Education standards within the African American community are at an all time low. Recently I've done more to educate myself on the problems, possible solutions, and the outcomes.

What I have discovered is that there is still hope and that not all is lost. As an African American community, we are facing many problems. The notion that our problems are greater than those willing to provide solutions is incorrect. There are just as many who are concerned and making strides in the right direction to help find and implement fixes. These solutions range from a revamp of the system as a whole to merely tweaking the status quo.

The issues span from lack of parental involvement to reduction in school funding. For about two decades now there has been an increasing divide of the parental involvement in a child's education. Since the financial crisis of 2008, states nationwide have been looking to cut budget and education has been one of the hardest hit areas. Our system has hit a stalemate, and there has been a lack of the necessary advancement in models and methods in which we use to educate. Lastly we are attempting to use one-shot solutions to fix local problems nationwide, furthering the erosion.

Some will say that in this time of economic uncertainty and crunch that it is impossible or extremely hard for parents to assist with education of their child. These are excuses that we cannot afford to make. As a parent it is your duty and responsibility above all else to see that that your child succeeds. If that means you're tired beyond belief and you have to stay up an extra fifteen minutes to ensure your child's homework is done, then you need to do it. We have gotten to the point as a society where we have forgotten effective ways to communicate without the aid of advanced technology. If you cannot make it to the school to speak with the teacher, send a letter. A parent not participating in the education of their child is one of the most irresponsible things you can do as a parent.

One of the key functions of government should be to help provide for the people beyond what the people cannot do for themselves. But we should not rely on government to carry us the entire way. Yes, it's sad that education has to be on the chopping block for cuts, but if you speak up and demand the help of government, they have no choice but to provide. Believe me you have a voice that is listened to and counts. And if that fails, write and continue writing because there are companies and organizations that will donate and fund schools.

We cannot as a nation in a forever-expanding world continue to teach outdated lessons and force outdated practices on the youth of today. Gone are the days where general education is truly general. Not cutting short the fact that some basic common understanding is needed, but gone are the days of requiring that chemistry or anatomy be taken to graduate for a student whose passion lies elsewhere. We live in an advancing world where knowledge is key but specialization also equals success. We have to begin to teach differently, approach the problems differently, and be willing to grow differently with more efficiency.

As I have recently rationalized solutions to any problem are a process. There are certain procedures that must be followed, 1+1=2, not 50. That is currently how we are looking at the problem and trying to solve it. As if I were trying to get to 50, there are a number of ways I could get there. I can have 2x25, or 10+10+10+10+10, I could have 5x10, or 10+2x20, the point is this, and there are different ways in accomplishing this goal of getting to 50. Theses are the solutions we must begin or continue to look for, if not we will continue trying to add one plus one in an attempt to get to fifty and guess what, it won't come.

I will not at any moment profess to be an expert but neither was Edison, or Washington, or Jefferson. In the broad aspect they all were ignorant to the bigger picture, but had an idea, which they posed, and it happened to be quite exceptional and effective.



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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what is your solution? What are you doing to fix this problem of education within the African American community? What steps have you taken, if any, to contribute to a more literate/intellectual society?

Theory Republic said...

Let me first thank you for reading and commenting, it is very appreciated. Let me first answer on what I have done or am doing. The best way that I can contribute to the solution is by continuing to establish myself, that means continuing on the get my Masters degree and furthering my work experience building deeper professional connections. Thus far in the organizations I am a member of I have volunteered and given my time back in speaking to High School seniors about the importance of doing well and how they can do well in College or at University. While in college myself I worked with underclassmen to guide them in the right direction. As far as solutions, for each of the problems I pointed out in the piece I also spoke on a plausible solution for each. Not wanting to be hypocritical of what I have said I understand that there may be more solutions to those problems, but the ones stated are a start. Again I thank you for commenting and reading the article. Your opinions and feedback is always welcomed.

Anonymous said...

In your post you mentioned that there as been an increasingly large divide in parental involvement in a child's education. I agree however I think you failed to point out certain factors causing this. Being a young adult in my early twenties my parents were born during a decade where a college education was not needed. Some of the curriculum that is being taught today was not taught during my parent's generation. So in some instances in courses such as math or science, an individual's parents may not be as knowledgeable about the material. Another problem the African American community faces is the problem of teenage pregnancy. If you have high school dropouts as parents how do you expect them to teach their children or set an example in terms of education? You mentioned that we have to begin teaching differently. How do your propose this. The education of African American lags behind Whites and Asians and will continue if the education system does not put enough emphasis on math or science courses.

Theory Republic said...

Thank you also for reading and commenting and while I respect your opinion I will still say those are also excuses as far as not knowing the work. Parental involvement isn't just helping along with the homework, it means staying on top of your child to ensure that if your child isn't comprehending the material that you find other ways to ensure that they are grasping it. There were times where my parents couldn't always help me, or my brother, with him they had to find a tutor. Parental Involvement simply means being involved. There are many different capacities in which they can do this. Teen Pregnancy also another excuse, just because you got pregnant at an early age is not a reason to say I'm going to just hang it up. I know single mothers who happened to get pregnant in high school and are in the process of graduating college now. Also teen pregnancy over the last decade has been at an all time low. In the piece I reference how we begin to teach differently, specialization. If you look at the success of specialized schools we have to use those as a guide. If a child that is passionate about something and we continue to support that and they succeed, that confidence carries on into those other subjects they aren't so passionate about. Differently is incorporating more professionals into the classrooms, differently is moving away from standard standardized testing, differently is changing our current course, because across the board it isn't working. I do welcome any rebuttal or other comments you may have, thank you again

Anonymous said...

While your contributions are helpful, many people are not contributing anything to better society nor the AA community in general. Yes there are organizations set up across the country dedicated to this kind of activism but in this capitalistic society, the focus tends to shift from education and lean towards financial development, even within the organizations. According to USNews.com, in NYC, more than a third of ninth graders arrive unprepared to do college-prep work; henceforth, struggling sixth and ninth graders will take a double-period literacy class. Where is the help they need?

I believe a lot of the problem has to do with the system itself. Culturally relevant pedagogy is missing in much of the education system. Children of color learn and internalize material differently from other children. There has been research to prove this, yet we are still basing excellence in a one dimensional way: standardized test scores. These exams test how well someone can take a test, not intellectual ability. Therefore I believe the failure is both on the system (including the teachers) and the individual. With a better education system that targets relevant cultural learning skills, and a community that encourages learning, not only math and science, but all subjects (as learning/knowledge is the key to freedom) we could combat this education dilemma.

Theory Republic said...

Thank you for commenting, because I am in favor of trying new methods and approaching problems differently with different solution, I would agree that we should try teaching with methods that target relevant cultural learning skills. I do not believe that the lack of those methods are a reason why the African American community is failing as far as education. Simply put using that as a reason is clearly declaring that we humanly aren't equip to learn on the same level as our white or asian counterparts. An argument racist have been using for years to justify why blacks shouldn't be allowed certain rights. And as an African American male who has successfully completed middle, high school, and college I find that unjustified. Ultimately where we are failing is not beginning our children's education at home. Reading to them, not teaching them their abc's and 123's, or how to spell their names, before they even reach the schoolhouse. I know this personally because I have been in classrooms and observed this, I personally know family members who have failed to do such. So I will agree with you that our system overall is failing our students, and so are the parents. But to find fault in it that there aren't any methods that are targeting our cultural learning skills is also an excuse one we cannot continue to use. Its the same as saying white people had a 400 year start on education. When will we get passed excuses like this?