There are lots of complex challenges facing America and our world in 2019, but I find so much hope in children and the inspired educators who teach them. Here are some of the most interesting articles I read this past month.
Most Parents Are Not Involved Enough In Their Child’s Reading Education
And the survey says…
Teachers are concerned parents are not involved enough in their child’s education which includes reading outside the classroom. “Age of Learning” conducted the survey among teachers and parents and concluded that a lack of books in the home was a primary issue compounded by the cost to buy books. It is strongly recommended that parents and students visit the public library and subscribe to free tools like Age of Learning’s digital library. Parents are encouraged to discuss reading skills with their students’ teachers as reading is the foundation of education. Read more
School Leadership: An Untapped Opportunity to Draw Young People of Color into Teaching
The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute examined minority under representation among educators and within leadership positions in US public schools. The opportunities for leadership are strong in comparison to other industries, but the diversity gap between administrators and the student body they represent is broad. As leading a classroom is typically the prerequisite for leading a school, the researchers conclude the issue lies in the pipeline and getting more Blacks and Hispanics into the teaching profession. Read more
Black Boy Fly: 53 Children’s Books Centering and Celebrating the Humanity of Black Boys
If you’re looking for books with Black males as leading characters, they may be difficult to find. Less than 2% of children’s books published in 2017 featured Black boys or men. The education, research and policy organization “The Conscious Kid” created a list of children’s books with Black males as heroes and main characters. See the entire list in the article. Read more
How Chattanooga’s New All-Boys Charter School Plans to Help Students Succeed
As a former Education Director at the Boys’ Club of New York in East Harlem, I know that finding male educators of color requires a herculean effort, but I believe diversity is an essential component of effective curriculum and instruction. Considering this personal and professional context, I found this article and its accompanying photos quite jarring. Whether intentional or not, the photos combined with direct quotes from educators at an all-boys school in Chattanooga, TN to invoke the notion of white saviors and black savages. A male educator of color appears in 1 out of 12 images in the distance blurry with his hands crossed in a disengaged and unapproachable posture, while nearly every white educator appeared actively engaged with students. The teachers constant emphasis on strictness and testing are concerning because they too often serve to compensate for a educators’ lack of experience and cultural competence. The immediate and cumulative impact of viewing boys of color through a deficit framework is one of dehumanization. Under the circumstances, boys of color become mere data points to be moved and manipulated or little savages in need of strict discipline and structure. Read more
She Was Only 4 and Did Not Understand the Book Was About Slavery
There are certain questions that white American parents have the luxury of rarely if ever having to ponder. When should I talk to my child about slavery? When should I talk to my child about the N word? In this essay, Black parents reflect on the narrow and often essential themes in children’s literature featuring black characters. They discuss the delicate balance between preparing Black children for the realities of the racialized context of American life and preserving the innocence of childhood. Read more
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