Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Not About Race. It's About Parents.

Posted by Michele Olson

Patrick Welsh writing in The Washington Post yesterday had an interesting article titled:
Making the Grade Isn’t About Race. It’s About Parents. An English teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, his article talks about the fact that a lot of school districts want to blame the ability of kids to succeed or not succeed in school on race. He believes that this focus is too simple. The real gap is family support and involvement.

He goes in-depth into the problems he sees at T.C. Williams High School and how the tact of the administration to continually look to race as the answer to school issues is just not working.

Instead he states that the lack of a father in the lives of his students has undermined their education. It actually came from his students. Upon being chastised about a low test score a student asked him, “You ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us.”
When he did ask, not one hand went up.

This finding goes along with Myth #5 in our free Marriage Myth Buster Guide…the fact that marriage does matter to children because it shapes their lives by directing the time, energy, and resources of two adults in the home toward the child. Of course there are very involved Dad’s who are divorced and don’t live in the home, but the probability of Dad being there on a daily basis rises when Mom and Dad are married and both living in the home.

It’s just another way for all of us to realize the importance of working on a healthy marriage…there are ramifications for generations to come.

What do you think?


M. Denise Wilmer Barreto said...

I agree in principle- it is not only a race issue but the facts are these:

We are damaged nation in the area of race and race relations because some citizens of this nation were legally discriminated against until only 45 years ago. Progress has been made - make no mistake- but the fact of the matter is black children are more likely to be born to unwed parents in this country.

Hence, a raging cycle of poverty and lack of parental support in one community that has very little end in sight. This structural breakdown of the black family has roots back to slavery times and is taking much longer to correct itself.

When educators become frustrated they look for the basic common demoninator which is race in a lot of cases.

Marriage education can be part of the solution. It is very much in line with another blog here where you referenced the Dr. from Hampton University who is advocating for black marriages.

Thanks for the post. said...

Thanks for the insights M. What I thought was so interesting about this article was the fact that the race side of the story is very much "out there", while the fact that a Dad is not in the home sometimes get missed. It was also interesting to hear it from a teacher in the school system, and the fact that the very seed idea came from a trouble making student!
Thanks for blogging!