April 15, 2011

Praise and Worship with FCAT

When challenges show up African Americans turn
to what has carried them through slavery, Emancipation,
Civil Rights, quest for educational equality
(Brown vs Board), equal economic opportunities
(Anti-Discrimination Act), in recent years the challenge
is Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
Praise and worship is similar to physically and meta-
phorically lifting everything a person has to praise
in submission, but in spiritual power.  Songs influence
our praise; God is My Everything, Change and other
songs that encourage praise to invoke change. African
Americans are a spiritual people, endowed with a
cultural heritage based on prayer, song and music to
the attainment of knowledge this coincides with
scripture that suggests because of lack of knowledge
people are lost; Proverbs 1:22 How long, ye simple
ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight
in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
FCAT assessment even though flawed, is used to
judge the level of intelligence of children. African
American children are losing to this challenge;
African American children need guidance, support
and discipline in school and home to learn effectively.
Learning does not stop when the school bell rings
at the end of the day, a home life that values
education is important as well.

Change and Support Minority Students
If the United States is going to continue to compete
in the global economy it is going to have to embrace
and support its minority students. The struggling is
the result of distractions at home and the community
that children live in. In many foreign countries distra-
ctions are removed and students are immersed in a
continuous and challenging learning environment.
A parent's responsibility is to their children, a parent's
additional responsibility is making sure their children
receive the best education they can, but it starts at
home. If a parent does not value education or seek
educational opportunities their children may follow.

There are inherent generational dangers in not
respecting the empowerment of education. 
In Philippians 3:16 (KJV) the statement,"Let us
walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."
That same rule should be applied to success in
education. African American people have come too
far to be pulled back from what was gained years
before in the struggle for equal education, there
are still struggles. In the gospel song Change
(Traimaine Hawkins) the interpretation is there
needs to be a change in mind and behavior. 
In Jacksonville, Florida the change must be trans-
formational in behavior and abilities of our students.
The value of education must be embraced if not
four (4) schools will be changed and this will be
just the start, there will be more. No amount of
complaining will stop it.

Stated in Philippians 3:16 (KJV) concerning "let us
walk by the same rule" we have slowly been divided
and walking separately, as a result we as a people
have lost respect and power. Look in our failing
schools, in some churches and sorrowfully in some
neighborhoods. There should be an understanding
for African Americans that our churches and our
schools are representative of our neighborhoods.
The only people that are held accountable for our
neighborhoods are African American people.
Only through minding the same thing and having
the same goals will we succeed. There were
successes in the past, look at the achievements
in the 60's, 70's and 80's that we enjoy, but are
losing today. If we look closely we are losing
them, because of self imposed mindsets of
having arrived and being accepted as equal.
This is far from the truth, look at our graduation
rates as a race and look at the higher education
rates of our young Black men. Look at the
pregnancy rates of our girls as young at ten
and eleven and the growing numbers of teen
girls being killed.

Families and children need a resurrection in the
process of valuing education if not all that African
Americans have struggled to earn will be lost
because of growing educational ignorance. We
will be cursed to the role of slaves (again), but
as consumers and not blessed as creators of
products. Think about what African Americans
make that people want to buy, but African
Americans are buying other peoples products
and services. Education helps to develop skills
to be participants in technology, developing
market shares, learning about and participating
in global economies. What does this have to
do with FCAT; if African Americans don't value
education and detained/retained because of a
single assessment then they are in the position
to be SLAVES AGAIN. Parents should be
believers of educators (teachers), not blaming
teachers and schools for their children's failures.

These same parents that use profanity to
complain and condemn have not attended
parent teacher conferences, a school board
meeting, PTA meetings. How can parents be
critical on how a school is run if they do not
join school advisory boards or other school
committees? The first teacher of a child is
the parent. Parents are role models for their
children in scripture and as scholars.
Just as in scripture you reap what you sow;
Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow
iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same;
are we sowing success in our schools or are
we reaping failing schools because of failing
parental responsibilities?

Praise and Worship
Praise and worship must be performed outside
the church house; the flow of anointing oil
should be poured onto children by parents who
should be anointed also. Those in Ministry
should be anointing flocks spiritually and educ-
ationally. Parents should anoint with love,
discipline, and understanding, but too many
anoint with rap music that contains profanity
and entertainment that promotes drugs and
sex. Parents should be taking ownership
making sure their children start their day off
with blessings of love and peace. I have
heard parents yell at children to get the he**
out of the car and if they get into trouble
they will beat the sh** out of them. I have
heard parents criticize teachers for caring,
sacrificing their time to help a struggling
child or because they are White they should
not be teaching Black children, but ignorance
is present because parents need to realize
that White teachers out number Black teachers
across this nation. Parents are setting their
children up for failure before the school day.
If the devil is busy in our schools as some
would say the failure rates and graduation
rates show that the Devil is having a Hellava
good time with African American students.

Families need a spiritual enema to clean out
mental weakness of poverty/slavery and
spiritual weakness.  Instead of praising and
worshipping basketball, football players;
rappers that use profanity and put down
women; worshipping reality show mothers
and wives,  movie channels that glorify teen
sex, pregnancy, drug abuse, prison sentences
and illegitimate births. Where is the
glorification of education and our successful
Black student's? Why can't we honor our
scholars like sports stars instead of teasing,
taunting and putting them down? True praise
and worship comes from spiritual strength
and education, it encourages learning and
improving a person to prepare for the future.

FCAT is a tool of man it can stop children
from growing only if parents allow it. 
Parents heed words of wisdom, get back to
the blessing of reading to your children,
praising good behavior, anointing with words
of love, encouragement and peace; get back
to family time that is devotional and anointing.
If parents cannot be a blessing, FCAT will
be African Americans Lodebar
(a dismal place of no pasture, no hope -
total desolation) of education.

No community can afford a school to fail.
No city can afford for any student to drop
out of school. No Ministry should allow
children to be lost to educational and
spiritual death. No parent should allow
their child to fail. We all will be held accountable.

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