Black Home Educators Growing, but Increasing School Integration Drops: What Does it Mean for Black Families?
You can find a home schooling forum wherever you look on the internet. Whenever I’m scrolling through Facebook, it’s always inundated with posts on home schooling and educators from all over the world. There’s articles that outline the benefits of home schooling, you can even find links to home schooling forums if you want to download a PDF.
No matter where you turn, there’s information for you about home schooling, but a new study has revealed a somewhat surprising statistic: African American families choosing to educate their children at home more than doubled between the years 2010 and 2013, but the number of black families with school-aged children who took part in home schooling decreased.
The study, published in the journal Schools & Society by researchers at Wake Forest University, shows the opportunity cost of racial integration in public schools. It was found that black families in North Carolina were most likely to home school – even when researchers controlled for a family’s income and neighborhood characteristics.
“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Michael Emerson, associate professor of educational leadership at Wake Forest University. “Home schooling is a contentious topic. Schools sometimes make claims that there are important benefits to home schooling, but studies haven’t shown evidence that home schooling really helps kids much or any benefit at all. In general, there is a lot of information about home schooling, but this study helps put some more perspective on what we know and what we don’t know about home schooling.”
Although the reasons for home schooling are different, black families tend to focus on low quality public schools as a way to improve their children’s education. One reason could be due to the longstanding myth that public schools are inferior to private ones.
The negative stereotypes associated with the United States’ history of public education based in America’s history of slavery have also played a role in the racial segregation of public schools.
“Regardless of whether the home school parents are motivated by poverty, inferiority of public schools, or both, black families are disproportionately likely to home school,” said W. Ellis Brown, executive director of Data and Research Institute and founder of the Carolina Project for Education Equity. “If more black parents participated in public school public school integration programs, we might see a boost in the number of black families who choose to home school.”
The Carolina Project for Education Equity is a group of states and educators who have worked to develop and implement school integration programs in North Carolina.
Learn more at www.Confedproject.org.
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