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Homeschooling As a Response to Institutional School Racism

Used to be that most Home Schoolers did so for religious reasons.

With the reports of the disciplinary actions against black students,  the school to jail pipeline, and the failure of Charter Schools, more and more parents with the wherewithal are deciding to Home School.

Why more black parents are home-schooling their kids

While some parents cite religious and moral reasons, others say they are keeping their kids out of public schools to protect them from school-related racism.

 

Nikita Bush comes from a family of public school teachers: Her mom, aunts, uncles – nearly all of them have been involved in public education at some level.

But her own teaching career ended, she says, “in heartbreak” when she had to make a decision about where her own child would go to school.

After being reprimanded repeatedly for folding Afro-centric education into her Atlanta classroom, she left. Fifteen years and six children later, Ms. Bush leads a growing homeschooling co-op near Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood.

Despite the promises of the civil rights movement, “people are starting to realize that public education in America was designed for the masses of poor, and its intent has been to trap poor people into being workers and servants. If you don’t want that for your children, then you look for something else,” she says. To her, the biggest flaw in public education is a lack of character education, an “absence of a moral binding,” that contributes to low expectations – and lower outcomes for children of color.

Ms. Bush is part of a burgeoning movement of African-American parents done waiting for public schools to get better. The numbers of black parents choosing to home-school their children has doubled in a little over a decade – about 220,000 black school-aged children are being homeschooled – up from estimates of 103,000 in 2003, according to the National Home Research Institute (NHERI).

“Moms and dads are saying, ‘We just want what’s best for our children,’ ” says Brian Ray, who founded NHERI and has written a paper on black home-schooling parents and how their children perform academically. “They’ve been told for 20, 30, 40 years that public schools will get better, they’ll get better for black kids, but … black kids are still at the bottom of the totem poll in terms of academic achievement… and black families know it.”

The reasons black parents cite for home-schooling their children cover a wide range. Some sound similar to the  homeschooling movement as a whole: religious beliefs, a desire to shelter children from an increasingly crass or materialistic society, a conviction that they are best-suited to teach their kids the values they need to live a fulfilling life.

But other parents cite incidents of racial bullying, studies showing that black students are less likely to be recommended for gifted and advanced classes, and multiple studies showing that African-American children – especially boys – are disproportionately likely to be suspended or arrested.

In short, in order to protect their children from school-related racism, more black parents are keeping their kids out of school entirely, writes Ama Mazama, a professor of African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia who has written extensively on home-schooling. She has dubbed the movement “racial protectionism.”

On academic performance, home-schooled students in his study scored between 23 and 42 percentile points above their public school counterparts in math, reading, and English, says Dr. Ray of NHERI. But he and others stress that research is nascent and more comprehensive studies need to be conducted before broader conclusions can be drawn. Ray’s study looked at 81 home-schooled students, for example.

Interestingly, given one common concern about home-schooled students not getting needed socialization with peers, the students in his study scored above average “on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development.”

Georgia’s twist on home-schooling

In most states, home-schooling parents tend to be dual-parent and middle- or upper-income, according to Ray’s research, enabling one parent to stay home and teach the kids.

But Georgia is different, says Cheryl Fields-Smith, a professor of education at the University of Georgia. While most states prohibit homeschooling parents from teaching anybody except their own children, Georgia has no such restriction. That has given rise to co-ops, where, in essence, groups of parents serve as rotating teachers, based on their own skill sets, talents, and fortes.

Nikita Bush

That, Professor Fields-Smith says, has allowed single black moms to band together to give their children an education that they say better reflects their values and history – while still being able to work.

“Some of the most amazing inventions come forward out of a need,” says Queen Taese, a Lithonia, Ga., mom who has homeschooled her seven children. “And with the way public education is going, there was an inevitable need, especially for the black community, because less funds go to our schools and there are a lot less opportunities unless our children go outside our community.”…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Cat Came Back

Find this one rather amusing as when my first little one was small, she bought her a little cassette tape player with tapes of a number of Children’s songs. Having 2 cats in the household at the time, not surprisingly her favorite was a Raffi Song – “The Cat Came Back”.  If you have had a toddler, then you know that have this sometimes irritating ability to listen to the same song, or watch the same movie time and time again. She played that song over and over – and even would sing it to the rather put upon but tolerant cats.

Beloved ‘SWAT Cat’ returns to police base

For police, it may have been better than winning Powerball.

The beloved “SWAT Cat,” the unofficial mascot of the Boston Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, arrived back at the agency’s Roxbury base Thursday. The cat had been missing since sometime in late November.

The unexpected return — many feared the cat had been killed or lost forever — marked a homecoming for officers who have become fond of the feline, and even called it a good luck charm.

In December, police had hung fliers and posted notices online in search of the orange, black, and white calico that often lounged and slept atop the officers’ Bearcat — a large armored vehicle parked at the station.

