Is School Choice A Band-Aid for Broken Families?

While I am in full support of school choice, I cannot help but to think how it’s a potential Band-Aid for the actual problem: broken families.

We all understand how education can be the great equalizer for children but we at times talk about it as if it’s a math equation: child + good school = good future.

What we are missing are all the intangibles which would create this successful adult.

If a child has no interest in school and no reinforcement of educational standards, it makes it extremely difficult for any educator to persuade that child otherwise. At the same time, teachers aren’t supposed to be the standard setters, their parents are.

My book “Black Victim To Black Victor” discusses how single-motherhood is a losing and an unfair situation for any woman to be in. These women have to work long hours or two jobs, sacrificing the nurturing & raising to a degree since there is no father to contribute.

I’m a product of single parent home. My mom had to work long hours as a nurse to keep the lights on. I don’t remember her getting involved with my school work much at all because of her work schedule. Because of this, my interest in school became less & less the older I became.

I also struggled in school when I tried. I went to a decent school but I just didn’t have the motivation nor did I have the reinforcement of educational standards. If I brought home a failing grade, I’d get momentary disappointment from my mom but that was it.

The expectation for a child from a broken home, where educational standards & discipline have a higher likeliness of lacking, to succeed is unrealistic. Trying to get a child who may have never been excited about school to change their outlook is almost pointless.

You can stuff these same kids into a fancy private school, you’ll likely get a marginal difference in educational outcome. In some cases, these children could possibly help to drag down the educational environment if they’re disruptive & insubordinate.

I’m going to say the quiet part out-loud: poor family planning leads to poor outcomes for children. When we discuss education & race, we always skip over the family planning aspect. The number one issue hindering black American progress is poor family planning.

This includes myself, my mother & my father. I had a child out of wedlock and it’s made it more difficult to keep my son educationally in-line even though he has two involved parents. These difficulties cross racial & economic lines as single parent homes increase in the West.

I advocate for school choice for that marginal possibility that it can help these very kids & give the children who are from these environments and are interested in education the opportunity to grow. But I am realistic & understand many of these kids have little to no interest.

Parents bear the burden for a lot of things but it’s what we signed up for. We are responsible for getting them prepared for a world where education is extremely important & correlates to economic prosperity.

We’re responsible for setting up a household culture that motivates them towards future success. We’re responsible for disciplining them when they slack off as well. However, a single parent environment makes this an incredibly difficult reality to produce.

Despite the efforts of people like @DeAngelisCorey , who I fully support, school choice cannot fix the root problem, which is a child’s broken home environment. We know the stats and behavioral analysis’: the nuclear family provides the best environment for children.

When people talk about the school to prison pipeline, I hear the broken home to prison pipeline. School isn’t leading children to prison; their failing home environment is. In districts where children come from these home situations, we’re asking educators to do the impossible.

You cannot legislate a happy family. There is no law that will make people get married. You can however advocate for a shift in culture & warn future generations about the pitfalls of poor family planning. If not, they will likely repeat it, just like I did.

So, yes there is governmental corruption, bad school boards, bad teachers & bad administrators but in areas where home life is failing, they are only compounding the existing problem, not creating the problem. The problem was created before these children entered school.

Originally tweeted by Adam B. Coleman, Cerebrum Arsonist (@wrong_speak) on March 12, 2022.

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