Many people believe that the opportunity to receive a quality education is a human right fit for all regardless of their race, creed, or socioeconomic status.
However, there are private and public figures in the American power structure who do not agree with that notion. In fact, a senator in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania believes that black students, in particular, are better fits for vocational schools than they are for college or university attendance.
This Republican state senator’s name is John Eichelberger (pictured). Eichelberger is also the chairman of the Senate Education Committee of Pennsylvania. Very recently, Eichelberger was a speaker at a town hall meeting when a very controversial statement came out of his mouth.
An opinion-editorial about this hot-button issue, which was republished this past Tuesday (March 7th) by the Pittsburgh Courier partially reads as follows:
“[Sen. John Eichelberger] is being rightly criticized for saying minority students from “inner-city” public schools would do better in vocational careers than in college. [Eichelberger] said during a town hall that minority students are being pushed toward college and are dropping out. He says they’d succeed in a less-intensive track.” (The Pittsburgh Courier)
Democratic Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has called for Eichelberger to step down from his position as chairman of Pennsylvania’s Senate Education Committee. “[I am] repulsed by [Eichelberger’s] statement,” Hughes said in a media interview.
“Let’s be clear, this issue about the stereotyping of Black and Brown children needing less-intensive tracks to succeed has been around for generations, maybe even centuries,” Hughes continued.
If Eichelberger did not want his statement to end up convoluted by the media, he should have firstly taken responsibility for the lack of resources that are inside the public schools of Pennsylvania’s poorest minority neighborhoods. As the chairman of the Senate Education Committee of his state, Eichelberger has an onus on him to help correct such problems.
Instead of prescribing what the worst victims of public education should be doing with their careers after the K-12 level, leaders like Eichelberger should more concerned with fixing the system so that more minorities can be truly prepared should they choose higher education as an option after graduating high school.