Get out while you can before the Arne Duncans or the Michelle Rhees boot you out! While the Waiting For Superman documentary gets trotted out like a show pony offering “solutions” to weed out bad teachers the big giant pink elephant in the room is NEVER discussed. It’s the mass dysfunction at play that’s the core problem.
The majority of problems in schools today are tied to the rampant OOW problem in the black community. The lack of family structure begats the devaluation of a community. It ties into lower tax bases, poverty, parental apathy, living in dangerous neighborhoods, poor food choices, lack of fresh foods, stress and minimal support. Yeah..more canon fodder for the anti-NWNW gang to deny and deflect. What programs are going to fix this!?
Children who are overburdened, undernourished, abused or otherwise impaired and competing with 30+ other students for a teacher’s attention are not in a conducive learning environment. Not to mention those who are tracked as having developmental problems. While this doesn’t apply to every situation or school there does tend to be a correlation between residential areas, entitlement, expectations, parental involvement and lack of resources.
Parents who take an active interest in their child’s education have a huge impact on a child’s performance. My education did not begin or end with the lessons I was taught while at school. My mother took an active interest in making sure all of her children were well-read – in fact I was taught to read before I started kindergarten. I was also in a unique situation because she was pursuing an advanced degree when I was 8 years old and I attended a few classes with her. Being around adults pursuing their education had a profound effect on me.
By the time I was in 3rd grade the school officials wanted to move me up at least one grade to match my reading level. I personally took an interest in learning and it extended beyond the scope of the set curriculum. I was specifically interested in learning all I could about the achievements of African-Americans which was limited to Crispus Attucks and MLK. I spent a lot of time in the public library. That innoculated me from feeling racially inferior when I got older as I was exposed to different groups of kids of various racial, ethnic and class tiers despite living in an area known for its racial segregation.
While there may be ineffective and bad teachers the majority are not. Teaching was one of the ways many black women thought they could give back to the community (like social work and other “rescuing” professions). Those teachers tend to be present in areas where there are large black populations at public schools. Some of those schools are in blighted areas where the lack basic resources such as having enough books, where metal detectors are required and buildings may have structural problems. Yet they’ve still dedicated themselves to the equivalent of operating in a war zone and are still being pushed out.
The Black Agenda Report on Chicago teachers who successfully sued the Obama administration to get their jobs back after they were fired without cause is discussed in the excerpt below:
When the Chicago Teachers Union made no effort to reach out to parents, students or their communities, refused to organize teachers to oppose the wave of school shutdowns and privatizations, teachers organized what they call CORE, the Coalition of Rank & File Educators. CORE has now filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education, charging that the mass dismissal of hundreds of mostly black veteran teachers and their replacement with uncertified and generally underqualified white teachers is racially discriminatory.
“We looked at the number of teachers who lost their jobs in these ‘school turnarounds,’” CORE research director Carol Caref told BAR, “and we looked at the number of African American teachers who were employed in those same schools or in the charter schools which replaced them and there was a huge discrepancy which couldn’t be accounted for by chance. The fired teachers are disproportionately African American, and the newly hired teachers are not.”
While those teachers were able to save their jobs – for now – the writing is on the wall. Not to mention the fact if things are this bad now how does replacing veteran teachers who at least care about the plight of black children with inexperienced staff who may not be as invested? Someone might ask why I care as a child-free by choice woman: because I have to occupy the same world. If children are not properly cared for by a society we have failed! Besides those kids grow up to be adults, adults who can cause problems. It takes far less of an effort to prevent a major catastrophe than to recover from one.
Letting outsiders (read that as wealthy and yes…white and male) control the narrative (who’d never place their kids in the types of schools they care so much about) is adding to the problem: many blacks simply do NOT care about the quality of their child’s life period, let alone striving for education. Not when they’re justifying and excusing dysfunction. While the intentions of the outsiders may be benign their solutions are missing key elements. Eliminating the last line of defense (those AA women who care) will be the final nail in the coffin for children who are already at a huge disadvantage. I also fail to understand how attending school requires armed security when you’re living in a Western country. There’s been a huge failure at policing the criminal activity and lack of focus of a group when that type of chaos has been allowed. Under no circumstance would I ever allow a child of mine to be faced with that type of burden. A parent’s job is to protect their child.
In a fair world we could have all the benefits of a private school education at cost, but there are hierarchies in place for a reason. There are many brilliant students who’ve yet had that spark encouraged. There are students who’ve been erroneously sidetracked or written off who simply needed to be taught differently (ala Michael Orr’s story). It’s only African-Americans who eschew education by claiming use of standardized English is talking white. While there are many who do encourage education we still have to look at dysfunctional behavior of an increasing majority as discussed at Sojourner’s Passport:
Consider the disrespectful, dismissive attitudes that most Blacks have about public schoolteachers. Do these African-Americans even realize that the majority of countries on this planet don’t have free public school systems? Judging from our loud whining, we don’t know this basic fact that puts everything in perspective. In most countries, people have to buy school uniforms and books. They can’t just dump their children off each morning with no further investment on their part. They can’t simply use the schools as a free baby-sitting service. Which is how most African-Americans use the public schools.
Disagree if you must, but what are the alternatives? Where are the solutions? How are the future generations being nurtured, protected and supported? Again it seems the future generations have long abandonded things their ancestors were once denied and subsequently clamoured for their first available opportunity. Now there’s a digital “divide” where the use and creation of technological resources are also being passed over. The public library is a valuable FREE resource that offers training, use of computers and adaptive services. How many children are missing out by not utilizing them? The burden of proof lies with parents (some of whom may mean well) and those in leadership positions, who in turn take their cues from the community at large.