Black Minds Matter

The deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police across the country has spurred debate about how much black lives truly matter in the United States. Movements like Black Lives Matter have sprung up to bring further awareness to this issue, and shine a light on the fact that black lives should matter much more than they currently do. But black minds also need to be given attention, and have the importance and worth placed on them that they deserve. While much progress has been made, there is still a gaping equity gap between the levels of education that white people and people of color receive today. Throughout the nation, black students (whether from upper or lower income families) are more likely to be placed in the most segregated and underfunded schools, be taught by the lowest paid and often lowest qualified teachers, and while in school be disproportionately suspended or expelled. They are also less likely to be placed in a full sequence of college-preparatory courses, less likely to have access to advanced placement classes, and less likely to complete a degree. It is not a viable option to continue to point fingers at the black community, blaming shortcomings wholly on issues of poverty, parenting, or the lack of positive role models, when public schools and universities continue to perpetuate these vast inequities based on race, income, and zip codes. Equity is what is needed throughout the public school system. This means education leaders must commit to closing opportunity and achievement gaps (and receiving the resources and support to do so) and holding educational systems accountable for educating all students. (All this month, The Education Trust, in partnership with Huffington Post and Black lives matter will feature a daily post exploring cultural and political issues affecting the black community, and examining the impact they will have going forward.) The Huffington Post article HERE The Education Trust news site HERE