This is a guest post by Antonio Buehler. He works with homeschoolers to identify individual learning styles so parents can better tailor their homeschooling approach to their children's capabilities and needs. He also helps students who want to gain admission to a highly competitive college or university. Buehler's blog is http://buehlereducation.com/
Homeschooling is by far the best alternative for most black children. There are problems in public school for all children, but the institutional racism of traditional schools means that black children have the most to gain from homeschooling.
Today 15% of homeschoolers are minorities, but that percentage should escalate rapidly as parents begin to realize the benefits of homeschooling compared to the tremendous harm of public schooling. Here’s why:
1. Politicians sacrifice the black community over and over again.
The black community is worse off than most other racial groups in America in a variety of sobering ways – from HIV rates to incarceration rates to poverty rates. This situation is driven directly and indirectly by flawed or deliberately destructive government policies that disproportionately harm Black America. For example, the drug war, our foreign policy, minimum wage, public housing and gun control all have a deleterious effect on the liberty, prosperity and security of those in the black community. It’s hard to put a finger on which government policy is the most destructive to the black community, but if I had to choose just one it would be the public education system.
2. Public schools are still segregated.
Non-white students are disproportionately located in the worst schools in the country. There are 1,700 high schools (out of 27,000) that produce over 50% of the total dropouts in the nation. More than one third all black students attend these schools, which helps explain why the graduation rate for black students is only 51%. Kids who attend these 1,7000 schools are more likely to find themselves in economic poverty and/or prison than graduating from college.
3. Public schools expect less from black students.
A culture of low expectations surrounds black students on a daily basis. Whether or not they are made aware of the tremendous achievement gaps between blacks and whites, they tend to recognize that the idealized American vision of being able to achieve whatever they put their minds to does not apply to them. Instead they learn that the academic struggles they may face are merely a symptom of their stupidity and that ANY transgressions are punished harshly in a criminalized classroom. While they are reminded that society has been extremely unkind to the black community, at the same time they are reminded that they must know their place in society, and that demanding equal treatment is disruptive, uncouth and unacceptable.
4. Private schools are not a solution.
Private schooling is a much better option for black students, however, stereotypes and biases exist in private schools as well. Moreover, if a family is socioeconomically depressed they will go to private school through a scholarship or voucher program, and throwing a poor kid into a rich school often has its own problems.
5. Homeschooling solves a huge number of educational problems for black kids.
Homeschooling allows black children to develop in a manner which emphasizes their worth as individuals and not their lack of worth as members of an unfavored racial group. When they learn to read they can do so in a way that is relevant to them, and not in a way that is prescribed by bureaucrats and special interest lobbyists. When they learn math they don’t have to deal with a teacher who assumes the least of them. When they study history, black children can learn about all the inspirational men and women who aren’t prioritized in the Euro-centric curriculum of public schools. Instead of being told how stupid they are or how little is expected of them, they can be free to develop their unique talents to the best of their abilities.
And it is through developing those unique talents, in conjunction with the real education that homeschooling provides that black children will be able to overcome many of the hurdles that government has placed in their way.