Teachers must help students turn their goals into concrete steps of action.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two voluntary school integration plans several months ago, I was upset because it seemed as if the high court was attempting to reverse a major cornerstone of civil rights legislation. But I soon realized the court's decision was actually an indictment against forced racial integration, a process not truly serving the current needs of the average child. All races are in academic danger, and black and Hispanic children are especially vulnerable.

I pastor in Prince George County, Maryland, and we have the distinct privilege of being America's wealthiest, predominately black county. However, our school system is one of the worst in the region.

In a community where million-dollar homes and Mercedes-Benzes are commonplace, quality programs in schools are rare. Therefore, the poor performance of black students cannot be blamed solely on segregation. In the 1950s, forced racial segregation in public schools was the order of the day. Black schools had few resources, equipment and books, and teachers were underpaid.

According to the Constitution, these schools were supposed to be equal. Yet most African-Americans lagged further behind in academics than white students. On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren announced the court's unanimous decision on Brown v. Board of Education, a case that turned the tide on racial segregation in schools:

"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs ... are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment."

What a timely victory! The Brown decision was a huge step forward, though the justices lacked the ability to impart intangible elements such as personal mission and community involvement in their ruling.

Margaret Spellings, U.S. secretary of education, underscores the urgent needs of children of color today. She cites the fact that 50 percent of black males do not graduate from high school on time—making school relevance and efficiency a major issue.

What we need is a well-thought-out plan that would change the structure of education.

Teachers need professional-development training that translates into classroom effectiveness. In addition, we need to equip educators with the tools necessary to build bridges with families to help improve a child's learning experience.

It's not enough to know the material; teachers must know the culture. They must be able to help students turn their goals into concrete steps of action.

Imagine an America where teachers know how to deal with discipline problems, understand the culture, and help kids master basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court can't make the changes the U.S. must undergo to solidify success in education. We must take responsibility and personally make it happen.

Our nation can no longer afford to rest on its laurels from yesteryear. We must zero in on the needs of the hour.

Let's get involved in the education of the kids we love! And let's refuse to elect politicians who do not have substantive plans to improve education.

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is senior pastor of 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the nation's capital. Jackson, who earned an MBA from Harvard, is a best-selling author and popular conference speaker. He leads the High-Impact Leadership Coalition. To read past columns in Charisma by Harry R. Jackson Jr., log on at charismamag.com/jackson.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to 500savingschallenge.com to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit