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Monday, June 04, 2012

Questions about educating black boys

I don't like picking on public schools, but I am feeling a bit fed up right now.
  • Someone tell me what they are supposed to do with a Special Ed child who has neurological issues if the school system removes the tech track?  Is he just supposed to leave school after his 8th grade graduation? 
  •  Someone explain to me how a child can get mainstreamed from Special Ed in grade 8, only to go into high school with no tools to do math and language arts at grade level?  He basically went from elementary reading and math to high school reading and math. What did they expect but for him to fail?
  • Someone explain to me how a child can enter a new high school mid year grade 11 who in the previous school was in honors class and even passed AP tests and suddenly becomes unteachable?  No the kid did not change.  He just failed everything he touched in the new school.  Now, you could say that the old school was just pushing him through, but .... like I said, he passed AP exams in the 9th and 10th grade.  (AP exams are HARD ya'll.) Makes me feel like the new school did not want to teach him. 
  • Can you explain to me why a child could get kicked out of public school in the 9th grade, being referred to an alternative school, who after 4 years of homeschooling, ends his freshman year in college with a 3.3 GPA?  No this child did not change. The approach to teaching him did. 
 I ask these questions, be cause I either know or have first hand knowledge of these kids... all African American boys by the way. Is it no wonder that I want to start a homeschool  program just for them?  Sometimes I feel like teachers and administrators look at these boys and make snap judgements about their intelligence and worth, long before they ever see the results of an exam... they know nothing about them, and never will, if they don't try to sit with them, and have a heart to heart conversation.  But there is no heart in educating these boys.



Blondee said...

It's heartbreaking that these kids are just allowed to fall through gaping cracks. Their lives mean nothing to the administrations, the teachers, because these are not their children...and after school is done, they won't have to live the lives these children will.

You are right, there is no heart...or conscience.

Happy Elf Mom said...

Sometimes too in an effort to combat racism, schools will institute it. They want to look good on paper so they'll mainstream children in almost any remotely borderline case - I have seen it happen before as well and sort of thought it was racist of me to notice (ha ha! Being white gives me the "privilege" of triple-guessing myself sometimes.) I think what they want to avoid are the bad old days where black children were given an intentionally inferior education. And ok, I suppose at least they are trying...

I don't know how to say this politely but it does seem that the darker black boys are seen as more threatening by a lot of people. What passes for ADHD in my white autistic child, I've seen the same behaviour in a little dark boy I know labelled all kinds of bad things. Then you wonder if it is racist to notice, maybe they don't like that PARTICULAR kid and it has nothing to do with it.

I dunno... but it just feels off? But feelings don't make arguments.

But then sometimes I wonder maybe you are just right and mostly people are making snap judgments. If there are a lot of people who just don't "like" someone, what effect does it have on that child, even if the staff is being professional?

Maybe it is hard for me to even try to know these things since I am not black. I would think (not knowing) when something goes wrong here for my kids it just went wrong because of their disability and not their whiteness. If I suddenly were dealing with race on top of that I would get very confused because it adds a layer to everything of did this happen b/c I am black. (I don't mean the race itself adds a layer but the social implications bla bla. Ya know.)

Ahermitt said...

"Maybe it is hard for me to even try to know these things since I am not black."

Happy, I'm black, and I don't know either.

Speaking of the good old days... I'd have to ask why someone put in special ed for Kindergarten and First Grade, learned to read on her own and is writing this blog and educating her own kids... Turns out my IQ is Waaayyyyyy higher than they "thought".

I don't think I really want to figure out WHY this stuff is happening, but to instead create an alternative program for these kids.

Happy Elf Mom said...

Ahhh! WHY it is happening means we let the kids suffer whilst we psychoanalyze ourselves/society etc and we should just DO something different ... you're probably right...

Karen said...

Actually, I have been collecting a similarly distasteful list...a list of stories of people who are truly mistreated in the public school setting...
I'm not exactly collecting them, actually, they are simply falling in my lap left and right.
It's heartbreaking, angering, and, dad gum it, it's EVERYWHERE.

Peace, Karen

S.MOORE said...

that is exactly how I am feeling right now with my 9 year old son. He is struggling so hard in Language Arts and Reading Comprehension but because his overall grade in Reading was a B or higher he does not qualify for extra help or tutoring. Now granted if he was graded soley on what he struggles in he would get an F, its like he reads to read that is it not to retain. Now here in the state of Indiana our kids was introduced to a new test called the IREAD3 if they do not pass they do not go on to fourth grade. But mind you he has been on honor roll all 4 grading periods. He also missed passing the reading section of the Istep by 1 point. I also just found out that of all the classes his teacher had the highest number of students that did not pass I feel they should be asking her how is half your class on honor roll but can't pass this test? I am so fed up with this school system. They have toooo many test to take on top of their regular school work.