Black parents

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National Urban League finds Black parents support Common Core State Standards


By Marc Morial 

Guest Commentator

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”

 — Mary McLeod Bethune

This week, the National Urban League released a new survey that shows overwhelming support from one of the most important, but rarely heard, voices in the roiling and often distorted debate over Common Core State Standards — African American parents. Our survey of 1,600 African American public school parents found that 60 percent of respondents have a favorable impression of the new Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math that have now been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia. Sixty-eight percent of surveyed parents believe that Common Core will improve student achievement, and 66 percent believe it will better prepare their children for college or the workforce. The survey also shows that a majority of parents believe what the National Urban League believes as well — that Common Core standards offer great potential for transformative educational excellence, but only if parents are pro-actively engaged, teachers are adequately trained and resources for schools and students are equitably disbursed. Given the history and current state of unequal education in America, many African American parents are rightly concerned that their children not be shortchanged by an inequitable implementation of Common Core. Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first


The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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