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Group seeks solutions for low-achieving black students
The Dominion Post ^
| January 13, 2004
| JANET L. METZNER
Posted on 01/13/2004 9:18:47 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
CHARLESTON -- Black students in West Virginia perform well in their early years, but then experience a sharp decline, said Pat Kusimo of the Governor's Minority Students Strategy Council.
"Kids start out in elementary school doing much better than in middle school," Kusimo said. And by high school, "it is almost disastrous achievement."
To correct the problem among the state's largest minority group, Kusimo and council Chairwoman Patricia Petty Wilson suggested a series of local meetings to provide special training for counselors and psychologists to learn how to help minority and poor children achieve.
Statistics show that 90 percent of black elementary school students scored "above standard" on standardized tests in the 2002-2003 school year. But among black high schoolers in the same year, 83.3 percent were below standard.
Monongalia and Marion counties are among the 12 West Virginia counties to have the highest population of black students, according to the report Kusimo presented Sunday to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.
Blacks make up 4.64 percent of the Monongalia County student population, 5.61 percent of Marion County's.
Sen. Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel, a member of LOCEA, said the initiatives are important.
"I think it is a statewide issue," Edgell said, referring to what he called, "a dramatic drop" in performance. "It is just critical that we look at something like that, period."
Other minorities, such as Asian Pacific and American Indian, do not experience the same decline in performance, the report says.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: black; blackstudents; education; minority; performance; school; standardizedtests; student
West Virginia has such a relatively small black minority, it just amazes me that their can still be such a problem with educational underachievement among this
"Other minorities, such as Asian Pacific and American Indian, do not experience the same decline in performance, the report says." (I guess there is no real Hispanic minority to speak of in WV.)
And by high school, "it is almost disastrous achievement."
What an interesting turn of phrase. Really jumping through hoops to avoid using "failure."
Kusimo and council Chairwoman Patricia Petty Wilson suggested a series of local meetings to provide special training for counselors and psychologists to learn how to help minority and poor children achieve.
Counselors and psychologists, as if underachieving is an illness rather than a lack of desire and/or preparedness.
No wonder they remain on the bottom....their own schools have given them an excuse to fail.
posted on 01/13/2004 9:23:33 AM PST
Yep..expect more, get more. Stop rewarding them thru welfare to be failures.
By the time they get to high school they realize how little is expected of them and how impossible their lives will be for anything without special programs designed by elite liberals to help them.
posted on 01/13/2004 9:27:10 AM PST
by N. Theknow
(Be a glowworm, a glowworm's never glum, cuz how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum.)
Instead of intervention almost to the level of harassment by counselors and psychologists, try strengthening the families of all school age kids.
Encourage family living through lower taxes, let business hire new workers at entry wage levels without a lot of fringe benefits, speak positively about waiting to couple until marriage and stop telling that 15 year old "mom" she and her baby are so cute.
posted on 01/13/2004 9:40:25 AM PST
Once they learn how to dribble a basketball their parents tell them that the way to success is through athletics. They then lose interest in everything else hoping to be the next "Randy Moss" or "Sedale Threatt".
posted on 01/13/2004 9:40:58 AM PST
I am not an teacher, but having survived high school, I do have memories of the events. Below are my random thoughts on this:
Life is easy in elementary school. The subjects are not difficult to master and teachers tend to be sympathetic.
Life begins to change in junior high school. The subjects are harder and require far more study, especially at home.
Students must begin to learn time management and how to study
Parents must push children to study, which is especially difficult considering that at this time boys and girls begin to notice each other. Clothes, social life, and sports become major preoccupations.
If young people do not get a good foundation in reading, math, and science in junior high, then success high school will be next to impossible.
Life in high school can be hard. High school builds on the skills learned in junior high. Time management and study discipline are essential. Parents must continue to push students, especially to take college prep and difficult courses.
Students must want to study and must be willing to shove aside other concerns.
Social and sexual concerns put great pressure on students to turn away from study.
Cliques form and students feel the deprivation that comes from lack of proper clothes and money.
Students get drivers licences (and often cars) which diverts students from academics.
Growing up is about wanting things and learning what things to want. If kids don't learn the best things to want, no amount of help from teachers can make any difference.
posted on 01/13/2004 9:45:29 AM PST
My real question is why, in a state with such a small black minority, does there still appear to be a culture of "school/education is a white thing"? I've read in other threads about how black kids that do well in school are ridiculed by their own. (Not that "nerds" in general don't get a hard time.) You would just think that this mindset wouldn't prevail in West Virginia... but I guess I'm just naive.
American black society has committed suicide.
Culture plays a major role in education.
Certain groups - I'm thinking here of Asians, Jews, and certain tribes in Africa - place a very hign value on education, and their children are inculcated with this value from infancy.
Beyond that, if black students resist assimilation into white culture for fear of being called an oreo cookie or accused of acting white, black kids are doomed.
This fear of assimilation was not always present in the black community.
Former Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts tells of being taken by his Mother to the symphony in Boston, when the symphony in his home town was segregated.
Until there is a change of attitude within the black community, there will be little progress in closing the achievement gap between black and white students.
This change must be planted, germinate, and grow by and within the black community itself.
Education must become as much of an obsesion within the black community as are sports and cars.
No one, least of all government, can impose this obsession from without.
No amount of counseling or tutoring can tranform an indifferent student into an eager one.
All efforts at amelioration by the white community - whether its Head Start or affirmative action - will be as futile as building a house on a foundation of sand.
posted on 01/13/2004 11:34:57 AM PST
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