In 1987, a wealthy idealistic philantropist, George Weiss, "adopted" 112 inner-city sixth-graders
from Philadelphia, mostly from broken home
s. 67 boys and 45 girls. He guaranteed each of his "adopted" children would receive a fully-funded education through college if each stayed away from drugs
, unwed parenthood, and crime
. He even provided tutor
, after-school programs, summer programs, and counselors
availible for any problems, personal or otherwise.
Thirteen years went by, and in 2000, The Philadelphia Inquirer analyzed the results. How many kids made it through college and beyond?
- 45 never graduated from high school:
- 35 dropped out
- 1 died
- 4 died after dropping out
- 4 are working on a GED
- 1 graduated trade school or BOCES
13 Graduated from a 4-year college
- 11 are enrolled in college
- 5 are enrolled in 2-year colleges
- 12 have dropped out of a college (2 or 4 year)
- 7 Graduated trade school
- 5 got no further education (after high school)
Out of 67 boys, 19 are adult felons.
Among 45 girls, they had 63 children, and more than half had their children before the age of 18.
If you took more than a hundred kids from similiar backgrounds, but no guaranteed education, I think the results would have been the same. Larry Elder (author of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America) uses this as proof of his explanation "It ain't about the money. It's about values. It's about discipline and application. It's about character, working hard when you don't want to. And these values are instilled in the home... Dads matter."
Recently Bill Gates donated $1 Billion for scholarships in America, but mostly was targeted at inner-city kids, as he felt they were "under-represented" in technology fields such as engineering and computer science. William Gray III, chief executive of the United Negro College Fund cheered when Bill Gates gave him the $50 million annual fund to target inner-city kids.
"The biggest barrier to minority educational attainment is not family values. It's not grades. It's money."
Are you sure? I think this study tells differently.
Dale Mezzacappa, "Offered a College Dorm Room, He sits in a Prison Cell," The Philadelphia Inquirer
, November 26, 1999
Quote taken from Charles Philler and Jill Leovy, "Gates Foundation to Give $1 Billion for Scholarships," Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1999