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Hezekiah Brown: Raising standards without resources has hurt ECSU

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I believe Elizabeth City State University was set up to fail through a series of so-called administrative problems, including SAT scores and student grade-point-averages. I am not sure that it is widely known how ECSU got into the 20 percent to 33 percent enrollment deficiency. I believe it was by design. In 2010, ECSU enrollment was in excess of 3,000 students. By 2013, enrollment had dropped to approximately 2,300 students. There were allegations that the enrollment dropped due to violence on campus and other unsubstantiated administrative issues which have been vastly exaggerated.

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Oh, brother.

You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand complaining that student loans are burdening our youth because they get out of college and can't find work and then complain about higher standards. Too many kids go to college simply because they get, "free" money to do so. They aren't prepared and the degree ends up being worthless because we lower standards of learning, accomplishment and expectation. ECSU has higher state subsidy per student than ANY of the other 16 campuses of UNC and they have the lowest SAT scores. You relate poverty to poor performance. Public schools are free, 212 years offered every student at no cost. Free meals on top of that so the old argument hunger is a harmful distraction from learning goes away. Here is the truth, the problem in poverty stricken areas is culture. Children encouraged to have children when they are incapable in every way to provide an encouraging environment for healthy growth and maturity. Fathers and mothers, unwed, championed and celebrated for doing nothing more than having irresponsible sex-despite all the public education and availability of birth control. A culture that does not encourage the value of education, etc....Point fingers to others all you want Mr. Brown, all the teacher's supplies in the world cannot overcome kids who do not come to school interested and prepared to learn. Get involved with the culture, talk the hard truth, stop passing the buck. Obscene amounts of money has been invested on poverty and equal opportunity and the money has been squandered, apologized for and distracted from by supposed leaders who do not want to admit truth and assume accountability.

remember this article in the

remember this article in the DA..... read it and the comments... Honesty and integrity - doing the right thing for the school, the students and the State do count. Really, they do.

In the Feb Teacher Forum with Bob Steinburg

Active teachers, retired teachers, and volunteers tearfully pleaded for help because of the discipline problems and the lack of parental responsibility and the effect it was having in the classroom. It is very easy to put the blame on resources, but I know some who have made significant achievements with only love and support from their families and very little money. Children have to be prepared to learn to succeed in school and the local educators unanimously agreed that this preparation is being neglected in the homes. Social ills are at the root of most of the problems in the local school systems, not money nor legislation. To the issue of raising SAT scores, this area employs many teachers who graduate from ECSU,,,, shouldn't we expect the best from those graduates? Students who get a subsidized public higher education should be expected to earn their spot on a campus for their previous work, including striving to excel on required entrance testing. You have only to look at the buildings that are named after the "leaders" at ECSU, Jenkins and Gilchrist, to understand that both left under a cloud of financial shenanigans. And while monuments remain on campus, their legacy is the aftermath of years of cronyism and the sad state of affairs that we find ourselves in. It's interesting that this column appears on the same day that an article indicates a division within the trustees of approving a STEM school in collaboration with ECSU. ECSU's pharmacy school failed because it did not reach out to the community health organizations like UNC-Asheville did. ECSU's unique aviation program is in shambles because of the lack of oversight. Yet several trustees and a local spokesman continue to want to insulate this local, state supported university from the new ideas that may help it to succeed. There are a multitude of problems that have created the path that ECSU is on...and fingers can be pointed at a variety of factors. But finger pointing will not change things. ECSU is vital to this area, of that we are in total agreement. But it is time for a concerted community based effort to see that ECSU does not fail. While we appreciate the historical significance of an HBCU, it will take efforts from blacks and white to see that this economic and educational force in our community stands. Betsy Meads

Rather than crying once again we need more money,

I think ECSU needs to take a hard look at the lack of integrity in the leadership of that institution. I could go on and on about all the problems since Chancellor Burnham left, but they all seem to center on the lack of good management, leadership and most importantly leadership with integrity. I think that's being turned around with Interim Chancellor Becton and I pray the newly selected permanent chancellor will be someone of unwavering integrity. I say more integrity is the issue, not more money. I might add that this pursuit of integrity is the goal of UNC President Tom Davis and UNC Board of Governors as well, and was their charge to the ECSU Chancellor Search Committee when they started a month or so ago.

Student - Parent Responsibility

Standards must exist for entry into state colleges and universities. It was probably decided that these standards would be the minimum scores a student would have to have if they were going to be able to complete college work. The standards were established and were well publicized far in advance for students to meet them if they planned to attend a state school. Therefore you might be correct in saying ECSU was not responsible for the decrease in enrollment. Just being a high school graduate does not guarantee you college entrance.

You are right that it appears resources for schools have been cut and educators seem to being asked to do the same job as in the past with less resources. I do not see that situation changing or getting better for the next few years. Therefore it is the new reality and you can adjust, or sit and lament it and waste precious lives and progress.

The 1950's and 60's were tough times. Today is a breeze comparatively. It's time to get hungry and ambitious and change your lot regardless of the odds and hurdles. How badly do you want to succeed?

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