A dirty little secret that you won't find out about from the U.S. media (shocker, I know) is that more and more black families are turning to home schooling in an attempt to give their children the education that they deserve. While I am sure it is very difficult in the more urban areas where the public schools are especially atrocious, it is still a growing trend. Another thing many are probably not aware of the existence of is a homeschool cooperative dedicated to the black community.
Monica Utsey, who runs a home schooling co-operative for African American children in Washington DC, says: "African-American mothers, especially those who have boys, have a lot of trouble in the school system. The way the classroom is designed is more conducive for girls."
For her, though, the main motivation was cultural - she wanted her sons to learn about their African roots and not "to believe that their history begins with slavery"
Another words, she doesn't want her sons to be taught that they are victims who have no real chance of succeeding because of a racist society that is America. Derrick Bell will be rolling over in his grave. How will the left indoctrinate these young sons who are taught they are equal human beings and have the same opportunities that their white counterparts have, they just have to work for it? Oh Al Sharpton, watch out, you may not be able to make a living peddling fear anymore.
It is true that homeschooling is not something that will work for every family. Some parents don't have the discipline, the qualifications, and some children do well in a public school environment. I know someone who has one child in public school and homeschools the other. Her son was just not doing well in school and his teachers were not communicating that to them. They pulled him out and have him at home. She works full-time, but works from home most of the time. He does much of his school work online and if she happens to be away from home she can log in and watch his progress. She told me the difference is night and day; he is learning --eager even--and is much happier. Her daughter has excelled in the public school and is a very social young lady, homeschooling wouldn't suit her personality. It is a situation that works for their family. It is the essence of choice. Not every parent who has that choice will pull their children out of public school.
Of course that destroys the narrative that the public school system will crumble. More homeschooling will make the public school system better. Competition is a good thing. If they need to compete for the dollars they make sure that they are giving an added benefit to the parents who are making that choice. One of the things you hear unions complain about all the time is the fact that the class sizes are too large (they are right, they are in most cases) this will also help with this problem. The teachers will have smaller classes and will be able to give more attention to the individual students.
Another topic that has come up with these homeschoolers is how they resent that teachers now are only teaching to the test (Thanks Sen. Kennedy and President Bush). The evil of No Child Left Behind has left children behind. The school systems are under so much financial pressure to keep and/or improve test scores that the joy of learning has been taken out of the equation. I am sure it is no joy for the teachers either. But students are suffering because of this piece of lousy legislation. Parents are seeing for themselves that their kids are losing motivation:
It was not the violence, or even the fact that he was being bullied, that finally led to the decision to remove Copeland from his public school in what she describes as a "really bad area" of Washington DC, but the fact that he was "losing his love of learning".
Of course this little boy was learning his love of learning - which by the way, is innate in a child - if he is being bullied, seeing violence, and being taught only to a standardized test.
The shift to homeschooling has been much slower for the black community than for the white. They are under even more pressure to keep pretending that the public school system has their child's best interests at heart:
"For the African-American community there was a huge amount of pressure against it, because in America, the grandparents of today's home-schooled children fought for desegregation of schools. They thought, 'The public schools are going to save us,'" he says.But Dr Ray, who regularly interviews black home-schoolers as part of his research, says attitudes are changing fast - and it's also a lot easier today for black families to try it than it was 20 years ago, he points out.
Joyce Burges, co-founder of National Black Home Educators, who home-schooled all five of her children, aged 16 to 35, says the practice is growing "exponentially" in the African American community.
"The failings of public schools have caused all of us, whether we are white or black, to come up with creative ideas about how we can educate children.
It is way past time that the black community push back and stop accepting the failing status quo that has become our public school system and take matters into their own hands. Stop listening to the stories of the past generation that believed that it was going to be public schools that solved the ills of the black community. Access is meaningless if the school is failing. Your children will be much better off for it.