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Fighting For A Better Education

There is no question that parents have suffered greatly under the COVID-economy. The temporary elimination of schools, daycare, and regular socialization for children has been a topic of intense discussion since the pandemic began with good reason.

As the temporary hold on in-person education collides with the newest iteration of the Black Lives Matter movement, there are questions around what our children are being taught, who is fighting for the rights of BIPOC children, and how we can better educate all of America’s children about the realities of American history—particularly as it relates to race.

For decades, school curriculums have perpetuated negative racial stereotypes, and it’s time for a change. 

Nearly 100 years after Carter G. Woodson first called for a spotlight on Black history, the fight to put Black history at the center of history curriculums continues. Dyan Watson, an editor for Teaching for Black Lives, explains that a central issue with police brutality and violent racism is that many children are taught from a young age that certain races are superior to others. Academic intervention is required far earlier than high school.

If home education is the only way to educate our young ones right now, there’s an opportunity here. To broaden our children’s knowledge about the experiences of all races, and to fight against whitewashing. As we continue the discussion about what schools like look when children can we reenter, it’s an excellent opportunity to raise our voices for the kind of curriculums we expect to see when our kids return to the classroom.

When it comes to mainstream education, in what ways are we trying to connect to our Black children? Our schools are teaching a history that diminishes the many struggles and fights Black people have endured. Slavery is taught in schools, but a study by The Southern Poverty Law Center showed that only 8% of high school seniors could identify slavery as the catalyst for the Civil War. 

Change is coming, but moving slowly. The fight to have textbooks and curriculum change is often met with roadblocks, differing opinions, and lack of resources within school districts. It is not acceptable to teach our Black children that they live in a post-racial society while the news and daily events directly contradict that. We need our young people to use critical thinking and multiple forms of research when diving into their past. Teaching for Change is an organization that focuses on anti-racist curriculums, and they encourage students and parents to use alternative research methods like the Zinn Education Project.  

It’s time to even out the starting line. School boards and districts are the governing bodies that decide which textbooks are chosen. Visit The National Center for Education Statistics to find your school district contact information. Spread the word. This is a challenging time, but we can use it for good.