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Culture of Achievement
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Education reform; Public schools; African Americans; Quality of education; Academic achievement; Parents & parenting
Author: Raspberry, William
Date: Sep 23, 2002
Start Page: A.19
Section: EDITORIAL

[Hugh Price] similarly taps his experience as civil rights leader, journalist, church-goer and "retired kid" to draw lessons for improving public education. His vantage point as head of the Urban League, he said, has sharpened his focus on two trends -- the increasing academic and critical-thinking demands of the job market and the persistent academic underachievement of black children. "I call it the 'preparation gap,' " he said. "Frankly, I'm a little less interested in the near term in how we're doing compared with white kids than I am in comparing how we're doing compared with what we need to be able to do. . . .

Perhaps the most important thing black America can do, Price believes, is to reawaken the earnest desire for learning. Too many adults -- he cites examples -- make negative assumptions regarding the academic potential of black children. Too many black youngsters assume that academic excellence isn't a black thing. And too many black parents sit helplessly by as their children succumb to negative peer pressure.

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