Gene Marks just doesn't get it. Poor black kids have low average IQ and are unlikely to be capable of or interested in the tasks that Marks suggests. Even black kids (or kids of any race, for that matter) of average and above-average IQ are unlikely to utilize technology in such a way. What Gene Marks proposes is that poor black kids become autodidacts, which unfortunately, typically requires a superior IQ, something that is not common even among white/Asian populations, much less black ones. A more appropriate title for the article would be, "If I Were A Poor Black Genius Kid". Gene Marks is a RACIST because he practices the soft bigotry of unreasonable expectations.
Every I time I go to the public library (which is a lot) I never see homeless and poor people doing anything productive on the computers or reading books. Most of the time they are watching Youtube videos and playing games. Even at college libraries, people are on Facebook 80% of the time. For most people, technology is not used as a learning tool or for value creation, it is simply a mode of entertainment.
Does Gene Marks actually think that kids use Sparknotes to help them "understand" books? Kids use Sparknotes because they are too lazy to read the book in the first place (or too stupid). It is amazing how many kids in this generation simply REFUSE TO READ. Reading is one of the greatest pleasures in life and it is disappointing to meet people who boastfully claim that they hate reading. They don't know what they are missing out on.
The insane out-of-wedlock birthrate among blacks needs to be curtailed. Reestablishing the structure of black families is crucial to reinvigorating the black community and promoting social change (change to the past). I am in favor of stricter of divorce laws and incentives or mandates that would allow more kids to grow up with both a mother and a father.
If I were a poor black kid, I would either join a gang or spend 4 hours a day practicing basketball.