The lesson for Educators and Parents from the success of the Little League World Series Philadelphia and Chicago teams is: Without an adult agent of encouragement, empowerment, high expectations and efficacy* (in this case coaches and parents) a child’s success will be based on chance. With the odds not being in the child’s favor; particularly (because of societal hurdles) if that child is Black, Poor or Latino. After parents have had enough of: the amateurish experiments, mis-labeled “school reform”; the turning of Black and Latino children into raw material and instruments for the profit incentivized charter industry; the educators who put adult employment interest above the educational interest of the children; and the tax-payers collectively rebel against a system that requires more and more money, while getting the same or worse results. At some point, maybe we will all sit down and study the works of Asa Hilliard and Ron Edmonds; read and study the work of Marva Collins and Lorraine Monroe; sit down and watch the movie: “Stand and Deliver”; and understand the: “you (we) can do it” approach provided by Jaime Escalante. And then, maybe we will come to the obvious realization that in the final analysis, academic success, and everything associated with it (i.e. behaving in school, working hard with a purpose in school, staying and graduating from high school) is determined by an adult(s) who truly believe in the talents and gifts of the children in their charge; adults who recognize their gifts and talents (both seen, and those hard to see); adults who are willing to sacrifice everything in order that those gifts can be realized; adults who won’t give up, or sell out on them; educators-adults who place the burden of student success, or failure on their own backs.
Anyone who believes that all of the baseball talent of young Black Americans (or even all of the talent that is to be found in Chicago and Philadelphia), was captured by these two teams is at best sadly mistaken, (and hopefully not working in, or near the education of children). These physically talented, intellectually gifted, and articulate young people were fortunate to encounter adults who saw greatness in them, and then made a choice to grow that greatness. Would it not be wonderful to expand that adult (super) vision and commitment to the waiting talents of millions of other children, young folks waiting with many different categories of talent. Those young people who are “not on the team”; who are uncoached, those who are talented and trapped, not without a dream; but rather without a group of dream nurturers to coach them.
*The extent to which a teacher believes that through their thoughtful, strategic and purposeful efforts; they can positively influence student learning, and increase the possibility for academic success.