The New Face Of Home Schooling

The public education system in North Carolina has spent plenty of time in the spotlight lately.

Governor Beverly Perdue's announced recently the state will take unprecedented action to help a low performing school district. State employee cuts are taking a bite out of teacher paychecks.

Another story in the spotlight: Parents moving away from public education to become the new face of home schooling.

Daniel and Bobbie Williams, who are black, decided to home school their five children, and they have faced criticism because of that decision.

The Williams are not alone. Of the nearly 2 million children schooled at home, the number of black families has grown by 40,000 in the last few years to a whopping 140,000. That makes blacks the largest number of minorities joining the home schooling movement. That jump in numbers has researchers looking for a cause.

Some believe school systems are not doing very well in providing a quality education for African American students.

The public school system in our state shows a 30 percent achievement gap between blacks and whites. According to the state board of education department of public instruction, when a black child starts kindergarten, the gap is already half its ultimate size. By fourth grade, blacks are at least two years behind whites. That number jumps to as much as three years by eighth grade.

Ozie Hall at the Kinston Charter Academy says the numbers directly represent a lack of training for those leading increasingly multi-cultural classrooms.

"When you begin to see certain teachers do well with middle class white students, but everybody else is failing, there is something wrong with that picture," Hall said, "because you have teachers only teaching to students they can relate to culturally and socially and everybody else falls by the wayside."

Hall does stress many African American parents are committed to the public school system because of the struggle of those who led the civil rights movement and fought and died for equal education for all.

"They are committed to the public education system because they have hope that the public education system can ultimately provide them with quality education," Hall said. "Because it isn't right now, some parents lose hope."

That's one reason the Williams decided to become the North Carolina respresentatives for the National Association For Black Home Educators.

"They knew a lot of African Americans wanted to home school but didn't know how to get started."

The Williams advise families considering home schooling to not go it alone, get educated on the state rules and then set up a system that works for you.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 28, 2011 at 09:33 AM
    If Ozzie has all the answers why has the charter school not done better? A good portion of education whether you want to accept it is memorization. It is one of the most basic forms of learning, but it is one of the most time consuming. If you spend time with your children and help them to understand the value of education it will help us all. The fact that he mentions that these students are behind in kindergarden lets us all know that the problem is more at home than in the school. It is not the school's job to replace a parent. Nor my job as a tax payer to support you and your children.
  • by advocate Location: grifton on May 27, 2009 at 07:39 PM
    Mr. Hall should not comment on being qualified to reach students in a classroom because he is not an educator and has never taught. He needs to focus on providing the children at his school with a quality education.
  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on May 19, 2009 at 02:15 AM
    Maybe the kids being home schooled are making better grades because the agenda isn't as hard as in regular schools. If I go to an elementary school playground and play a game of basketball I will do better than at an highschool gymnasium. The bottom line is this, If a child doesn't want to behave is school, remove him/her from that school. My child shouldn't have to suffer because some kids aren't taught to behave properly. The answer isn't to remove the good kids from school, it is to remove the trouble makers, maybe even for good.
  • by Ms. E Location: Winterville on May 14, 2009 at 11:58 PM
    Homeschooling has always been multicultural. I did it over 20 years ago. As an educator--don't miss the real point. One size does not fit all. If we believe that the public school system can educate everyone and meet all needs, well we might as well claim to be communists. I always say until there is either an "S" on my chest or I can walk on water I can not meet all academic needs in my classroom, because the learning styles are too varied. Yes, if education is not valued by the student or home support system, my time is being wasted some students. Lets' face the fact it's not a race issue it's a class issue. I can see students from certain areas in Pitt County and no matter the color, they have no desire to succeed. These are generational tax burdens. Again, one size does not fit all! Homeschooling done correctly leads to a highly educated well rounded productive member of society.
  • by Bud Location: Washington on May 13, 2009 at 05:54 AM
    Good point Anonymous...didn't we eliminate segregation a long time ago? So with that in mind, knowing that there are black and white students together in classrooms, how can the teacher discriminate against certain students in the class? Unless they alter the test scores illegally, all the students are learning the exact same material and taking the same tests. It's not like the teacher can teach half the class one thing and the other half something different. If the problem lies with the teachers then technically the white kids should be failing along with the black kids, and race should have nothing to do with it. Just as everyone has already said, the problem clearly lies with the students and their parents. There is a serious lack of motivation and support for these students from home, and I guess they figure (unless they're smart, and therefore don't apply in this report) they're not going to college anyway without an athletic scholarship so why put forth the effort?
  • by Anonymous on May 12, 2009 at 02:28 PM
    Those of you focusing on the teachers or the parents are missing the elephant in the room. If the blacks want to go back to segreation, let them! Taking their children away from the white teachers is exactly what they were offended by 200 years ago! It was a good idea then and it's a good idea now.
  • by Anonymous on May 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM
    I don't buy this for one minute. It's not always the teacher's fault. if a student is falling behind it is more than likely because they don't have a very good support system at home and aren't being made to work on schoolwork at home. Teachers in most cases have to teach over 20 students in a class, and they do as much as they can for students, but they can't do it all. if you want one on one help for your kid, DO IT YOURSELF. Don't blame the school system and make this a racial issue.
  • by Teacher on May 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM
    I am a teacher who has had experience with race and "minorities" long before receiving "training" in race relations in the classroom. In 7th grade I got involved in the Black History club and was the only white girl in the room. Did I act out and make excuses for my performance or contributions in the club? Of course not. That club taught me valuable lessons about white privilege and culture that I carry into my current classroom. It's an experience I'll never forget. Add to that the three classes on Diversity, Democracy, and Multiculturalism that not only focused on those traits, but touched upon the value of Parent Involvement and the partnership between home and school.
  • by Pam on May 12, 2009 at 11:40 AM
    As a teacher and a Hispanic, I feel that I cater to the different needs culturally of my students. I do not blame teachers for not being able to reach "minorities". I tend to think parents are much more to blame. If teachers are not reaching the African Americans then why is it that many African Americans are able to strive and succeed in school with honors? It is most likely because those students have supportive involved parents. This is no different than any white children. If a parent works with the schools and cares about his or her child's education, then his or her child will most likely do well in school, regardless of race.
  • by homeschooler Location: nc on May 12, 2009 at 10:04 AM
    And this is news why???I know of at least 5 families that home school their children(african american families).I don't understand
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