How to help young black men succeed in school

In response to my, it’s all on the teachers post, from a reader:

 I struggle with this whole thing. Yes, there are some bad white teachers, and yes, there are some bad black teachers. Yes, some teachers take things out on the kids when they have a bad day, but most do not. Are there tests scheduled when students have just had a break? Yes! Most of the time that is because of non-teacher tests like CGA’s which students and teachers alike cannot escape. 

I am frustrated by the fact that teachers, who only see students for 90 minutes every other day, are supposed to solve all ills. Realistically, no one can do that, and the schools cannot do that. Teachers only have like 1/10 of the impact on students; students have like 5/10 and parents/families have 4/10. (These stats refer to having an effect on student success.) Our students are only at school for about 7 hours. Where are they for the other 17 hours? 

The following would go a long way to helping solve some of the problems:

1. Offer free lunch to all students, so every student is fed.
2. Have a nurse in every school, so medical needs are addressed.
3. Have a social worker and psychologist dedicated to each school.
4. Put more counselors in the school, a minimum of 1:200 students, even though I feel like more counselors are needed.
5. Create smaller classrooms for classes that need it. 
6. Double-block English/Reading, so every student has more exposure to literature.
7. Have an actual working media center, so students have access to computers and printers.
8. Put every 9th grader in the Transition class, so they have an elective that really tries to help them in succeeding in high school.
9. Offer more electives, so students won’t be stuffed into classes of 50 for art or culinary arts.
10. Make the students only take 4 classes at a time instead of 8, so they won’t be so confused or frustrated by the every other day classes. Even college students only take 4 classes at a time. Also, it allows students to retake a class they just failed instead of waiting until the next year to take it.
11. Have a graduation coach for every grade level.
12. Allow every student to take the ACT/SAT for free like Duval is doing for some schools. 
13. Get rid of Deans of Discipline and put more AP’s with actual power and authority back into the classroom.
14. Hold kids accountable. They need organization and structure, not wishy-washy authority.

5 Replies to “How to help young black men succeed in school”

  1. They swear up and down that the teacher is the most important factor as it concerns the success of a student. More propaganda.

  2. Yeah, the teacher is the most important "in the school," which is the part most people skip over. Outside factors weigh more heavily overall, but at the school itself, sure, the teacher is the most important. I would argue that when I was in school, my specific teachers had the most effect, more than principals, curriculum, school policy, counselors, etc. Unfortunately, teachers cannot control the non-school factors, and really, those account for 90% of student success.

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