Black boys need equity in their public schools, especially since Black boys are the highest percentage in the school to prison pipeline. Equity allows Black boys to be treated the same by having access to highly enriched educational resources. It’s refreshing to see in schools across America that the conversation on Black boys and equity in public schools is growing.
Everyone talking about equity for Black boys in public schools aren’t supporting the implementation of it.
Black boys are often denied access to resources because of bias, stereotypes about their academic performance, character, and ability. Education is life building, not simply passing a test and building good academic data. We must consider what equity in education truly looks like for Black boys when they still rank highest in student dropout rates and low literacy rates. According to Fordham’s Institute’s recent study, this data is decreasing due to teachers holding a higher standard for Black boys. Teachers, such as the growth of Black male teachers in classrooms, play a major role in the Black boys’ success. The study reflects that equity in how we present educational access is impacted by teachers who daily stand before Black boys in classrooms.
The conversation on Black Boys and equity in public schools is growing in our local communities.
However, more public schools need to have stronger methods of implementation and accountability. We need strong advocates at the White House desiring to invest money so that the programs providing equitable services can reach the students that need them most. I believe it’s important to ensure that we’re asking the right questions when at the table. Especially parents of Black boys. Schools simply cannot have strong turnaround plans without having a focus on Black boys. The discussion on Black boys and equity should include the following questions:
- Do the high schools in your school district offer rigorous college and career readiness courses for all students?
- Are teachers, staff, students, and parents provided professional development collectively and individually?
- Are certain groups of students suspended at higher rates than others?
- Are federally funded programs monitored and implemented effectively?
- Do we have enough school counselors and social workers to serve each school?
Although the conversation on Black boys and equity is growing, unfortunately, there are parents in public school districts who are still battling this. W.E.B DuBois said, “Education must not simply teach work; it must teach life!” Equity begins with improving the educational experience of Black boys in public schools as well as the teachers and parents supporting them.
Equity Includes Improving Access to Resources for Black Parents!
I ensure that I go over the difference between equality and equity so that Black boys’ parents can best advocate for what they need. Many of the issues are connected to equity. Equity in education means each student receives resources needed for graduation and success after completing high school. School leaders that want equity for Black boys, work to ensure they have the following areas functioning in their school program:
- Parent/Family Center
- Early Learning and Literacy
- College & Career Readiness
- Adult Education
- Lending Libraries for special learners (i.e. ELL, Gifted & Talented, Special Education, etc.)
- Restorative Justice and PBIS
- Communal Resources
- Health and Wellness
Providing better educational outcomes for Black boys in public schools includes equitable resources. The conversation around equality and equity should encourage school districts and city leaders to strengthen their relationship with each other and their stakeholders. It benefits both parties.
Improving Methods of Continuing the Education of Black boys at Home is A Sign of Equity!
Public schools must intentionally look at effective resources being provided to families of Black boys. Educational resources should not be limited to Black boys in the classroom! Learning takes place everywhere. Therefore, public schools must do a better job of including parents and communities in turnaround strategies designed to help Black boys succeed in school.
Partnering with families, communities, school alumni, nonprofits, businesses, and city agencies helps Black boys succeed. These partners can provide additional resources that support the work of teachers outside of the classroom with Black boys.
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.