they graduate, if they graduate.

Again, we as a society have become so wealthy that we have made it possible for our children to choose not to get an education. School reform is not going to work until we get the students to volunteer to get an education. I know, that seems like an obvious statement, but somehow the entire discussion about school reform has missed that point. Kids have to decide that getting an education is a good idea. All the increases in school spending mean nothing unless we can convince children that a good education is worth the bother.

When a child is moved from public school to private school, normally their grades go up. Why? Well, their clique has changed. From a set of people committed to partying, they are exposed to people dedicated to getting an education and going on to succeed in life.

I would point out that if money was the major indicator of school performance, then the Kansas City Independent School District should be the highest performing school in the nation, because court mandated school spending on the school district took up, at one time, 60% of the school funding in the entire state of Kansas. That's not the case. Kansas City ISD is toward the bottom as far as test scores.

Something has to change. We have to convince our children that volunteering to get an education is something they have to do. How do we do that?

I perceive that The Deprived has to be sold in the context of rebellion. The 1960's generation failed to get a better life through sex, drugs and Rock'n'Roll. I believe that there are a large number of teenagers who have come to the conclusion that the model that their parents have given them is a model of failure. If The Deprived can be sold as a way to declare to the world that the teenager is unhappy with their parents, then I can see where it might work.

Then there is the promiscuous sex. The idea behind promiscuous sex was that it would free women and show their independence. The show, Sex and the City, made the case that a woman could bring out her inner slut and it would make her as strong as a man. That's great if all women view men the way the radical feminists do, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." It doesn't work that way. Too many women are waking up to the fact that even when they are in bed with a guy, they suffer loneliness. The behavior that screws up lives begins in high school.

Right now driving force behind dating in high school is to have sex. There is some emotional baggage involved, but mostly it is dressing up the concept that dating leads to sex. Why is that a good idea? Can you prove to a teenager that being married is a better idea than going through life single and ultimately alone? I say that it should at least be tried. Despite what you have heard, sex inside marriage is better than outside marriage, because a married couple have the ability to practice. They also should be close enough that they can discuss sex in the context of needs and wants.

How do you say to a teenager, "You have to put off sex or you're going to be screwed."? The emphasis has to be on showing examples of what happened when the adults in their life had a long string of lovers as opposed to what happened when they became married. What if you had speakers come in and talked about their real life experiences?

As I see it, The Deprived should push for educating teenagers in how to date with the goal of getting married instead of having sex. In addition, The Deprived should teach teenagers how to run a marriage. Then there is the education in how to get a job or how to start a business or go to college.

You could have successful people and failures come in and give presentations. Presentations would be in all aspects I have described above.

The only way I can see this working is if there is massive parties given by The Deprived. Nonalcoholic parties do not sound like much fun, but they could be, if planned extensively. As I said before, logistics is everything. Putting on massive, exciting parties once a week, would tax the energy of even a group of teenagers. The mechanics of putting together a party would train kids in how to undertake any large scale project. Plus it would be a way of raising money for scholarships and training for the members.

A club like this would be expensive, because it would have to promise scholarships for trade school or college plus grants and loans and support for people who wanted to start their own business. The alternative is probably more expensive. Kids that drop out of school or who do not get a good education or have a bad home life, have a tendency to become criminals. It's either encourage them to be productive citizens or pay for their room and board in prison.


  • Random Texan,

    I really enjoy your commentary and find it a quite refreshing change of pace from the usual opinions expressed on KEOS. I enjoy your show, but wish it wasn't so late and on Monday nights. Have you considered an alternate timeslot? Also, the program where you played an album and then discussed each song was the best I have heard yet. Just thought I would let you know.

    John Chappell

    By Blogger naked_edmund, at Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:58:00 PM  

  • Hi, I'd like to know where I can talk to other people about single parent benefit. I've joined this site (single parent benefit) but where else can I meet other people to talk about this?

    By Blogger Libra, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:00:00 PM  

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