As a parent of a soon-to-be college student, I am very interested in the quality of elementary and high school education. College is expensive and I want to get the most bang for my buck. I, like most parents, believe that a solid pre-college education is the foundation for post-college success.
In keeping with that idea, my son has taken many honors level classes, AP classes (for which he will get college credit), higher math and science classes, and all of those other “rocket scientist” courses. His mother and I encouraged him to do so but we did not force him into these classes.
My son is a Black American and he attends a high school whose student body(nearly 4,000 students) is at least 50% minority and that brings me to the crux of the article:
Why is my son the only black student in any of his honors or AP classes?
Why is MY son the only black student in any of his honors or AP classes?
Why is my son the only Black student in any of his honors or AP classes?
I don’t think you need to be a statistician or an actuary to see the importance of my question. I don’t believe that blatant racism should shoulder all of the blame here, though racism can not be ignored. Rather, I believe that it is a chimera, a combination of social forces and institutions that’s to blame.
Here are a few ideas that we as a society would get a lot of mileage out of if taken to heart:
1) The educational system needs to recruit black academics as aggressively as they do black athletes. If this one thing were to happen, there would be no need for articles like this one.
2) Black parents need to encourage black students to take these higher level classes and provide the necessary support. Black students are as equally capable as white students regardless of what “The Bell Curve” suggests.
3) Black students need to uproot the self defeating paradigms that suggest that if you crack open a book or excel in math or science that you’ve sold out your are “acting white”. This is one of the worse crimes that a Black person can commit, apparently.
Black students can’t compete with the rest of society if they don’t get the right education. Society demands that doctors, lawyers, engineers, and all the rest have good educations. The aforementioned three items are a good starting place on what is sure to be a long but socially beneficial journey for all.