An Important Report for Your Information
Unlike any other time in recent history, the opportunity now exists to educate all students in ways that increase and enhance their personal self-knowledge, their history, their requisite skills, and the knowledge and understanding essential for academic and life success. These imperatives are especially critical for Black students.
The history of education for Black students, particularly prior to Brown v. Board of Education, is neither often discussed nor well known, despite how uniquely valuable it was for those students. Even during the Jim Crow era when Black people struggled for freedom and equality, an exemplary education was given to Black students by Black teachers and principals even with poor facilities and out-of-date materials. In her book, Their Highest Potential, Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker documents teaching excellence at Caswell High School in Caswell, North Carolina where Black students thrived when exposed to high quality teaching and learning.
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a deleterious impact on the quality of education that Black children and youth have or have not received. Unfortunately, too many of these same students have not experienced the fruits of a quality education even before COVID-19.
Recently an important report was made public, entitled Black Education in the Wake of COVID 19 and Systemic Racism- Toward a Theory of Change and Action. The report, created by the Black Education Research Collaborative at Teachers College, Columbia University under the leadership of Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford, was guided by two essential questions: (1) What is the impact of COVID-19 on the education of Black children and youth in the United States? (2) How should educators and community leaders respond to calls for change and action? COSEBOC is honored to support the circulation of this important document and the included recommendations.
I encourage you to read, discuss, and share it widely with your networks. In closing, I leave you with this essential question: if it was possible for Black children and youth to experience educational success during the pandemic known as Jim Crow, then why shouldn’t the same hold true in this time of COVID-19 and beyond?