For Our Family Black History and School Choice are Inseparable
In the midst of a crazy week of school (for me and the children), a household schedule that works around homework, two full time working adults, music lessons and dance classes we were fortunate enough to sit down for a home cooked meal together. The main topic of discussion lately between my husband and I at the dinner table has been where will the two youngest children go to school next year. Our children listen, their heads and eyes in similar motion as if watching a tennis match. I try to disguise my feelings, but it’s hard to hide my anxiety. Perhaps, I could concede to slight obsessiveness. But, I won’t. Particularly given that for children of color in 2012:
- 82 percent of Hispanic fourth grade public school students cannot read at grade level
- African American children make up 19% of students in districts offering gifted and talented programs but only 10 percent are enrolled
- And in 2011 the State of College Admission Report found that 79.7% of Black Students, 70.4% of Hispanic students and 73.7% of American Indian/Alaska Native students were designated as having the ability to do well in AP courses but did not take one
My parents instilled racial pride in us growing up. I’ve always felt that it is a crucial component for children of color growing up in America. Not to disparage any one group, but to demonstrate that people of color have made positive contributions. This notion is a part of our belief that in a sense, seeing is believing. Furthermore, a recent study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University found that African American adolescents do better in school if their parents instill in them a strong sense of racial pride. When I went to visit the potential schools, I saw technology, invigorated teachers and a fabulous facility. But, no Black History bulletin boards like these. I guess if their names are chosen from the School Choice lottery box and they attend a school where they will not see themselves so positively mentioned we will have to make sure we step up our Black History game at home. But, it sure is nice to have Choices of schools that have them happen in both places.
What do you think? Should a school be more culturally inclusive or does it not matter?