Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson and parent/advocate Samuel Radford held a forum recently at the Tapestry Charter School to discuss ways to increase high school graduation rates among African American boys in Buffalo. They agreed that education must become more of a priority in African American homes and that there is a need for the students to become more disciplined in class and respectful towards their teachers. Parenting classes were also discussed.
Just kidding. Actually,they blamed the schools and the teachers, made excuses, and said the characters in the books needed to be more racially diverse...
Many on the panel expressed concern that the current way of doing things in the Buffalo Public Schools is not meeting the needs of many African-American male students
"When [students] start asking, 'Why are we reading this book? Where are the black kids in this book? Where are the brown kids in this book?' I think for the teachers who are conscious of what's going on, they appreciate that. That's a challenge. 'Let me find a different set of books to help engage these students.' I don't think that happens," said Hunter.
I was in a classroom today at the Seneca Prep School on Hertel Avenue. I observed students from Haiti, Liberia, and Somalia attempting to complete their assignments, while students born in this country threw papers, swore at each other, grabbed each other, walked around the room, etc. (In fairness, there were some African American students working hard, also. But they were in the minority, compared to their peers.)
The foreign students (who were mostly black) appeared very serious about completing their Algebra worksheets and were not the least bit concerned with the colors of the characters in the text books. Samuel Radford is all about promoting Samuel Radford and Rod Watson needs to stop making excuses for an entire community. These two circus clowns should sub for a week in Buffalo. End of story...
Forum focus is ways to improve students