Stupid Black Parents

At least that’s the impression one got when visiting the New Jersey Education Association web site before a couple of days ago.

The teachers union made an admirable attempt to involve parents in the education of their children. The site made available a brochure for PDF download called “Getting Involved In Your Child’s School”. It also came in three versions.

The first was called “A Parent’s Resource”. The second was translated into Spanish, and the last version was called the “African-American Version”

I say “was” because the African-American version was removed. It wasn’t removed by racists to deny black parents valuable information available to everyone else. No, it was removed because it was there and what was in it.

Those of you who’ve read my past columns know I firmly believe some liberals believe black people are intellectually inferior. That’s why they fight so hard for programs like Affirmative Action that justifies their sentiment (and pity) that blacks need an extra push since they’re just too damn stupid to make it on their own. Well, guess what? Even though the Jersey teacher’s union tried to hide it, but the truth is out there.

The truth is they dumbed-down the “African-American” version which immediately shows what these educators think of blacks and their intelligence. The first striking difference is the discrepancy in the word count between the “Parent’s Resource” and the black version. The parent’s version had 1,390 words in its text vice 676 for the black version. Let’s look at a few sections and see some of the differences in more detail, shall we?

SECTION 1

Parent Version

WHAT IS A PARENT INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM?
You and the teacher share a deep concern for your child’s welfare, and there is no better way to encourage your child’s growth and development than by working together to meet her or his education needs.

African-American Version

WHAT IS A PARENT INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM?
You and the teacher share a deep concern for your child. There is no better way to encourage your child’s growth than by working together to meet her or his education needs.

Well, it seems the only difference is that they left out some big words. In this case “welfare” and “development”. I think we’ll soon see a pattern….

SECTION 2

Parent Version

WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM?
Your child’s teacher welcomes your support. By working in your school, you will become more familiar with its programs, and you will see why they are vital to your child. With this new understanding of education needs and goals, you can give the school the backing it needs and encourage others to do the same.

You will learn more about everyday happenings in the classroom from the increased communication and interaction between you and the teacher. You will have the satisfaction of helping children during a very important stage in their development.

You will be able to provide the teacher with valuable information about your child and your community –creating a link between school and community so vital in our society. You will learn new skills in working with children.

To sum it up, participation in the parent involvement program will give you a chance to make a significant contribution to your child, your school, and your community.

African-American Version

WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM HELPING IN THE PROGRAM?
Your child’s teacher welcomes your support. By working in your school, you will see how it works. With this new understanding, you can give the school the backing it needs. You will learn more about the classroom. You will enjoy helping children. You will be able to give the teacher information about your child and your community. You will learn new skills in working with children.

Seriously, I’m not messing with you or altering the text in any way. The two versions are clearly different. Now I’d make the argument that the black version is better because it basically says the same thing and is a hell of a lot less wordy, but tell me that we don’t have some condescension here? The Parent version contains words like “familiar”, vital”, “happenings”, “communication”, and “significant”.

The black version has only two words that are longer than ten letters. The sentences are short, simple, and to the point. No thought or reasoning necessary, because there is no need “To sum it up”.

SECTION 3

Parent Version

DO TEACHERS REALLY WANT ME IN THE CLASSROOM?
Teachers, like anyone else, want to be as effective in their work as they can, and your help will enable them to devote more time to work with your child. The parent involvement program is voluntary for them, too. Your child’s teacher feels you will be a valuable asset to the program, and wants your help.

African-American Version

DO TEACHERS REALLY WANT ME IN THE CLASSROOM? YES!
Teachers, like anyone else, want to be as effective as they can. Your help will enable them to

give more time to the children. The parent involvement program in voluntary for them, too. Your child’s teacher wants your help.

Obviously black parents in New Jersey even needed help in answering the rhetorical question with an affirmative. Besides the omission of more complicated words, the sentences again were shortened.

SECTION 4

Parent Version

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR A PARENT VOLUNTEER?
The basic requirements are simple. You should:

• Enjoy working with children

• Have an interest in education and the community

• Feel a commitment to the goals of the parent program

• Want to help

• Be dependable and in good health

As you can see, it is very easy to qualify–and the rewards are great.

