Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

Good news, this time. From a link at Opinionari comes this Newsday story about the increasing incidence of black families homeschooling. Money quotes:

Nationwide, increasing numbers of African-Americans, dissatisfied with public and private school systems, have turned to homeschooling. For some it was a last resort, found after years of shifting schools before deciding that their children would get a better education at home than in classrooms where minority children often get caught in a cycle of low achievement.

African-Americans have grown from 3 percent of homeschoolers in 1994 to 10 percent in 1999, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

And blacks make up about 13% of the population, so this is a very good thing, IMHO. Hell, more would be far better, considering the school systems.

Parents of different races said they homeschool primarily to avoid the crime, drugs and lack of discipline in schools, Slatter said, but several African-Americans said their choice is an effort to combat low expectations traditional schools set for black children.

(Emphasis mine) Kids will live up to what you expect of them – regardless of color. That single paragraph is a damning indictment of the public school system.

“A lot of families are saying there is a stigma of minority underachievement … and we can’t allow this to happen anymore,” said Jennifer James, founder of the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance. The organization, launched on-line in January, 2003, has 230 members, said James, who homeschools her 5- and 2-year-old in Chapel Hill, N.C. “In some circles of the African-American community, homeschooling has become sort of a push … because there really are no options,” James said.

And more and more families are waking up to the fact. But there are many that just cannot take the financial hit required to homeschool. The loss of a second income is very difficult for many families.

No formal research on achievements of homeschooled African-Americans exists, said Ray, but data from ACT, the company that administers a college exam, homeschooled students of all races consistently score one to two percentage points above the national average.

So much for the idea that homeschooling is a poor choice educationally. If you can homeschool, you should. The public school system is broken beyond repair, and sending your children through it does them a severe disservice.

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