My friend has a daughter who had been in a private Christian school until it shut down after last year. She is finishing her first year in a public middle school here in the Metro Atlanta area and he had occasion to attend the awards program at the public school. The school has a sizable Black student population, but you wouldn't be able to tell from the awards program. His e-mail message is his candid reaction of what he saw. I have not changed the content of his message:
Subject: Expectations For Our Kids
This is something I want to share with everyone ESPECIALLY those of you who have kids. I went to my daughter’s Middle School Awards program this evening. I was very happy for my daughter, but I became soooooo ANGRY when I looked at the ratio of kids that were being honored.
There were around 250 kids. I counted 20 African American kids and only 3 of them were boys. Only one of the boys received all A honor roll. So, that means that less than 2 percent of the kids that made at least all A’s or A’s & B’s for Seventh grade were African American boys.
I became even angrier when I saw almost all of the other minorities (Middle Eastern, Chinese, and other Asians, etc) receive multiple awards.
WHY IS THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It comes down to Expectations!!!! Other minorities don’t expect less than A’s from their kids. Most whites expect an A or maybe B sometimes. If you talk to most African American parents, they will say, "Just as long as my child passes to the next grade, I’m satisfied". They could care less what grades the[ir kids] make. It has come to a point where it’s not cool to be smart in school or referred to as “Acting White”. So... what does being African American suppose to mean... acting dumb?
I know that 90% of the time all of our kids CAN DO the work and make A’s and B’s, but we don’t push them or set expectations for them to make these grades. I know that I wasn’t pushed to make only A’s and B’s as a child. Every child will not make A’s and B’s, but we should push them to do their best.
This will follow our children as they go to High School and College. We [should make it] embarrassing for them to have low grades when they have to apply for a scholarship, an internship or even a job.
One major thing we have to do is to reward our kids when they do well in school. It would be a special treat for them to get extra things for putting a little extra effort to do well in school. It’s so easy to be hard on our kids when they get in trouble. We need to make sure we show a lot of appreciation when they do well.
It’s going to be VERY competitive for our kids now and even harder for them in the future. Most of them are not strong in Math and Science and they are reading far below their grade level!!!!
Take that extra time to make sure your kids have done their homework, get them a tutor if necessary. Make them read different books or a number of books each week and turn OFF THE TELEVISION. Let’s take them to a level where ALL of us can be proud!! I don’t want to go to another Awards programs and be disappointed!!!!
Please pass it on !!!
plez sez: i promised my friend that i would pass this along and share it with others. like him, i am passionate about my daughter's education: she is 5 years old and is finishing her 3rd year at a private school. my wife and i understand the value of a quality education, but more important, we understand that we cannot squander the opportunity to make it easier for our daughter to have a better life than ours. it would be the height of irresponsibility to not equip my daughter for the rigors of life in the "REAL WORLD" because of a faulty education. we have the means to send my daughter to a nice private school, but even if we were subject to the dingiest inner city school or poorest rural school, my daughter would be reading books, learning math, and gaining an appreciation of the arts. we are our children's first (and only real) teacher!
my wife and i often wonder: WHO is going to be available for my daughter to marry? how many Black men will she have to choose from? i'll be honest, i've already started looking! and when i replied to my friend, i told him that he'd be wise to keep tabs on those 3 boys who received awards at his daughter's school!
the bell has been rung, it is time for us to answer it!