Already a Failure in 5th Grade?

When failure comes early in life, many never recover. I saw the impact failure had on a fifth grader in a local public school. He was paired with me in a man on boy mentoring program.

This young boy lived with his mother and high school senior sister. No adult male was a part of his life. It took several weeks of weekly sessions before he really opened up to me. When he did, this is what I heard. His comments are condensed below.

“I want to become an architect and play basketball at Duke University. But there is a problem. They are going to promote me to sixth grade and I cannot read.”  There was no problem with his aspirations (well maybe the part about playing varsity basketball at Duke). I was sickened to hear this fine youngster make those comments. In a few days the school year ended and I never saw or heard of him again. Did he ever get the attention he knew he needed and had been asking for?

I serve on the board of our local community college and head the curriculum committee there. We often have to direct a percentage of incoming students through remedial reading and mathematics classes if they are to enjoy success in our two year programs.

Where are our schools failing? Where are parents failing? Oh well, just give the kids a smart phone – it has all the answers.


About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
This entry was posted in, Children, Family, Literacy, Society and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Already a Failure in 5th Grade?

  1. Sad but true. Our schools have become places of indoctrination rather than education. The progressives care not one bit about the basics, but are more concerned with controlling our children from cradle to grave. The only people one finds in libraries these days are retired folks.


Leave a Reply to AuthorJoePerroneJr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s