Coming up as a Black student in public education I remember frequently hearing how a) we needed to value education because our ancestors were persecuted to be able to sit in a public school and learn or b) we’d end up in streets leading us to prison.
Education wasn’t something seen as fun. It was either life or death, struggle or succeed.
Facing this type of pressure as a kid to simply be able to learn
Unfortunately, since racism always finds a way to continue oppression of Black people, public schools may not even be allowed to celebrate or teach Black history.
So the importance of segregation in schools might not be taught to a generation of students who unfortunately are battling the same issues.
Black children are five times as likely as white children to attend schools that are highly segregated by race and ethnicity
Shares of white and black eighth-graders attending schools with a high concentration of students of color, 2017
Emma Garcia highlights in The Economic Policy Institute the impact segregation continues to have on public education. This is the injustice most harshly felt by Black kids. Even in the celebration of modern education movements, Black children are still fighting against racism and injustice.
Most schools focus on how poor or how dumb you are.
It’s true. Public schools across America are judging students based on where they live and what their parents income is. This should not impact the type of educational services they are provided.
The all around side of data is that it negatively impacts Black students in public education. Many who are reminded daily that they are poor, less than and under performing academically.
Black kids are fighting stereotypical data that basically calls them dumb.
Garcia proves what many teachers across America have been saying for many years.
Black children are still fighting an unequal, inequitable battle for a quality education. Big businesses and investors make billions of dollars off of the tragedy of Black kids in poverty and public education.
I’m challenging us to look towards the future and begin doing the work collectively to build a public education system that is designed to serve children well regardless of their race, zip-code and economic status.
Public education should be a quality public service, not a system that unjustly and systemically fails Black children.
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.