Part 2 If You Think School Is Hard In America
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
If children are exposed to educational opportunities
they will learn to appreciate their societies because
they will learn the value of opportunities to be a
part of their community.
Students of color and culture must be exposed to
learning as soon as possible. Statistically they struggle
in the critical thinking and higher order thinking arena,
not that they cannot use those skills they are not
exposed or presented opportunities
to do so. This is where STEM and STEAM come to
work with hands on lessons and interactive learning
with technology, field trips and exposure to professional
people of color and culture.
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. stated, “Education is
the cornerstone of success.” “Those who are educated
have more opportunity, tend to make better choices,
and will go on to teach their children to do likewise.
Those who are educated tend to give back to their
community more than they take from it. Those that
do not value education do not value life,
their communities and are involved in destructive
Many times young parents do not understand their
influence in educating their children. Parents,
especially the growing number of parents of color
and culture need to understand their
responsibility and accountability to teach their
children before they start in a traditional educational
environment. Nationwide, 52 percent of black
males graduate from high
school, which is compared to 78 percent of their
white male counterparts. This is not the schools
total fault; parents play a major role in this, seen
in the “Urgency of Now” writing about Black
parents and their involvement
in their children’s education.
The reality is those that do not get at least a high school
education will cost this nation. Students who don’t finish
high school earn less money and more likely to be involved
in criminal activities because they cannot make the money
necessary to live a comfortable life: the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, those with less than a high school diploma
earn an average of $451 per week, compared to $638
for a high school graduate, $1,053 for someone with
a bachelor’s degree.
Incarceration and employment, segments of
those incarcerated being Black males, estimated by
the Bureau of Labor and Center for Disease Control
that approximately 60 percent of those incarcerated
do not have a high school diploma or equivalent so
cannot be employed. The states in this nation and
organizations are making money on incarcerated
Black males, this is equivalent to slavery. Solutions
need to include training for students with disabilities
and their families, increasing parental
involvement, early intervention in reading
and math programs, professional development for
parents in Parent Universities or Parent Academies
and a commitment by community support organizations.
Students who struggle with core subjects like reading
and math should NOT be placed in ESE or Special
Education programs, but modified learning using
technology, tutors, REQUIRED parent participation
and access to community resources.
Students in New Delhi, India their poorest children are
learning under bridges, African children are learning in
huts, children in China are learning outside. Poverty is
global, but the desire to be educated no matter the economic
situation comes from home. American children receive a
Free education, so what is the excuse for the continued
failures and drop out rates?
Statements by a student in India should resonate to students
in America, “Our teacher has told us that when poverty strikes,
you should open your mind, and that can be done only through
education.” Students of color and culture need to be supported
in ways that bring excitement, empowerment and determination
to gain an education to obtain dreams of a better life.
“Certificates of Attendance” will not gain employment that can
feed families, it will not open doors to future advances in careers
that are engaged in STEAM, STEM and STREAM.
There should be parental involvement from Pre-K to 12th grade
to make sure all students are successful. Parents should not
show up in mass just on graduation days. If they want to
celebrate the successes they too need to work at home with
their children with visits to libraries, museums and other
It takes a village to teach a child, parents need to embrace their
responsibility to educate at home and reinforce education that
schools provide for free.
Scholarships to continue education.
Host of #CollegeChat
Black Male Achievement