"For the African-American community there was a huge amount of pressure against it, because in America, the grandparents of today’s home-schooled children fought for desegregation of schools. They thought, ‘The public schools are going to save us,’" he says.
But Dr Ray, who regularly interviews black home-schoolers as part of his research, says attitudes are changing fast - and it’s also a lot easier today for black families to try it than it was 20 years ago, he points out.
Joyce Burges, co-founder of National Black Home Educators, who home-schooled all five of her children, aged 16 to 35, says the practice is growing “exponentially” in the African American community.
Fascinating … I had no idea that there was a home schooling movement among blacks in the US, but given some of the reasons given here, I can see why it’s growing:
Home-schoolers are scathing about the way public schools teach to the test, at the expense of providing what they see as a rounded education.
Another common complaint is that teachers are too ready to blame behavioural problems on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and encourage them to medicate their children with drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall.
"The teachers are always telling the parents they have to drug their kids, like they have some kind of problem. It’s just crazy." says Sonya Barbee. "You don’t want your kid to be a zombie."
Nevertheless, I’m no big fan of home schooling, if for no other reason than the fact that school is also where children learn about how to exist in society. I’m already sick to death of people who seem to think the world owes them something because they were born. People have to be challenged with ideas different than their own, and at the same time learn to stand up for what they believe is right. As Prof. Reich says in this article,
… public schools often produce better citizens because children are exposed to a greater diversity of beliefs and people.
Granted, public schools in the US are failing on many levels, but I’m not sure the answer is to abandon them without a fight.