Are Black Students Too Dumb To Learn?

Why do so many inner city schools, with large populations of Black students, fail? Are Black students underachievers? Is it because they are Black? Is it the “quality” of instruction in public schools? Is there an answer that will raise the bar for these kids? YES! And it isn’t more money for public education. For the first time, there is research that dispels more myths about public education, and the “educrats” aren’t going to like it very much.

Dr. Brian Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute, (NHERI) has just released a new study that dispels more myths about education and achievement in Black students. The purpose of the study was to examine academic achievement of Black, home schooled students in grades 4th through 8th, and to study the motivation for these families to choose homeschooling as an alternative to modern, conventional educational methods. He found:

The Black home-educated students in this study performed as well or better than the national average of public school students of all races/ethnicities, while Black students in public schools score, in general, far below average. Also, the scores of these Black homeschool students were far above the scores of the Black public school norm students in this study.”

40% of the students sampled were boys, 60% were girls and were home schooled for 50% or more of the time from kindergarten to present grade, up to grade 8. Their academic achievement was measured in nationally normed, standardized academic achievement tests called Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS).

“These Black homeschool students achievement test scores were quite high, all things considered. They scored at or above the 50th percentile in reading (68th), language (56th), math (50th), and core (i.e., a combination of reading, language, and math; 58th) subtests. By definition, the 50th percentile is the mean for all students (or all ethnicities/races) nationwide in institutional schools.
Comparing Black homeschool students to Black public school students yields notable findings. While controlling for gender of student and family socioeconomic status, being homeschooled had an effect size of about 42 percentile points higher (an effect size or change in z-score of 1.13) than if public schooled. For language scores, being homeschooled had an effect size of about 26 percentile points higher than if public schooled (i.e., a change in z-score.65). and for math, being homeschooled had an effect size of about 23 percentile points higher than if public schooled (z-score of .60).”
So, why do Black families choose to homeschool? Well, for pretty much the same reasons that everyone else chooses it.
“These parents’ reasons for homeschooling are similar to those of homeschool parents at large in the United States. In addition, some of them mentioned race/ethnicity-related issues as part of their many reasons for homeschooling. However, findings in this study offer no solid evidence that this group of Black homeschoolers chose home-based education primarily to promote anything like Afrocentrism or its thinking to their children, even though some researchers have found more focus on this in their qualitative studies of Black homeschool parents.”
Dr. Ray is a well known, experienced researcher on home education and education, in general. His non-profit organization is funded through donations. You can find other research on homeschooling at NHERI.


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