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More Black families are homeschooling their children, citing the pandemic and racism

NPR. December 13, 2021

"The mother of two said she'd always coached her kids at home to keep them on track. But three things made her decide to officially start homeschooling. First, she wanted her children to be safe from bullies. She also wanted them to understand their cultural history. The third factor was freedom."

"Fields-Smith said homeschooling is a way to combat educational racism, which comes in many forms. 'We all know that there are structures and policies and practices within our traditional schools that can be damaging to students of color, Black students in particular,' she said."

"This idea of white supremacy and the inferiority of Black people lingers today," Fields-Smith said. "We are overcoming racism through homeschooling. I don't think white people can say that."

Basic safety and respect should never be factors in choosing to educate one's children at home. If you are an educator, whether in the classroom or in leadership, what are you doing to make your school as hospitable for socially disadvantaged children as it is for socially privileged children? If you are a parent (of socially advantaged or socially disadvantaged children) what are you doing to stare down and resist the stubborn persistence of interpersonal, structural, systemic, and institutional racism in your school community?

What do the statistics regarding the increase in black-identified families choosing to homeschool suggest about the number of adversely-racialized families who would choose to homeschool if they could? In other words, how many socially disadvantaged students come to school every day because they have no better option for getting their education. Present, disenfranchised, and nowhere else to go is not an acceptable daily attendance status.

Achievement gaps. Opportunity gaps. Discipline discrepancies. Implicit bias. Microaggressions. Straight-up hostility. Reinforcement of social constructs that separate people into superior/favored and inferior/disfavored groups. What is your school doing to address these and other critical issues that are leading folks to self-select out of what should be a safe and joyful journey of learning, growth, and preparation for thriving in an increasingly diverse world?



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