Apologies to my readers. I’m still working on Part Two of “It’s Broke”. Look for that tomorrow,
Something to think about today: this response from writer Melinda D. Anderson:
This data refutes a widespread (and ignorant) belief in schooling that Black families “don’t value education.” Instead, what most educators value (signing forms, checking homework, room parents, etc.) is not a valid measure of importance of education for Black parents & families.
Black parents are out here taking their children to plays, visiting museums, going to the zoo, and engaged in all kinds of education-related activities. Yet y’all will still say “They don’t care about education” because a Black parent missed teacher conf. held during the workday.
Here’s the data, a report released by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics.
Here’s more about Ms. Anderson:
Why am I sharing this? As we head into back to school mode, I think it’s important to make sure we examine our attitudes about parenting and education. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s a mistake to see everyone through the same lens. It’s wise to take a look at that same old lens you have been using, too. Does it seem to tune out people who are different than you are? (Sorry, that’s a mixed metaphor beyond repair.)
The parent who does not come to a conference during the work day may not be disengaged from their child’s education. They may not have the ability to leave work. Being able to do so is a privilege not everyone has. Or they may be responsible for the care of very young children or an elderly relative and have no back up to fill in for them.
Can you think of other ways we make assumptions about parents that may show a lack of understanding? How do we shortchange students and families by jumping to these conclusions? How can we do better?