Black Boys Just Get One Chance

Understanding that Black boys just get one chance at success a Black male teacher born in Africa, who has chosen to remain anonymous, shares his view on how Black boys are educated in America. 

In every educational system, and I have been in at least three of them: France, Canada, Cameroon ; it is ok to study, to perform very well during academic year and not pass the standardized test. You hardly hear complains about discrepancies in between performance during school year and the results of End of Grade Exams.

The responsibility is heavily carried by students than by schools and teachers.

Why is that so? It is believed in those systems that at a certain level of education especially in HS should be led by students.

Black boys have the responsibility to steer themselves through any insufficiency on teachers’ part.

America has all the means available for a responsible and accountable Black male child to get the job done, unlike other school systems mentioned above.

Yet, we prefer to practice the ostrich politics by burying our head in the sand instead of facing our giants.

Yes, Black boys are graduating from HS without knowing how to read.

I heard this over 13 years ago when I first set my feet in this blessed land. I was in shock!!! Nowhere in this wide world will you hear this incongruity. There are some hard truth we are going to have to deal with in order to get rid of this kind of bizarre reality.

All the complaints now about how serious the disparity is between grades and EOG Exams is the results of not empowering students to learn and holding parents, teachers and school leaders accountable in the process.

We have specifically failed Black boys! They need to know more about their rights than their duties in the educational process too. We’re blaming the wrong folks when a 16-year-old Black boy decides to slack. Why is this being allowed to take place to being with? It’s because the system already sees Black boys as failures.

Teachers across the board are not solely to blame for the failure of Black boys. 

For example, in Georgia the issue will be seriously curbed if teachers in school districts could be free to give a 0 when a student deserves it rather than a 55. Teachers have to give them grades due to district policies and that doesn’t help them. It doesn’t hold students accountable and we do them a disservice by giving grades and passing them along.

Is this equivalent to the Atlanta cheating scandal?

If we could stop being asked to give 1500 chances to a student to do the same test instead of teaching the child that opportunity comes but once in life by giving them ONE CHANCE!

Black boys only have one chance at success in school and we’re focused on coddling their behavior and feeding into stereotypes of how they learn.

Schools doesn’t teach life skills anymore over here. That is the problem especially when Black boys can walk out of a school and be slammed on the ground by the school resource officer or even worse, shot to death.

Here’s the game changer, teaching life skills to Black boys works in other school systems around the world. Moreover, holding Black boys accountable makes them strive for success. This begins with presence (Black male teachers), presentation of lessons and fair policies.

Why aren’t we doing this here if Black boys are in crisis?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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