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Detroit Students Excel At Afro-Centric Schools While Public Schools Struggle

Article by Chastity Pratt Dawson.
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At Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit, the week begins with the recitation of black history facts followed by the sounds of drummers summoning students to an assembly.

Students sing the black national anthem and recite the school creed, which starts, “I will have faith in myself. … I can learn! I will learn! I must learn!” This is before any reading, writing and arithmetic.

• Test scores spur state to consider new standards

• How do we prepare our kids for jobs, future?

• Kids can’t count on auto jobs anymore, mom says

• A look at life in Detroit’s schools

• Big ideas for Michigan schools

Garvey is an African-centered educational environment, and in 2008, its students outperformed the state average in most categories on the MEAP. Three other African-centered schools in Detroit serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade fared better than the Detroit Public Schools average.

Staff, parents and students at Garvey credit the school’s Afrocentric curriculum for setting high expectations and instilling the self-confidence that students need to excel.

Proponents of Afrocentric schools maintain that these schools represent a solution to achievement and discipline problems in urban districts like Detroit Public Schools. African-centered schools outperform others because of their family-oriented environment, said Haki Madhubuti, a nationally renowned educator.

“It is critical that you love yourself. … If you have humanity, you don’t go out and shoot people,” he said.

Afrocentric schools focus on pride
Students at Garvey must walk on a stripe called the green line to success, painted on hallway floors. They must stand and say, “Jambo,” a greeting in kiswahili, to any adult upon the elder’s first visit to their class.

And every subject and bulletin board includes mention of African or African-American history or culture.

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8 replies »

  1. I completely support schools like those described in the original article. Maybe what they try to present as african culture is a bizarre array of things picked up from different places and times all over Africa, but clearly that’s not my problem and I’d keep a respectful silence.

    Anyway it would be funny to see the reactions to this slightly modified article:

    “At Marcus GarveyAcademy in Detroit, the week
    begins with the recitation of white history facts
    followed by the sounds of drummers
    summoning students to an assembly.
    Students sing the white national anthem and
    recite the school creed, which starts, “I will have
    faith in myself. … I can learn! I will learn! I must
    learn!” This is before any reading, writing and
    arithmetic.
    • Test scores spur state to consider new
    standards
    • How do we prepare our kids for jobs, future?
    • Kids can’t count on auto jobs anymore, mom
    says
    • A look at life in Detroit’s schools
    • Big ideas for Michigan schools
    Garvey is an Euro-centered educational
    environment, and in 2008, its students
    outperformed the state average in most
    categories on the MEAP. Three other Euro-
    centered schools in Detroit serving students in
    kindergarten through eighth grade fared better
    than the Detroit Public Schools average.
    Staff, parents and students at Garvey credit the
    school’s Eurocentric curriculum for setting high
    expectations and instilling the self-confidence
    that students need to excel.
    Proponents of Eurocentric schools maintain that
    these schools represent a solution to
    achievement and discipline problems in urban
    districts like Detroit Public Schools. Euro-
    centered schools outperform others because of
    their family-oriented environment, said Peter van Buren, a nationally renowned educator.
    “It is critical that you love yourself. … If you
    have humanity, you don’t go out and shoot
    people,” he said.
    Eurocentric schools focus on pride
    Students at Garvey must walk on a stripe called
    the green line to success, painted on hallway
    floors. They must stand and say, “Ave,” a
    greeting in latin, to any adult upon the
    elder’s first visit to their class.
    And every subject and bulletin board includes
    mention of European or Euro-American history
    or culture.”

    I can see the Hell breaking loose.

  2. Actually, Afro-centric schools in some localities have come under fire for being out of step with the prevailing multiculturalist ideology that dominates the education profession: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7217212.stm

    But you’re right, a Eurocentric school would be even more controversial. American public education was of much higher quality back when it was mostly a local matter. There were some very top notch black high schools in large cities like NYC and Washington, D.C. I do think there is a correlation between the “cultural friendliness” of a school and the academic performance of its students, and I also think the evidence indicates that efforts in recent decades to impose a single secular-multiculturalist model on all educational systems everywhere has undermined the overall quality of public education significantly.

    The introduction of radical egalitarian values into education seems to have backfired tremendously. Aside from the problem of trying to force often hostile racial and ethnic populations under the same school roof, there’s also the issue of trying to adjust the content of curriculum to accommodate every political or religious interest group to the point where no one is satisfied. There’s also the fact that public schools are required to accommodate all students, even the ones that don’t want to be there. Compulsory education requirements have been ever more stringent. Schools are often not allowed to expel problem students. Nowadays, even retarded kids and those with other severe mental disabilities often attend school with students with more functional levels of ability. All of these things contribute to the chaos we see in the schools.

  3. This is so cute. 🙂

    As if these apes are going to reach the level of whites by chanting about the greatness of their nonexistent civilization.

  4. Fuck i hate it when i troll under my real name. 🙁

    Keith i hope you don’t mind removing the above comment.

  5. Faust,

    Posting fake messages on this forum under the names of other participants is not acceptable, nor is the use of racial epithets.

    Make any arguments you wish concerning politics, race, or any other controversial matter, but do so in a civil and honest manner.

    Considered yourself warned.

  6. Faust had originally made the same post under his own name and email address. It was awaiting moderation. My presumption is that he thought he had been banned so he simply appropriated your name and email instead.

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