The Democrat and Chronicle, in a piece about the struggles of young black men, says many teachers don’t understand their culture:
The stories behind these statistics tell a bitter tale of generational poverty; of children born into single-parent homes; of mothers, many of whom have little education themselves, working low-wage jobs to support their children…
Already up against tough odds, these young men enroll in school systems largely unequipped to meet their academic needs, much less the social and emotional problems they may be struggling with…
Although they often enter school less prepared than their white classmates — and need extra help to level the playing field — black male students tend to be concentrated together in poor-performing schools where they have fewer opportunities.
Added to that, many teachers lack a basic understanding of the culture black male students come from and misinterpret their behavior, something that drives a disproportionate number of young black men being expelled, suspended or placed in special education.
Poverty, concentrated poverty in schools, family structure and the lure of the street culture are more compelling reasons for the struggles of black male youth than “teachers don’t understand.” Teachers are with their black male students every day year after year. To state as fact many don’t understand their students is very controversial and offensive to teachers. This is not a new debate. Rochester school board member Cynthia Elliott caused a big stir when she suggested white teachers were not as equipped to teach black students.
There’s no question schools play a role in the success or failure of young black men. There’s no question institutional racism plays a role; our schools are segregated by race and income. City schools do not have the same resources as suburban schools. (Much of funding goes to special needs.)
The question is what role the school system should play in elevating black male students. The D&C cites well-funded programs in New Jersey to target the population with intense mentoring and teacher training. The school is called on to fill gaps in the community.
Links of the Day:
– St. John Fisher students complain about a lack of parking. Notice how they’re forced to pay for a lot that’s free to the general public.
– Colleges are clamping down on free speech in the name of sensitivity.