Suesan Williams, who does tailoring work for many of the department’s officers, and helped police care for the cat, said the furry stray was emaciated and looked hungry when it reappeared. She said she suspects the cat may have been trapped somewhere without access to food.

“The minute she got out, for some reason, she went to where she knows her home is,” Williams said.

An officer sent Williams a photo of the cat Thursday morning announcing its triumphant return. She said police are excited that SWAT Cat popped up again, since the animal has become a mainstay at their headquarters.

“It’s a great day,” Williams said. “They love that cat, and take care of her, and she takes care of them. She takes care of the rat and mice population at the base.”

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in News

 

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Boston Marathon Bombing

 

Now…For the work of finding out who is responsible for this. It is impossible to say at this time whether this is an act of Foreign or Domestic Terrorism. At least to reports at this time, the bombs appear to have been relatively crude devices made from either home made or cobbled together explosives wrapped in nails and screws to function as shrapnel, which suggests they were made with off-the-shelf materials purchased here in the United States. There is still confusion on whether there were more bombs.

Yet another tragedy.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Domestic terrorism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Occupy the Hood!

One of the criticisms levelled at th Occupy protests across the country by conservatives is the “lack of black participation”. Of course, it’s your typical right wing lie, in defense of Tea Party racism. The Lawn Jockey squad of black conservatives brad and butter is dysfunction in the urban black community. Pretending that no one in those communities is doing anything  but “living on the plantation”.

Occupy Boston’ Meets ‘Occupy the Hood’

In Roxbury, as Christians stood with Muslims and as white college students stood with a black woman who recently lost two nephews to gun violence, the voice of the Occupy Boston movement sounded more diverse than ever in the three weeks since protesters set up tents in the Financial District.

“We’re one family,’’ said True-See Allah of the Nation of Islam, addressing a crowd of more than 500 in Dudley Square during a rally for Occupy the Hood, a movement in Roxbury allied to Occupy Boston and other Occupy movements around the country.

“It’s not about black and white; it’s about who’s wrong and who’s right,’’ he continued. “The Nation of Islam stands with you 1,000 percent. This is a beautiful sight, and we want to take this moment, and we want to build from it and continue to grow and grow.’’

While the occupation in Dewey Square has been diverse, whites have been the majority. Yesterday’s Occupy the Hood Rally was nearly evenly divided between whites and non-whites, as students and Occupy Boston regulars joined local residents.

“The message of this movement, when you boil it down, is that we are the 99 percent,’’ said Brian Kwoba, 28, of Cambridge, one of the Occupy the Hood organizers. “There’s the top 1 percent, and the rest of us are denied a voice. But people of color are disproportionately denied a voice. Therefore, in order for us to unite all of the 99 percent, we need all of us to unite together, communities of color and other communities.’’ Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Occupy America

 

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Bill Russell – Mentor Golf Challenge

Guys are still kickin’ it – and seem to be doing well. Bill Russell, Jim Brown – two of their respective sorts most accomplished heroes. This event was for Bill Russell Mentoring, part of the Bill Russell Legacy Project which is supporting the National Mentoring Foundation focused on youth mentoring.

Bill Russell Legacy Project Includes Grants for Youth Mentoring

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – The Mass Mentoring Partnership, a MENTOR affiliate, is partnering with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and the City of Boston on the Bill Russell Legacy Project, which includes an annual grants program for youth mentoring organizations in Boston so that more local children have access to quality, structured mentoring.

At an event last week, Russell and more than 400 supporters and community leaders were at Fenway Park, along with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Boston Celtics Co-owner and Managing PartnerPresident of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca; Boston Celtics LegendTommy Heinsohn; and Founder of the Sager Family Foundation and Chairman of PolaroidBobby Sager to discuss the Legacy Project.

In addition to establishing the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program, which Mass Mentoring will administer, the project will erect a statue of Russell in Boston to celebrate his achievements as the greatest champion in the history of professional sports, as a national leader in human rights and as a dedicated advocate for youth mentoring.

“We are so proud to play a role in this effort that Mayor Menino and the Celtics have made so reflective of Bill’s lifetime of activism, as well as his many iconic accomplishments in Boston,” Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro said. “They have created a living legacy of Bill’s catalytic social justice leadership that will inspire future generations of our city’s youth through the proven impact of mentoring.”

As part of last week’s event, the Mass Mentoring Partnership presented Russell with a Lifetime Achievement Champion of Mentoring Award and the Boston Celtics with its 2011 Champion of Mentoring Award, which honor individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to youth mentoring and have championed the strategic growth of high-quality mentoring throughout Massachusetts.

“We are delighted that Bill Russell’s many accomplishments are being recognized in this way,” said MENTOR President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Larry Wright. “Bill has been an active member of MENTOR’s board of directors since 1996, so the collaboration to make youth mentoring grants in his name is particularly meaningful.”

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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