Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Tree Of Hope

There was a tree in Harlem that entertainers used to stand under while trying to get work. Many sang and played instruments there and people stopped and gave them money. The tree was their good luck omen.

In the name of progress, the tree was cut down. People gathered parts of the tree to try to hold on to their luck. Some collected bark and twigs. Others collected leaves. The piece of the trunk pictured above was placed on the stage of the Apollo Theater. This is the Tree of Hope and performers rubbed the tree before going on stage. The Apollo audience was one of the toughest audiences around and performing there was scary. Many believed the tree helped them to succeed.

Education today needs its own Tree of Hope. Children are graduating high school unprepared for college and unprepared for employment. People like Bloomberg and Klein are touting their statistics, bragging about improvements but our students are in worse shape than they have ever been in.

We need a Tree of Hope but a Tree of Hope is not enough. We need a revamped system of education that will actually educate the children of today and prepare them for the careers they will follow tomorrow.

1 comment:

NYC Educator said...

Actually, we need things that work. We need smaller class sizes and decent facilities for kids. Those who tout reforms are largely preoccupied with getting as much public money as possible into private hands. It's kind of insane given very recent history, but they're getting a lot of traction under Barack Obama.

Ironic, ain't it?