Black Educational Choice: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K-12 Public Schools

Black Educational Choice: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K-12 Public Schools

Black Educational Choice: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K-12 Public Schools

Black Educational Choice: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K-12 Public Schools

Synopsis

Closing the K–12 achievement gap is critical to the future welfare of African American individuals, families, and communities- and to the future of our nation as a whole. The black-white academic achievement gap- the significant statistical difference in academic performance between African American students and their white peers- is the single greatest impediment to achieving racial equality and social justice in America.

Black Educational Choice provides parents, citizens, educators, and policymakers the critical knowledge they need to leverage the national trend toward increasing and diversifying K–12 school choice beyond traditional neighborhood public schools. Parents can use this information to optimize the success of their own African American children, while policymakers and educators can apply these insights to help close the black-white academic achievement gap throughout America.

The book collects the interdisciplinary, multi-racial, and multi-ethnic perspectives of education experts to address the questions of millions of anxious African American families: "Would sending our children to a private school or a charter school significantly better their chances of closing the achievement gap and becoming successful individuals? And if so, what kinds of challenges would they likely experience in these alternative educational settings?"

Excerpt

At this time in African American history there is a profound and deep need for information that can inform the educational choices of persons who parent and teach African American children and youth, as well as for the youth themselves. A quarter century of emphasis on standards reform initiatives in public education has not produced unequivocal benefits to African American public school students. There is considerable dissatisfaction with the supposed benefits of educational policies associated with high stakes testing, and zero-tolerance policies that seem to encourage push-out and dropout student behaviors. Not surprisingly, families are increasingly seeking and participating in available alternatives to traditional schools, many of which include independent private, parochial, and charter schools. But what does available research tell us about the strengths and challenges of the alternatives being pursued? Chapters in this volume, written by educational researchers from diverse disciplinary perspectives, address the contemporary issues surrounding the school choices of families of African American school children. Contributors to this volume have carefully reviewed and conducted studies, both quantitative and qualitative, in desegregated private school settings, contemporary charter schools, or parochial schools. The consequences of the school choices of families, charged with the education of their biological or adoptive African American children, are examined from the perspectives and attitudes of the participating youth, their peers, their parents, and their school faculty.

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