Monday, October 19, 2009

Making the Grade Isn't about Race

Patrick Welsh, an English teacher at T.C. Williams HS in Alexandria VA, writes in the Washington Post on Sunday, Oct. 18, that he asked his "virtually all-black class of 12th-graders...why don't you guys study like the kids from Africa?" The answers that he got:

"It's because they have fathers who kick their butts and make them study."
"You ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us."

And Welsh continues, "When I did, not one hand went up."

His thesis, as it develops, is that the achievement gaps between white and black students is based less on race than on the "gap in familial support and involvement..." in black families.

As the Church struggles to be relevant in the lives of people, and particularly young people, is there a place here for us? What are we doing to strengthen families and help parents help their children?