Whooah, we’re half way there Livin’ on a prayer

http://youtu.be/lDK9QqIzhwk

 

         Go ahead and take a nice break and listen to some Bon Jovi. It’s really the best way to start a blog post. Anyway, I am halfway done with my internship at the NAACP Washington Bureau, and I have learned so much that this blog post may not handle it all. First off, I finished up my binder on the Affordable Care Act in about two weeks. I wasn’t technically done but Mr. Shelton had more work for me to do and thus I was given an entirely new topic of voting rights. Lesson 1: Flexibility is key. In order to be a successful leader, you must be able to adjust and adapt to whatever is in front of you. I could have been upset that I had a new topic and let it throw me off my game. But because I was flexible, I easily transferred all of my time and energy into creating a new research binder on the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014.

         I have also been working on my research project for the Charles Center entitled “America’s Educational Spending Conundrum”.  This past week I had lunch with Mr. Hillary Shelton and we discussed the topic of education in Washington D.C. We both agreed that being the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. should be the ideal town that sets the standards for other cities across the United States. But the educational system in DC is not an ideal system for any city. According to an article I read, “Only 59 percent of students attending public and public charter high schools in D.C. in the 2010-2011 school year graduated within four years, the lowest rate in the nation.” (Hughes, 2012). Students are entering schools in D.C. and taking more than the average amount of time to leave these institutions. This statistic may be expected in a low-income community with very little resources or highly qualified teachers. But Washington D.C. does not fit those characteristics. The Washington D.C. Public School system in 2010 spent $29,349 per pupil. This money was used to pay for materials that the student used such as textbooks, computers, learning tools, etc. The D.C. School system ranked among the top 5 in per pupil expenditures that year. But move to 2013. According to an article by Jeffery (2014). “83 percent of the eighth graders in these schools were not “proficient” in reading and 81 percent were not “proficient” in math.” How is this possible? With all the money being spent on each student’s education, why aren’t their standard test scores exemplifying the high dollar amounts spent? This is what I am determined to find out by continuing my research throughout the summer.

 

         So far all of the experiences that I have had has definitely changed how I view the world and my future. I am seriously considering ways to make my future career more impactful to society. Whether it’s by becoming a teacher or working in education policy and reform, I really want to make a lasting effect on America’s educational system. By the end of the summer I may have a better plan of how I will impact the world, but for now I am just living on a prayer…