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U.S. Students and Families
Transcript of U.S. Students and Families
U.S. Students and Families
The U.S. has been undergoing enormous demographic change:
45% of U.S. students are not White
or Caucasian, the "race" that people often associate with the U.S.
These students come from African-American (or Black), Asian, Hispanic (or Latino/a), multi-racial, or other families "of color."
Over 20% of U.S. children live in poverty (2015).
Some of this change is due to immigration:
25% of U.S. students have one immigrant parent
(who was born in another country).
About 20% of U.S. students are Hispanic/Latino.
Many of these parents are from Mexico.
Who are U.S. students and families?
What is "family engagement" in U.S. schools?
Parents engage with their children's education in many different ways. Some typical ways include:
reading to children.
helping children with homework.
sending resources to school.
volunteering at school functions.
joining committees at school.
What is an ideal family-school partnership?
In the U.S., many teachers expect parents to ask questions, attend parent-teacher conferences, and come TO the school.
Ideal partnerships should also include teachers' efforts to learn more about their students, their home lives, and how to help them learn, from the perspective of the family members.
U.S. schools segregated children based upon their race and ethnicity for hundreds of years:
In 1896, a Supreme Court ruling stated that "separate but equal" schools for Black and White children were legal.
In 1954, "Brown versus the Board of Education" said that separate facilities were inherently unequal. The military had to protect families and teachers as schools integrated in the 1950s and 1960s.
Native American students (or American "Indians") were taken away from their families and placed in boarding schools until reforms in the 1920s.
"De-facto" segregation continues today:
The majority of students in large, urban public school districts are Black or Hispanic (data from 2001):
St. Louis, 82% -- Los Angeles, 84% -- Chicago, 87% -- Washington, DC - 94%
Race & Segregation in the U.S.
Unequal neighborhoods, unequal educational opportunity, and racial unrest in the U.S.
In 2014, Michael Brown, an 18-year old Black teenager, graduated from Normandy High School, a school that served nearly 100% African-American and 90% low-income youth. Seven days later, he died, shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
See Ferguson's story here in images and videos here
Listen to the struggles of Normandy Schools here
So, how should teachers work with families?
Get to know families:
Ask parents about their children; they know them best!
Call parents about GOOD news, not just bad news.
Visit students and families at home.
Create a welcoming space at your school and in your classroom for family members.
Recognize that family engagement looks different:
in different families.
at different ages.
Help parents understand school, and ask them to help you understand family. Be aware of the "
danger of the single story
" about any one child or family.