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Monday, February 1, 2016

NPR recently posted an article on their website entitled 'To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, It Helps To Have A Black Teacher' [Read it: here]. Yes, I do agree that this may help…to an extent. I believe that the outcome is definitely based upon the teacher (Black or otherwise). However, I will say that this may impact Black girls differently from Black boys. There's less of barrier between a young Black girl and her White female teacher than a young Black boy which also tends to translate into their confidence in and out of the classroom.
This reminds me a post that I recently made on social media after receiving my Ph.D in the mail. It finally felt real. I posted "This is what public education at its best looks like! I have many people to thank for my journey against all odds. But today, I think about the key elementary teachers that poured INTO me..." I went on to thank my Pre-K, fourth grade, and sixth grade teachers whom I was so fortunate enough to come across during my lifetime which catapulted me into the bright future that I have today.
Yes, granted, 2 out of 3 of the teachers that I mentioned in my post were Black: Pre-K and 4th grade but it takes so much more. So while they are working on labeling our children (more often than not it's correlated to behavior) what can we do to ensure that they may be considered for gifted?
Here is an example of where we stand currently:

Gifted stats for a central school district in Florida.

  • There are 4149 gifted elementary students. 1876 (45%) of the 4149 are boys.
  • 270 (7%) of whom are Black. 
In theory, this percentage should be closer to 23%. 131 (49%) of the 270 are boys. Should you be satisfied with these types of statistics?
In the last meetup we addressed why grades aren't always a clear insight into your child's intelligence and/or abilities [Read it here: Monroe's Meetup: Why Grades Don't ALWAYS Matter].
Again, partner with your child's teacher to ensure that you are enhancing your child's strengths and weaknesses.
Consider private testing at a facility outside of school. That will be the best $150 you've ever spent (worth 12 years of wearing "gifted" label - PRICELESS). This will also ensure that your child is comfortable and confident going into the test.


The mother of a "gifted" Black boy.

Natasha Marie
Written by Natasha Marie

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