There are three key supports needed to achieve student success: home, school and community.
We expect quite a bit from our future leaders, but I have asked myself the question that I now pose to you: “What should public school students expect from us—home, school and community—during this academic year?”
As parents, teachers, administrators and community members, we must operate as a cohesive and collaborative support system to help students excel. They shouldn’t have to do it alone.
We should hold ourselves and each other accountable for our critical role in ensuring students succeed and achieve the desired outcome of “ready by exit.” Ready by exit means regardless of the grade level, our students have learned the information for that grade level and are ready to advance without remediation by the end of the school year.
There are many ways we can actively engage or increase our engagement in our children’s education. We can ensure that students get enough sleep, arrive at school on time and have safe afterschool care; join and participate in the parent teacher association (PTA); help with their homework, or find someone else, such as a student in a higher grade or a college student, who can help.
Organizations like 100 Black Men, Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA/YWCA have tutorial programs. Our active participation shows our children that their education is important and demonstrates our expectation that they excel. Parents can discover new and interesting things about our children, their schools, teachers and friends as we spend more time with our children.
Teachers and Administrators
We must provide more classrooms and school environments that breed and encourage:
- Lasting success
- Compelling, relevant and challenging curricula
- Innovative teachers and teaching practices
- Inviting school climates with solid anti-bullying policies and practices
- Data-driven improvement plans and intervention strategies
- Varied extracurricular activities
We must believe that all children can learn at high levels. Beyond us believing it, however, we must also help our children believe it because so many have been convinced that they can’t.
We must support our students, parents, teachers and administrators by building relationships with them. Here’s how:
Stop by a local school and find out how you can make a difference.
- Become a partner with a local school and offer your services or the expertise and resources of your business or organization.
- Serve on a local school council.
- Get involved as a tutor, mentor, guest speaker or member of the booster club or PTA.
Our students are more than capable of doing the work! However, we must give them access to educational opportunities that equip them to be competitive; remove the obstacles hindering their progress; set high achievement expectations and provide support structures that contribute to their ability to succeed.
100 Black Men of America, Inc. and its like-minded collaborative partners invite you to join the collective efforts for systemic and sustainable education reform. It is our responsibility to raise our collective voices in advocacy and take action so that high-performing public schools and students in our communities become the norm rather than the exception. Our students deserve to succeed!
Brian L. Pauling is the national president and CEO of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.