What Minority Parents Want
achievement gap persists between white children, and those of color, despite
the immense amounts of money we're spending on public education. What do
parents of minority children think about this?
According to two national surveys,
most African-American and Hispanic parents want standardized tests, strict
curriculum, effective discipline and teachers with high expectations . . .
exactly like white parents.
That flies in the face of what is
often advocated by educators on behalf of minority parents. Often, we're told
that minority parents don't want strict curriculum and discipline. But that's
When you hear educators say that
what's best for minority kids is "diversity curriculum," "group projects" and
"cultural awareness," don't believe it for a second. Groups like the New York
Collective of Radical Educators (www.nycore.org),
who oppose standardized tests as being racially biased, simply do not speak for
the majority of minorities.
Here's what the two national surveys
parents, by a factor of 8 to 1, favor making schools focus on raising academic
achievement rather than promoting racial integration and diversity.
want the public accountability of publishing standardized test scores separated
by racial groups, in order to expose the disparities and force schools to
out of 10 say that white teachers have lower expectations for black students
than for white students, and they want that to change, too.
28% agree that standardized tests contain racial bias, they still support them.
-- 1998 Public Agenda survey, "New Study Explores
Views of Black and White Parents
Toward Our Nation's Schools," www.publicagenda.org
parents agree by a factor of 3 to 1 that standardized tests should be a key
focus in public schools, and test scores are a good determinant for grade
promotion and graduation.
agreed with the minimum standards put in place by the federal legislation, No
Child Left Behind.
-- 2003 study reported
in the Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation
National Survey of Latinos: Education,
Whose America: Culture Wars in the Public
Schools by Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of educational history, New York
University (Harvard, 2002).