Why Black Parents Are Embracing Homeschooling
Homeschooling, once a fairly niche form of education, rose to new heights during COVID, especially among Black families who made the switch.
U.S. Census Data shows that the number of Black families choosing to homeschool their children quintupled. The demographic change was unsurprising to experts because nationwide disruptions to student achievement were uneven. COVID worsened preexisting gaps between historically marginalized public school students compared to their more privileged counterparts. White, Asian and higher-income students showed much higher test scores than Black, Latino and lower-income students due to a number of reasons.
A good example is San Diego’s school district. The district’s annual state standardized tests showed that only 34% of Black students met standards in English Language Arts and 19% in math. Red flags are also waving nationwide regarding absenteeism from school. The pandemic made it hard to track attendance, especially because quarantines and illness kept many students out of school for stretches of time.
Emphasis on COVID Safety
COVID-19 vaccines have been crucial to resolving the absentee issue, keeping students active in extracurriculars and allowing them to be around peers.
Dr. Joan Prince, vice chancellor of Global Inclusion and Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a nationally renowned advocate for equity, said in a recent statement that it is important for the parents of Black children to understand that COVID-19 vaccines are still critical in the fight against the virus. Although the option and resources for homeschooling are not available to every family, steps for keeping every student safe — no matter how they are being educated — are accessible for all.
“An original vaccine for those that have not yet engaged, and the updated vaccines for all approved age groups in the family, along with face coverings can assist students in regaining normalcy with indoor and outdoor activities,” Prince said. “Following these simple steps can reverse the negative impact of the virus on school attendance and achievement.”
Here are some facts on the vaccines:
- Updated vaccines provide extra protection from the Omicron strains of COVID and are available for anyone age 5 or older who received their last dose at least two months ago.
- COVID vaccines help protect people in your community – including the most vulnerable community members from the worst outcomes of COVID.
- Vaccination reduces the risk of getting long COVID by through prevention. Getting vaccinated is safer way than getting sick.
- COVID can be unpredictable in children, with some experiencing severe outcomes or lingering symptoms. It’s important for children aged 6 months and older to be vaccinated for COVID to keep them protected.
Every student can have a fair chance at a healthy, successful school year.