2022 is looking like a busy year for public high schools in America. There is plenty of work to do, especially when it comes to closing the achievement gap experienced by most Black students. Intergenerational poverty, persistent segregation, and systemic racism plague most school districts. The Village Method differs from most after-school programs. We aim to help young scholars achieve the success they rightfully deserve.
Like many other institutions, high schools in America are built on a caste system. Racial hierarchies are nothing new. Every Black student has to fight their way through constant discrimination. The K-12 years should mark a smooth transition to college. Sadly, college enrollment among Black students has declined, and teachers are confused about the solutions they should come up with.
Continue reading our article and find out if high schools in America have the capacity to mend the achievement gap and tend to the needs of the first-generation college student.
High Schools in America vs. the Achievement Gap
Let us take a look at Advanced Placement courses. They showcase the students’ interests, drive for academic success, and ability to succeed in college. They are very important for the college application process, and yet only 9% of Black students are enrolled. Why is this figure so low?
Our youth should have access to all the opportunities that arise throughout their four years of high school. Electives are also a huge part of high school academics. By focusing on various subjects, the road to university can become easier, even for a first-generation college student.
Research has shown that charter schools are linked to segregation. Although Black students attend charter schools in higher numbers than the traditional ones, their needs continue to be unmet. Family engagement activities are widely recognized as key ingredients to long-term academic success. They could be used as a way to end segregation.
Many undergraduates of color fail to connect with the curriculum. The achievement gap is indeed caused by high levels of poverty. However, what is less talked about is how quality tutoring should be the educators’ main concern. The achievement gap won’t close itself. The parents, teachers, and students must come together and reach a consensus when it comes to the contents of the curriculum.
Since the curriculum doesn’t cover the extensive need for classroom discussions on race, seniors have turned to after-school programs. Although they are not formally required, after-school programs are a necessary addition. They encourage our youth to nurture their talents, study an extensive version of Black history, and master the college application process.
High Schools in America and After-School Programs
The high and unmet demand for after-school programs is a direct consequence of the achievement gap that is being perpetuated in most high schools. Qualitative after-school programs remain a remote dream for families of color with low incomes. These are the families that crave education the most.
Every single high school graduate of color should be confident enough to pursue college applications. Ideally, the freshman year should mark the beginning of the college application process. Things like work and leadership experience, financial literacy, community involvement, and extracurricular activities are just what admissions officers are looking for.
We should always keep the first-generation college student in mind when developing after-school programs. They are the most vulnerable category because they can easily get intimidated by the many formalities that are necessary in order to get admitted into college.
That is why after-school programs take the lead. Not only do they nurture academic excellence, but they also acknowledge the achievement gap and systemic racism that pervades American society. All minorities need to be empowered and presented with the real facts.
Black history should be a good starting point. The successes and experiences of Black people go beyond the standard slavery lessons. We, as a people, have an extensive history that traces all the way back to our African ancestry, culture, and traditions. Students deserve to know this.
High Schools in America and Black Counselors
Since most high schools in America deal with unequal opportunity and a lack of diverse high school counselors, it is needless to say that education itself is lacking in quality. It’s important to speak the young ones’ language and give them the opportunity to consult with Black counselors.
Black counselors have the power to offer our youth a look into their own futures. The power of personal example is unlike any other piece of information that might come from any figure of authority.
Counseling should also provide our children with the tools to increase their standardized test scores. They need guidance in order to understand the entire college application process. Lastly, they should be familiarized with the International Baccalaureate, as well as the Advanced Placement courses they can take.
There are so many things that public high schools in America must prioritize. We believe that the points we’ve made in this article would mark the ideal starting point for all minority students.
Are Public High Schools in America Prioritizing the Right Things?
2022 can be a year of change for the better. With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly receding, it is time to rethink education as a whole. Family engagement activities promoted by after-school programs proved that the gap between home and school could finally be bridged.
Why not apply the same logic to the achievement gap? High schools in America need to take extensive notes from culturally affirming after-school programs. They need to implement a new strategy.
Finally, high schools in America need to prioritize family engagement activities, tailor empowering curriculums, and teach every single first-generation college student about how they should tackle the college application process. This way, we might have a solid chance at educational equity.
The Village Method is not your usual after-school program. We are dedicated to creating villages of culturally empowered, successful young scholars. Join our cause and get involved today!