Speaker tells Tulsans: Poverty has no impact on education
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 6:21 AM
Kids matter more than adults.
That's the message Connecticut educator Steve Perry carries with him every day.
And it is the one he brought with him to Tulsa on Friday as the featured speaker at the 2013 Robert Russa Moton Gala for Morton Comprehensive Health Services, 1334 N. Lansing Ave.
"At some point, we need to start focusing on the needs of our children rather than the needs of adults," Perry told the Tulsa World beforehand.
He said there is a relationship between a child's health and education.
"Education directly impacts the health of a child. The more education you get, the healthier you will be," said Perry, who is the founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn.
That correlation is why black people have higher infant mortality rates, he said - "our parents are less educated."
Perry is a best-selling author, columnist for Essence magazine and host of the TVONE docudrama "Save My Son." He also is a contributor for CNN and MSNBC.
Poverty has absolutely no impact on education, he said, adding that that's a myth; it's all about expectations.
"Just because you grow up broke doesn't mean you can't learn," he said. "How much your parents make doesn't mean anything. The only thing that matters is the quality of school you go to."
Perry says people who think being poor impedes learning are making excuses.
"Don't be making excuses as to why it can't be done. It can be done, and it is being done," he said.
Capital Prep has sent 100 percent of its graduates - most of whom are poor and black - to four-year colleges.
"We work very hard to be a part of their life in every way possible," Perry said.
And what makes a good school? Teachers who love their students, he says.
"One of the reasons why so many people are so ineffective in teaching their kids is because they don't love them," Perry said.
When people love their children, they teach them how to read, he said.
"If you can't read, you feel uncomfortable in everything," Perry said.
Kim Archer 918-581-8315
Steve Perry: "The only thing that matters is the quality of school you go to."