State Senator Anthony Williams, who many expect to eventually launch a mayoral campaign, as did his late father decades ago, commended Clarke and his parents.
“This shows that a committed student, parents organized in a practical purpose of effort, that not just the possibility, but the effort, can result in extraordinary moments like this that we all stand up and salute.”
“While we celebrate this individual achievement,” Williams said, “it takes place against the backdrop of those who deserve similar opportunities, but who did not receive either a full or partial scholarship, whose families are constrained by where they live and very limited financial resources.
Williams, the Whip of the Pennsylvania Democratic Caucus, is a member of the Education, Judiciary and Banking Committees.
Owen Knox, Ph.D, who 40 years ago was a founder of Los Angeles’ Council of Black Administrators (COBA), was full of praise for young Clarke.
Yet Dr. Knox, 94, spoke candidly to the vast, untapped scholastic ability among African American students and what he views as the abysmal failure of most public school systems to unlock them.
“In education, what you get in student achievement is what you expect. So if teachers are motivated to expect less than stellar accomplishments from African American students, less is what they will always get.”
Moreover, Dr. Knox said, “when you don’t expect blacks to achieve honors such as this one, then something is wrong with the system; which is, in itself, an indictment of educators if they believe that achievements like this young man’s are some strange or unusual behavior for black students.”
COBA, Dr. Knox said, “continues to be an advocate to improve the quality of education for black students, and, for African American administrators, a level playing field in competing for positions of authority.”
The National Alliance of Black School Educators, in an exclusive statement for BlackAmericaWeb.com, said, “we applaud Cameron Clarke, and, additionally, his parents and the Germantown Academy are to be applauded as well.”
Any student who achieves such a milestone should be celebrated, the statement continued. “As an organization seeking to improve the academic achievement of under served students, especially those of African descent, it is particularly energizing to learn that an African American student–Mr. Clarke– is one of only 360 students in the country to receive a perfect score.”
But, the statement concluded, “while we are not sure if Mr. Clarke is the only African American in the group of 360, it is our belief that there can be more Cameron Clarke’s in this country, given the appropriate support, motivation, instruction and school resources.”