Commentary: Black Parents Do Care About Their Kids' Educational Achievement

Researchers find that — contrary to common stereotypes — while African-American families agree that the schools in their communities need fixing, they also know that their children's success begins with them.

Posted: 12/07/2011 10:40 AM EST

When people hear about the educational failures of the Black community, many are inclined to write off the parents. “It’s simply that the parents don’t care,” they say. “If the parents cared more the kids would succeed.” But a new study shows that that supposed staple of folk wisdom may not be the case at all.

According to a new report from the nonprofit Public Education Network, Black and Latino parents are actually deeply interested in their children’s success, and they place a lot of the blame for that lack of success on themselves and the home lives of their children.

When surveyed, 50 percent of African-American parents said that not enough parental involvement best explained why African-American students lag behind their white peers in high school graduation, college attendance and college graduation rates.

This new report flies directly in the face of the often-expressed assumption that Black and Latinos parents simply don’t care about their children in the way white and Asian parents do. Some people like to condemn those living in poverty for not working hard enough and then shifting the blame for their sorry lot in life onto others. What’s actually happening far more often than many Americans seem to know is that Blacks and other low-income earners are trying quite hard to get ahead, only to be knocked back down by various institutional barriers and failures. They know the burden is on them to succeed, and they accept responsibility for their actions.

 

Now will we see prejudiced people and organizations accepting some responsibility also?


The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

 

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