Black People : African centered education has a strong backer

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by MsInterpret, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    African-centered education has a strong backer
    Eugene Kane

    Milwaukee educator Taki Raton sees the problem with failing black students in very stark terms.

    For him, the issues are black and white with very little gray.

    "Black people are the only ones who can teach black children, it's as simple as that," he told me, in no uncertain tones.

    Raton, currently a writer and lecturer who runs an educational consulting firm, also founded Blyden Delany Academy, a well-respected private school, which operated under Milwaukee's choice program for 10 years. Raton closed the school a few years ago because of financial concerns, but while Blyden Delany was open, it was consistently praised by black parents in Milwaukee with children enrolled in the institution.

    Raton doesn't think that was anything out of the ordinary. Blyden Delany was African-centered - some call it Afrocentric - in its approach to teaching black students. Raton and a legion of similarly minded black educators in Milwaukee and across the nation believe that distinction makes all the difference.

    "We know what we're doing," he said, referring to African-centered schools in general. "We don't have the kind of problems other schools have because we're following a classical model for African-centered education."

    The basic model, developed by black educators and activists, is a simple one that has often created controversy when proposed for a traditional public school system.

    It goes like this: All black staff, all black student body, and all black school board.

    More important, Raton said, the entire curriculum was based on African principles that are considered part and parcel of a framework taught to all students. As a result, African-centered schools have higher graduation rates, fewer discipline problems and more respect for education than other schools.

    But for black educators like Raton, African-centered learning isn't about wearing dashikis or taking on African names. It's about adapting a curriculum that gives black children the inspiration to succeed above all else.

    "We teach the children the very best things about black people, we hold up the best examples of our race for them to duplicate. We don't have discipline problems because we emphasize character and good behavior; it runs throughout the school."

    Most African-centered curricula focus on teaching students principles such as self-esteem, civility, responsible citizenship and other values said to be taken from a classical view of traditional African society. The schools also use African-American history to provide cultural and academic information to students to help them to understand their role in society as young black Americans.

    Raton said there were more than 75 African-centered schools across the nation, with particular schools in big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia lauded by experts for their quality.

    "It's not voodoo; we know it works," Raton said.

    READ MORE: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/109566374.html
     
  2. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    As I've said in past threads, we have to put in place an economic foundation,
    to maintain these institutions.
     
  3. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am completely feeling his tough love and unapologetic stance on this issue. He will have to go back and thoroughly analyze all the factors at play in why the school didn't persist. I hope he doesn't give up.




     
  4. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Peace and Love!

    Hey there you! :) This comment in your post made me curious and here is what I found:

    Some have reservations about African-centered education and the claims of academic superiority over other public schools.

    When Milwaukee Public Schools dipped a cautious toe into the Afrocentric education pool in the 1990s by introducing that curriculum into several local schools, it met with mixed results.

    Some Afrocentric schools prospered, but others were criticized by various members of the community for exclusionary practices - even reverse racism - because of the insistence on maintaining predominantly black staffs.

    I covered the Afrocentric movement at MPS during that time and remember many people uncomfortable with the idea of all-black schools totally run by black educators, including the staff. There was even criticism from black school board members who saw Afrocentric education as teaching ethnic myths not based on reality.

    Raton, who worked at various Milwaukee public schools during the time, thinks the African-centered movement in Milwaukee failed because of a lack of commitment from the School District and individual educators.

    "You have to really be devoted to this to make it work," he said.





     
  5. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It's not an easy road to start your own school...

    Easier said than done
     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Peace and Love!




    Actually, Raton held on for ten(10) years before the school district could put brakes on the program. Ten years is a long time.

     
  7. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I wonder if the detractors take issue with jewish-centered educational
    institutions for their "exclusionary practices" "reverse-racism" etc?

    Only when black folks wanna deal/work with black folks that all sheol
    breaks loose.:10500:
     
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