Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Why Parents of Young Black Boys Should Consider Alternate Education Methods

A recent report revealed that young black boys may be in a worse place academically than previously feared. According to the New York Times, “An achievement gap separating black from white students has long been documented – a social divide extremely vexing to policy makers and the target of one blast of school reform after another. But a new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known.”

The article goes on to explain the severe divide between education the educational outcome of black boys when compared to white boys and adds that income is not necessarily a good indicator when determining success or failure. It adds that the only way progress has been made is through personal investment of educators to the point of knocking on doors of students who miss school.

Meanwhile, an Atlanta Post article accuses the nation of ignoring the real problem. The author points to the success of Geoffrey Canada, of the Harlem Children’s Zone whose school provides smaller class sizes, mandates uniforms, fosters parent involvement, and enforces longer school hours. While the article mentions that an Afrocentric education might be useful because “people of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds learn differently”, observation indicates that nothing motivates the African American male child better than one-on-one attention.

If Baltimore City Schools can raise graduation rates and lower drop out rates by having long school days and giving students mentors, something has to said for the power or relationship and the education of young black boys. If Mr. Canada can transform high school and college graduation rates in Harlem by being attentive and creating relationships with students, then something must be said about inspiring students to learn. If Ron Clark can turn disadvantaged students into academic superstars with creative teaching methods, then something must be said for adjusting the curriculum to fit the needs of the child. If all of these successes cannot be spread to all schools, then parents need to take these lessons and apply them to their own students themselves.

For the parent of a young black boy who is quickly becoming a statistic, if you don’t have resources provided by the likes of Geoffrey Canada and and Ron Clark, it makes sense to look at the option of one-on-one education through homeschooling, tutoring, and private school sources.

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