African-American Version

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR A PARENT VOLUNTEER?
The basic requirements are simple. You should:

• Enjoy working with children

• Have an interest in your public school and the community

• Want to help

• Be dependable and in good health.

As you can see, it is very easy to qualify-and the rewards are great.

Okay, I guess black folk don’t need to “Feel a commitment”. If I haven’t yet made my point, this last example should bring the point home, that is unless you’re a black parent from New Jersey….

SECTION 5

Parent Version

TEN THINGS PARENTS WISH TEACHERS WOULD DO
• Build students’ self-esteem by using praise generously and avoiding ridicule and negative public criticism.

• Get to know each child’s needs, interests and special talents, as well as the way each child learns best.

• Communicate often and openly with parents, contacting them early on about academic or behavioral problems and being candid rather than defensive when discussing these problems.

• Regularly assign homework that helps children learn and advise parents how they can work with their children on this homework.

• Set high academic standards, expecting all students to learn and helping them to do so.

• Care about children – children learn best when taught by warm, friendly, caring, and enthusiastic teachers.

• Treat all children fairly – don’t play favorites.

• Enforce a positive discipline code based on clear and fair expectations that are established at the beginning of each school year. Set limits and reinforce positive behavior.

• Vary teaching methods and make learning fun.

• Encourage participation by reaching out to involve families in their children’s education, showing them how they can help their children at home – remembering that family members want to work with teachers to help their children do their best.

TEN THINGS TEACHERS WISH PARENTS WOULD DO
• Be involved in their children’s education. Family involvement helps students learn, improves schools, and makes teachers’ jobs easier.

• Provide resources at home for reading and learning. Families should have books and magazines for their children and read to or with their children each day.

• Set a good example. Families should show their children that they believe reading is enjoyable and useful. They shouldn’t spend all their time in front of the TV either.

• Encourage children to do their best in school. Families must indicate that they believe education is important and that they want their children to do the best they possibly can at school.

• Emphasize academics. Too many families get caught up in athletics and in preparing their children for the world of work, where academics should be their first concern.

• Support school rules and goals. Families should take care not to undermine school rules, discipline, or goals.

• Use pressure positively. Families should encourage children to do their best, but they should not apply too much pressure by setting unattainable goals or by involving them in too many activities.

• Call teachers early if there is a problem (not wait for teachers to call them), so there is still time to improve the situation.

• Accept their responsibility as parents and not expect the school and teachers to take over this job.

• Families should make it their responsibility to teach children basic discipline at home rather than leave this task to teachers.

African-American Version

TEN THINGS FAMILIES CAN DO TO HELP CHILDREN SUCCEED IN SCHOOL
1. Get involved in your child’s school.

2. Make a quiet place at home where your child can study.

3. Limit how much and what kind of TV programs your child can watch.

4. Make a family reading hour, a time when everyone reads.

5. Have books and magazines around your home.

6. Call teachers early if your child has a problem.

7. Support school rules.

8. Tell your child that studying is important.

9. Encourage your child to do his or her best.

10. Set goals your child can achieve and praise his or her progress.

Funny, the whole section of “TEN THINGS TEACHERS WISH PARENTS WOULD DO” is missing. I guess the New Jersey Education Association has no expectations of black parents. Again, big words have been omitted and the sentences are shorter on the black version.

It seems to me the union feels that blacks watch too much TV (probably true, but so do white kids), feel that black homes have more ruckus going on than civilized white homes (damn rap and hip-hop music), and blacks won’t accept their responsibilities as parents (where’s Dad?).

Now I won’t lay this all at the feet of the union. Black parents do need to get more involved with their kids’ education, but when whole sections describing their obligations are lopped-off, it’s troubling, and if you look at these publications from their face values, racist might be an accurate conclusion.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. After all, liberals do to call everyone who doesn’t believe as they do “racist”. It’s nice every once in a while to return the favor, using their own words to back me up.

I know this column went on kind of long, but the African-American Version will be ready soon.

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