Are you fed up with the educational system in America? One doesn’t have to look far to find instances of dysfunction in one’s local school system. This is why more African-American families are taking the chance that they will do a better job at educating their children by implementing home schooling at their respective residents, this according to BBC story published over the weekend.
Parents concern over the violence in schools was highlighted as major deterrent for their child’s public school attendance, especially with statistics that show the lingering negative effects of bullying within minority-dominated school systems.
According to a study published on Huffington Post, black students saw a 0.3-point decrease in 12th grade GPA from a 3.5 GPA in 9th grade — before they were bullied. Interestingly, most of the parents polled in the BBC story felt they would integrate their children back into the public school system during their children’s secondary education years.
This story also suggested that the school system privileged African-American girls over boys, with classroom settings and curriculum that was more conducive to young girls. With the dropout rates in fifteen states at or above 50% for black males, there might be something to this suggestion.
As of now, The Obama Administration’s solution to the drop-out rate is for-profit public charter schools. Figuring that teachers and administrators will have more incentives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge with students in reduced stress environments have worked in some cities but have failed in most.
Building a first class facility in a undervalued neighborhood produces the same effects as the erection of glossy churches or state-of-the-art stadiums in the “hood” — it gives pride for the few invested in the entity but creates more acrimoniousness towards the residents, as walking out of these sanctuaries can create disdain for a neighborhood that looks like it’s not getting any healthier.
The lack of engagement between teachers, their students, and their curriculum maybe the leading cause for the recent “black flight” from inner city schools. Teachers are under increasing pressure to teach kids to pass standardized tests, which brings capital to cash-strapped schools but can stifle a teacher’s ability to creatively use education as a process to teach kids how to learn for themselves instead of how to pass tests. Additionally, kids are coming to school more unprepared and undernourished than ever, which can lead to tension in the classroom, as children are exhibiting more behavioral problems.
One parent, Sonya Barbee, was appalled by her child’s school, which suggested her child should take medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.):
“The teachers are always telling the parents they have to drug their kids, like they have some kind of problem. It’s just crazy.” says Sonya Barbee. “You don’t want your kid to be a zombie.”
About two million, or 4%, of American children are home-schooled, according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) – a rough estimate, as families do not have to register with the authorities in some states.
The stereotypical family that home schools their children is seen as white, faith-based, anti-Darwinist, and upper middle-class.
Comically, the piece suggests home schooling is almost exclusively for the “most committed parents, who want to be involved in every aspect of their child’s development and enjoy spending time with them, can make it work.” Doesn’t every parent want or envision spending time with their children, committed to the growth as a human being?
Amazingly, no parent expressed any anxiety over the recent school meal programs although the overabundance of sugar, fat, and salt has helped contribute to the rise in childhood obesity rates.
Joyce Burges, co-founder of National Black Home Educators, believes the day could soon be approaching when the local home-schooling co-operative, run by a group of committed parents, could be a real alternative to the public school, for children of all ages and ethnicities.
The demand certainly appears to be there.
“I get emails and phone calls from people all the time who want to know if there is someone that can home-school their child,” says Monica Utsey. “I tell them that it doesn’t work like that. It’s really the parents’ responsibility.”
Would you home school your child? Do you have any reservations considering the high rates of bullying in schools, private and public? How do you feel about school lunches? are they a concern?