A recent op-ed on the Washington Post has ruffled a lot of feathers. Dr. Andre Perry is the founding dean of urban education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich. and the author of The Garden Path: The Miseducation of a City. In his recent article, “Stop Blaming Black Parents for Underachieving Kids”, Perry cited various statistics that stated black parents do care about their children’s education but because of resources, they’re often times stuck dealing with crap school districts that barely attempt to make an effort.
Clearly, there is widespread belief that black parents don’t value education. The default opinion has become “it’s the parents” — not the governance, the curriculum, the instruction, the policy, nor the lack of resources — that create problems in urban schools. That’s wrong. Everyday actions continuously contradict the idea that low-income black families don’t care about their children’s schooling, with parents battling against limited resources to access better educations than their circumstances would otherwise afford their children.
When judging black families’ commitment to education, many are confusing will with way. These parents have the will to provide quality schooling for their children, but often, they lack the way: the social capital, the money and the access to elite institutions. There is a difference between valuing an education and having the resources to tap that value.
At first glance at the title, many people assumed that Perry was talking the responsibility away from the parents, but in all actuality he wasn’t. It’s no secret that many urban schools systems are in shambles and some are equipped with inexperienced teachers, a long with school administrators that would rather pass kids who can barely read, than to teach them how to read.
In Perry’s article, he cited issues that are currently going on in New Orleans, with parents standing in line for hours to enroll their children in charter schools. If the schools aren’t capable when it comes to educating children, then what can parents do?
Clutchettes, do you think the school systems should also be responsible when it comes to providing quality education to students?