The Miseducation of Black Students

~Shemeka Michelle



Recently I had the opportunity to attend “A Walk through Black History” at my children’s school. Some of their presentations were very good as they explained who created the cotton gin, the first traffic light system and even who the first black female senator of our state was. I was truly impressed by their enthusiasm and I was excited that they had the opportunity to learn how blacks made important contributions to the world and how those contributions greatly affected the lives we all live today.

Then there were those presentations that cast a dim light over the hope I have for the next generation. To my dismay, an overwhelming amount of students had decided that Beyonce’, Jay-Z, P-Diddy and Cam Newton were their black history heroes. While I like each of these celebrities and I’m very happy for their accomplishments, I don’t think they have contributed to the advancement of our people or the human race…at least not yet. I was saddened by the fact that their parents and also their teachers didn’t make them dig further in history to see the countless individuals who actually changed the course of history.

When mentioning my concerns to one of the deans of the academy, I stood dumbfounded as she took a stance of support by stating that Beyonce had made great contributions to the black community. However, she never told me what those contributions were. Beyonce is an amazing entertainer and an inspiration to many young women that just want a man to like it and put a ring on it. However, if she didn’t exist, we would still have the ice cream scooper, the pocket watch and surgeons performing successful heart surgeries all over the world. Why didn’t the teacher care enough about these students to want them to learn about their culture in a deeper fashion? After all, it was Black HISTORY Month. If they aren’t even encouraged to dig deeper during the month of February, it would led one to believe that any other time during the school year, learning about African American contributions to society are obsolete.

The sad reality is that many of our educators just don’t care about education and they care even less about the education of black youth! It’s almost as if they don’t even believe black children are capable of learning. Over and over, I watch more emphasis being put on excelling at sports than the importance of academics. At the school my children attend, educators that have a passion for other things such as cheerleading, dance, band and basketball, will hold rehearsals for these respective organizations until as late as 7pm. However, tutoring at the same school will only last an hour. Dues for certain clubs and organizations will amount in excess of $200 but at this same school, they don’t have enough books for the students.  Administrators seem more concerned with fashion and having titles than holding up the motto….”challenging each child to achieve”.  When examining the school’s 2012-2013 report card, I noticed that out of the funds the school received, only 7% of those funds were dedicated to supplies and materials (I’m not sure if that’s typical for a school or not).

Blame for failing to achieve is consistently being put on the students as if they are too dumb to learn while no accountability is being required of the teachers and the education system itself. Recently a teacher had the audacity to tell his students that they needed to teach themselves. He sat as his desk, refused to teach them and many of the students failed the test on the material that was denied to them. This teacher is still employed although there have been countless incidents involving this teacher and his lack of desire to actually teach. Our black boys and girls are suffering because classrooms are being staffed with individuals with no cultural connection and no concern. Many of them are just interested in passing the time and collecting a check.

So what’s the solution to this problem? I’m still waiting on one. Prior to completing and posting this blog, I shared a video to my timeline this morning in which a former teacher was discussing the education system. In the video he also spoke about the many individuals of different races and their inability to culturally connect with black students.  Ironically today, I was notified that my child was kicked out of class but I wasn’t told why. I immediately went to the school as a concerned parent to see what was going on….prepared to discipline my child if needed. Outside of the secretary who had no clue on what was going on, NO ADULT was willing to address the obvious issue. There was absolutely no concern from the administration team. Instead the catty middle school dean sent the message through the secretary that he didn’t have any appointments scheduled. Subsequently the police was called and I was banned from the school for being an angry (although non-aggressive, non-threatening parent).

To Be Continued….. The details of the entire mentioned incident will most certainly follow.






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