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The best news I’ve heard all day

August 29, 2006

My mom just called to tell me that my brother is going back to school. I am so happy for him. He is a very bright kid, but the public school system failed him and instead of fighting them, he dropped out — three times. His last attempt was botched when his selfish ex-wife decided that her going to beauty school was more important and that he would have to work full time to pay for it. Now that she’s gone…he can finally get his diploma. He only has four classes to take and is completing them through night school.

Last night, we spoke in class about the victim mentality and personal responsibility. But when I say that the public school system failed my brother, I really believe that they had more to do with it than he did. My sister and I always excelled at school — we were in the gifted programs as kids and honors classes as teens. My brother’s IQ is far higher than either of ours. Yet he always struggled with reading — something my parents blame themselves for because they did not read to him as a baby as religiously as they did with us — and he bored easily in class. However, instead of recognizing that his troubles were caused by boredom, not stupidity, they put him in all of the remedial classes, further exacerbating the problem. His C average (caused by a failure to turn in his homework, not because he didn’t know the material) quickly dropped to D’s then F’s. My parents tried everything to positively motivate him — buying him things he wanted like a guitar, taking him to dinner, taking him on vacations with his friends. But the grades never came up and the teachers told my parents that he was a lost cause. He finally dropped out so he didn’t have to listen to it anymore.

What really angers me is that this is the same school I went to — the same teachers that saw perpetual greatness out of me never even saw the potential in him. They never saw a need to challenge him and push him to the limit.

But I’m glad that he’s finally found the motivation to finish and move on with his life.

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