The hair raises on the back of my neck every time I come across a comment like Robert Conot's ("Watts: Out of the Fire" Opinion, Aug. 5) that the cause of the "increasing disparity" between black and white people's income is because black students "have not been receiving" the education necessary for them to get well-paying jobs.
Here it goes again, I shudder at this point, another of the common diatribes against supposedly racist white teachers who deliberately prevent black students from getting the education they need for future financial success.
What an immense restorative it was to read Conot's unusual yet correct assessment of the problem of scholastic underachievement among blacks: "Schools are one-half the equation. Home is the other."
Educators accept the vital need, for example, of early education programs for black children like Head Start, and for making schoolwork interesting and meaningful for them. It is now time for black leaders to begin to do what is necessary to put a stop to the plague of pregnancies outside of marriage in their communities. As Conot rightly warns, only if these pregnancies are prevented can added expenditures for the education of black children have their intended effect.
Professor, School of Education
San Diego State University