Many who are concerned with education reform in the U.S. look to Asian education systems as the model to follow. Whether for cultural, economic or political reasons, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and other Asian nations are widely considered to be societies that get public education right.
Can public schools thrive in a school choice environment? I think so, yes. Options like charter, magnet, private, online and homeschool curricula are not meant to undermine the nation's public schools but to build them up through shared quality standards.
Depending who you ask, kids everywhere are giving up on education before they obtain a diploma and the situation has never been worse. But is it really that bad? Is the state of the high school dropout rate in the U.S. deserving of the "crisis" label?
While there has been significant progress in narrowing prejudices and racism throughout the nation, we still have a long way to go before we can declare true equality. One of the most glaringly obvious examples of our failures when it comes to true quality of life centers on Black men in America—who begin as Black boys in our K-12 classrooms.
The African American population is the only one in the U.S. where more women are employed than men, representing nearly 54 percent of Black workers in 2011. While this may not seem like a bad thing when it comes to the important role of women in the workplace, the stat is more a statement on the dismal performance of Black men in the workforce than it is a reflection of the women's success. Black men carry the highest unemployment rates, year after year, and represent a large percentage of Americans in poverty. If we know this, then why isn't ...
As Black male educators, we embrace the intensive diligence in being able to provide Black youth that we find in our midst the tools that it takes to navigate through a world where percep-tions outside of their own control can play a role in their ability to return home at night. In our own livelihoods, we live underneath the same burden. We find solidarity within those moments that extend well beyond the school day. We can pinpoint moments where those in authority looked at us in deficit as if we could never be enough. We call upon educators to make ...
Turning our backs on the misbehavior of our K-12 youth doesn't teach them a lesson, or lead to lives that are changed for the better. It only simplifies the present, paving the way for a future of crime and other misbehavior. In order to change the troubling trends of Black men and crime, we first need to address the way Black boys are disciplined in K-12 schools and look for better solutions to suspensions and arrests.
The disadvantages that Black boys bring to their schools aren't corrected in K-12 classrooms, they are furthered. As they get older, they are continually marginalized in their schools and societies - given less-than-adequate access to the resources that their already advantaged peers receive. While the connection between items like reading scores and civic responsibility may not seem well defined on the surface, they are related and that relationship is integral to turning the tide for Black boys in America.
In this series, I've advocated for K-12 schools to shift from the traditional summers-off school calendar to a year-round one. Consistency, less time spent relearning material, and the implications that year-round schooling has for closing the achievement gap are just a few of my reasons for feeling so strongly that this shift take place. There's another piece to this argument though, and one that deserves a closer look. Along with more evenly splitting up time off, should schools be adding more time to their school days or more total days in the classroom?
In my previous two posts, I've emphasized the need for all American K-12 schools to transition to a year-round school calendar. I've highlighted and debunked the most common arguments against year-round schooling and called for educators to stand behind a push to shift to a more consistent school calendar that maximizes student learning. Perhaps one of the strongest arguments in favor of year-round schooling however is the boost it would give to minority and other traditionally disadvantaged groups.