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By: Deltonia N. Shropshire, MA

Response to an article written by Roderick L. Carey

Parents aren’t to blame for the achievement gap: A History of Injustice Is!”

This article was very interesting. However, the title does not suit the piece.

Those oppressive situations that brought THE ORIGINAL immigrants to this day in time, should serve as a constant reminder of where we do not ever want to return. Every good thing must be carefully maintained. Our ancestors had to use ingenuity to survive. Creating something from absolutely nothing is our legacy.

But hands off parenting, complete buy in to big business engineered consumerism, and governmental legislation that imposes ineffective rearing regulations on American families-has stripped familial authority particularly within marginalized households.

To know that there was a time in our very short American history when people of color were categorically denied the right to read, should be enough motivation for all in question to find as many books as possible for purposes of regularly flexing literacy.

For the life of me, it is absolutely deplorable that the illiteracy rates worldwide are projected to be approximately 130 million school aged children (UNICEF), most of which are female children.

As an educator on many different academic levels, rethinking how educational systems approach parental involvement in and out of schools is absolutely critical to the academic sustainability of marginalized children and youth.

Agreeably some historical factors remain but presently the absolute truths are:

• Parental Involvement needs to improve;

• Widespread illiteracy is a strong contributing factor towards poor achievement;

• Parental distain for education and/or educational systems has projected negativity that is attributed to the lack of investment on behalf of the teachers, students and the parents;

• A consistently high rate of Black male placement in Special education programs speaks to the systems unfair practices that segregate specific kinds of children; espousing distrust among communities;

• Systems are justifying the drugging of school aged children by providing them with Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) that mandate the process before they can participate in classes. The community may have reason to distrust any situation that requires any child to be medicated to sit still.

Parents must abandon practices that relinquish their active participation in their child’s learning process. Expecting someone who has absolutely no investment in YOUR child is asking for failure.

Teachers are human. Personalizing emotionality towards agitated often very unhappy students is not uncommon. Being biased towards youth and children who constantly agonize over having to participate in a process that may cause them a level of discomfort- is quite simply unprofessional but realistically becomes a necessary defense mechanism for overwhelmed teachers who often do not relate to the socio-economic realities experienced by their students.

Some teachers could absolutely careless whether some students fail or pass. Rather than attempting to resolve the psycho-social barriers that impede learning and the development of strong social skills- systems will give what they can and expect PARENTS to step in and finish the enhancements.

Sadly, many marginalized parents are often not equipped to continue the productive process on their own. Conforming to the world that rejects the urban or rural culture-is abjectly unacceptable among members. Constant struggles between schools and homes cause a daily psychological tug of war for students that teeter on disbelief, distrust and potential family betrayal (as some are conditioned to believe)- that there will ever be anything more than their present condition. What can be done?

Some options may include but not be limited to:

• Provide a playroom at Parent Teacher conferences for the other children of parents with babysitting conflicts;

• Provide online webinars that provide a bevy of parental skill development modules;

• Create parent-teacher kiosks at recreation centers and libraries;

• Create parent-teacher kiosks at drop in centers within the school (counselors or often overwhelmed with other meetings);

• Collaborate with outside agencies that are dedicated to the healthy development of children and youth…not the business relationship that can devised with communities;

• Initiate mobile school units that go to the students home or other pre-approve location to conference;

• Incorporate technology (e.g., access to computers, twitter, skype, and facebook);

• Create awareness training for teachers to reduce stigma and to improve emotional intelligence.

Invariably the strongest opponent in the learning process is the opposition from all participants. Every stakeholder in the business of shaping a child- must take the responsibility to be the best possible vestibule of knowledge, wisdom, and discernment as humanly possible.

Learned hopelessness has categorically paralyzed the spirit of Timbuktu in the descendants of those builders that cultivated Egyptian civilization with archaic tools. Just imagine what they would have created if they had access to the equipment, books and nutrition that today’s society takes for granted on a daily basis.


Illiteracy: The Downfall of America

STATISTICS: Begin to Read