Thursday, April 21, 2011

Somewhere Under the Radar

This is about not waiting for others to teach our children with expected equitable outcomes.

Last September I organized a gathering of about 30 individuals who are delivering education without much notice to African Americans of all ages. This gathering was inspired by an article I read by James Tooley who writes about education being delivered to children living in developing countries. He uses the term "under the radar" and not on government data sheets. He tells of quality learning in unusual places.  Along the I-5 corridor we have much the same occurring. Under or unfunded initiatives that come from internal rather than external inspirations.

In his documentary essay, Private Schools for the Poor   Tooley describes in his book "The Beautiful Tree" schools that are show up when the government does not deliver quality education to poor children. They are low or no tuition schools with from a few to many hundreds of students. Parents want quality education for their children and give support to their children and their teachers.  In Seattle there is First Place; a Seattle school for very poor children who are homeless and or living with the traumas associated with being poor too long. Unlike our public schools a parent event is as much as 80% participation.

When reading his essay two years ago, I thought of Dr. Maxine Mimms, Delbert Richardson, Doug Wheeler, Rev. Paul Stoot, Sr, Black Child Development, Parents for Student Success, Dr. Debra Sullivan, Marcia Tate Arunga, Dr. Emma Jones, Norman Alston and Fear No Number Math Academy, Black Starline Early Learners, NW Tap Connection, Danna K. Johnston, Technology Access Academy, this is not an exclusive list, there arevscores of others who educating children, our public schools will not or can not educate with equal outcomes for African Americans.

These are those who did not wait for funding, they saw the need, tapped into their inspiration and stepped up to the challenge.

No comments: