Black People : Afrocentric Detroit school proves :Knowledge of Self produces good grades

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    14,710
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    owner of various real estate concerns
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Ratings:
    +3,014
    How Marcus Garvey Academy rises above
    Family-oriented atmosphere contributes to its success

    BY CHASTITY PRATT DAWSEY
    FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER


    At Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit, the week begins with the recitation of black history facts followed by the sounds of drummers summoning students to an assembly.


    Students sing the black national anthem and recite the school creed, which starts, "I will have faith in myself. ... I can learn! I will learn! I must learn!" This is before any reading, writing and arithmetic.

    Garvey is an African-centered educational environment, and in 2008, its students outperformed the state average in most categories on the MEAP. Three other African-centered schools in Detroit serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade fared better than the Detroit Public Schools average.

    Staff, parents and students at Garvey credit the school's Afrocentric curriculum for setting high expectations and instilling the self-confidence that students need to excel.

    Proponents of Afrocentric schools maintain that these schools represent a solution to achievement and discipline problems in urban districts like Detroit Public Schools. African-centered schools outperform others because of their family-oriented environment, said Haki Madhubuti, a nationally renowned educator.

    "It is critical that you love yourself. ... If you have humanity, you don't go out and shoot people," he said.
    Afrocentric schools focus on pride

    Students at Garvey must walk on a stripe called the green line to success, painted on hallway floors. They must stand and say, "Jambo," a greeting in kiswahili, to any adult upon the elder's first visit to their class.

    And every subject and bulletin board includes mention of African or African-American history or culture.

    Principal James Hearn maintains that the character development, high expectations and discipline embedded in the African-centered curriculum and culture at Garvey can transform other Detroit public schools.

    "When you show them you're not playing, they conform," Hearn said of students.

    Open to anyone in the Detroit Public Schools district, Garvey has surpassed DPS and state scores on the MEAP in many areas, despite moving and merging three times in the last eight years and high poverty rates among students. More than 86% are economically disadvantaged.
    Educational villages

    Garvey is among five African-centered schools in the district that serve students in kindergarten through eighth grades. All are named for African Americans; the others are Catherine C. Blackwell, Malcolm X, Paul Robeson and Erma Henderson. Garvey opened in 1991 after research showed the benefits of an Afrocentric educational program.

    All of the schools except Henderson met annual yearly progress standards last year, and the Skillman Foundation has recognized Garvey, Malcolm X and Blackwell in its Good Schools campaign that awards well-performing schools with grants of up to $100,000. At the same time, 31% -- or 51 of 163 eligible DPS buildings -- met annual yearly progress standards last year.

    As DPS faces crippling enrollment declines and the nation's worst test scores and graduation rates, proponents of African-centered schools maintain that these schools represent a solution to DPS's achievement problems. The goal of Afrocentric education is to infuse pride and self-determination in the students -- nearly all of whom are African American, Hearn said.

    The schools use the Nguzo Saba -- the seven principles of Kwanzaa, a celebration of heritage and culture -- and an Egyptian values system, while also incorporating African and African-American history into daily lessons. There also are rites of passage programs that include manhood and womanhood training.

    Haki Madhubuti, a nationally renowned author and educator who helped train teachers when African-centered schools were being established in DPS 20 years ago, co-founded four Afrocentric schools in Chicago. He said the schools work because they are set up to be an extended family and though secular, they operate similar to parochial and Jewish-centered private schools.

    "We demonstrate that it is critical that you love yourself," he said. "Most certainly, we're not anti-white. We're not anti-anybody. We're just pro-black people, pro-progressive people. Some of our teachers are white."

    Freda Dawson, principal at Malcolm X, agreed that the family structure within the school is paramount. At Malcolm X, students call the teachers "Mama," meaning mother in kiswahili, or "Baba" meaning father. Parents sign a covenant, promising to do three hours of service a month for the school or in the school; if they fail, the staff can ask their child to leave the school.

    "The combined efforts of parents, community and staff is definitely a plus for making our kids successful," Dawson said, adding that most parents abide by the covenant.
    Schools models for others?

    Experts who have studied DPS's educational plans have noted the success.

    A 2005 governor's Transition Team report recommended expanding the use of African-centered education in DPS. And a 2008 Council of the Great City Schools report on DPS said "the district has an African-centered program that can be interwoven into all content areas."

    And now, DPS's newly appointed central administration is reviewing the schools' curriculum -- amid requests for expansion to include a high school -- to determine whether it should be expanded, and whether it is the staff or curriculum or culture that makes the schools succeed.

    Last summer, when 29 Detroit public schools closed, Garvey moved to the former Butzel Middle School building and ballooned from 265 students to more than 700, with 30 to 35 children in a class. The school's challenges also grew -- there are now enough special-education students to fill nine classrooms. In addition, kids from warring gang territories merged into the school and now sit side by side.

    "The first few months, we were ... constantly breaking up fights," said school social worker Ifetayo Chaffin.

    full article;
    http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gan...entric-schools-while-public-schools-struggle/
     
  2. thomas98

    thomas98 Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +4
    Great to hear some positive news and about actually trying and accomplishing something.
     
  3. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    1,769
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Furniture maker, a sculptor, and fight instructor
    Location:
    LaLa land
    Ratings:
    +1,771
    I knew this could and would happen.

    In knowing who we are,.. we are better served.

    Know thy self.
     
  4. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    14,710
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    owner of various real estate concerns
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Ratings:
    +3,014
    Black Nationalism is happening in small ways all over the nation, and as the economy gets worse, and racism increases and schools close we will have no choice but to replicate this paradigm across the nation.
    Dr Adelaide Sanford has started a few African centered charter schools in Brooklyn and Harlem that are nothing like the "charter school "System" seen around the nation.

    One thing I recall of the 60s is that the NOI, inspite of racist Federal government at the time and at odds with their philosphy were compelled to give their Chicago grade and high schools, awards of excellence, and here in Brooklyn there is a group of Carribbean 7th Day adventists who maintain an Afrocentric curiculi in their parochial school and have broken off from the general Adventist groups.
    They have a Red Black and Green flag flowing in front of their school building, and all biblical images in books and art are Black
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Afrocentric Detroit school
  1. jamesfrmphilly
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    49
  2. _NortheastGroover_
    Replies:
    48
    Views:
    2,955
  3. JuneBugg
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    1,528
  4. AACOOLDRE
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    874
  5. chuck
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    597