The number of Latinos in America’s schools is rising faster than any other group’s. And their share of the school population is rising fastest in the South. Many don’t speak English as their first language, making them “language-minorities.” And the question of how best to educate them is becoming crucial in places with little bilingual history – places like Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. So WBHM and the Southern Education Desk are kicking off a four-part series on language-minority education in the South. In Part One, we cross the border (into Georgia) to see an innovative school and a counterintuitive concept in action.
Post Tagged with: "African-American"
In this Birmingham’s historic Kelly Ingram Park, there’s a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the names on the stone pedestal is Robert Corley. Among other things, Dr. Corley teaches history at UAB. He was a founding member of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute board and has served on the city school board. SED reporter Dan Carsen recently sat down with him while researching stories for our School Resegregation series. Corley says today’s students are missing some vital history on the subject.
I believe charter schools hold the key for a long standing issue that holds delicate complexities that have, in my opinion, become the Rubik’s Cube of American education, the civil rights issue of our time, the ever increasing achievement gap of African-American male students and … well, everybody else.
At one point in time, during the days of slavery, Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow era, education was seen as the best means to combat a racist society, to provide for greater economic opportunity, and to rebuild our communities by empowering and educating others. We have to find a way to make education of value again.
Birmingham’s public schools are 95 percent black and 90 percent on free or reduced lunch. The system has been under state control since June and has been hemorrhaging students for decades. And at this point, it’s certainly not just white flight; many poor black families do what they can to enroll their kids elsewhere. But some families are bucking the trend and working to “reverse integrate” their neighborhood school.
Lack of exposure to other kinds of people, languages, and ideas is a disadvantage for poor rural and urban students across the country. Inner-city Birmingham is no exception, but six high-school students here are hoping to become exceptional . Thanks to their hard work and the efforts of a first-year teacher, they’re planning to study in China this summer.