Say "homeschooling" and what tends to come to mind are the whitest people you know, holding Sunday school every day of the week in their basements, producing kids who can declaim against Charles Darwin for hours on end, but who are so screwed up socially that you can't imagine them getting a date, except years later as part of a group outing to Christian Day at Disney World.I would suggest you go read the whole thing and here's another link to The State of where they talk about the length parents would go to so that their children will be able to go to an exclusive private school. In fact we're not talking about high school or a gifted program we're talking about kindergarten. If I'm blessed with children I just want to get them the best education they can, I wouldn't worry about the exclusivity of it.
So, with that admittedly over-broad stereotype in mind, it's something of a shock to see the lessons in progress at Bread Stuy, a small café in Brooklyn, where customers sip at their coffee and read newspapers, unaware that a woman named P. Aurora Robinson is holding a homeschooling class in their midst.
Her two teenagers, working at laptops, are tapping away at their writing assignments for the day. They're a little young for coffeehouse literary types, but otherwise look the part: Deion in a baseball cap, Tau wearing his hair in twists, both hunched over their screens, glasses resting on the tips of their noses. They're slender, studious, and seriously into their work.
And they're black.
Robinson, like a small but growing number of black parents, has chosen to take her son Tau out of the public-school system and teach him on her own (Deion is a cousin's child she's also teaching).
In the 2006–2007 school year, the city's Department of Education says that 3,654 students in New York were homeschooled. Most are white, but a growing number are African-American. Black parents tend to take their children out of the schools for other than religious reasons, and homeschooling groups say black children taught at home are nearly always boys. Like Robinson, some of New York's parents have concluded that the school system is failing the city's black boys, and have elected to teach them at home as an alternative.
Robinson's motives were even more specific: She wanted to cushion Tau from the serious culture shock of moving from rural Missouri to her hometown of Brooklyn.
She had been teaching in Springfield, Missouri, as a professor of architecture at Drury College, the only black member of the architecture faculty. Her son, meanwhile, was teased in the usual way for being one of the few black students in a white school. Tau says he had to explain to his teachers and fellow students that just because he was black didn't mean that he was from "the 'hood."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
For Some Black Parents, the New Home Room is Home
Actually this is great, I'd rather see black parents take responsibility for the education of their children from the public school system or better yet from any school. Parents may not always be right, but one has to accept that parents knows what's best for their children. Let's not get too excited though there are those forces out there who believe they know what's best for the children too and they're not exactly on the side of the parents. Anyway the article from the Village Voice via Newsalert: