would you send your caucasian child to an all african american school? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: would you send your caucasian child to the school described below?
Yes. 92 27.54%
No. 137 41.02%
Maybe/ not sure. 90 26.95%
Other. 15 4.49%
Voters: 334. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would you send your caucasian (white) child to a school that, other than your child, has a student body made up of African American children? Your child would be the only white child in the school.

The school has no behavior problems.

The facilities are mediocre/ not so great.

The school has average but not excellent academic performance/ test scores.

The principal and teachers are kind and caring.
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#2 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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I said yes, assuming that the school was the best overall fit for my child out of all choices available.
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#3 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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I say no, but not because of the racial makeup but because of the facilities and performance. I am currently looking at some private pre-schools. weighing Montessori and Waldorf and transportation issues
(My 70 YO MIL will be taking him 2 days a week)

There is a decent Montessori, near to her house that my son would be the only caucasian. The teacher seemed very competent (though young and new) and the space seemed a bit small, but had a nice outdoor area. For the price she is charging though, I can go to another Montessori that is about another 5 min driving time that has more of everything. more tools, teachers, diversity, credentials, more years in service, and also goes all the way to 8th grade. So I will probably send my son there.

But I may have sent him to school number one if it excelled in the other aspects. If I had to comparable schools where my son is the ONLY one of "whatever" I would send him where he was not the only one. Having said that though, it would not have been the top priority.

This of course is not to say that I didnt think about it. It did cross my mind, and with "my druthers" no school and no child would be the only one. No school would be all lily white, or all Latino or all African American.
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#4 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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No way. Why would I choose to send my child to a school with mediocre or poor facilities and only average test scores?

The teachers can be kind and caring as anything but if my kid is sitting in a classroom with flaking asbestos walls and a floor that is letting off formaldehyde or they don't have enough light or textbooks ~ is there really even a comparison?

I don't care if the student body is harvard-worthy, if the facilities are mediocre I wouldn't choose to send my kid there. I've attended bad schools before, where there wasn't funding for textbooks... where the electricity frequently went out due to bad wiring... and I had some great teachers but I don't think children should ever be put in substandard facilities for the majority of their days, you know?

ARGH this could lead to a rant and a half. If I had my choice ALL children would attend schools like that one strawbale Waldorf school featured in Mothering that one time.....


ETA ~ the poll results are going to look extremely skewed because people who just read the title and not the OP are going to think, "Holy cow 50% of MDC'ers are racist!" whereas, your OP isn't about race as much as facilities and staff and academic performance. Just felt the need to point that out.
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#5 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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Our third choice primary school is almost all African-American, DH and I are both Caucasian, and our child will be Caucasian. I have paid a lot of attention toward the attitude of the parents there and was pleased and relieved to learn that they want more racial diversity; the PTA or whatever they call it is actively seeking more Caucasian children. Otherwise, it would feel weird to sweep into a school that is one of the few jewels (in terms of gifted and talented resources, performance, etc.) and "take away" a slot from a meritorious African-American child. I was just saying to DH this morning that it is racist that more Caucasian parents don't apply to this school that "on the numbers" is so excellent!!
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#6 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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See, I put very little stock into test scores - especially in schools that are all/mostly nonwhite.

And the OP didn't say that the facilities were poor - just mediocre.
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#7 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
See, I put very little stock into test scores - especially in schools that are all/mostly nonwhite.

And the OP didn't say that the facilities were poor - just mediocre.
She said mediocre or not so great, which I interpreted as, in need of improvement.



I think that test scores can be one indication of a school's overall performance but I would also like to point out that there have been many, many cases through the years of schools just expelling the students that perform poorly in order to make their test scores look good. And that was before No Child Left Behind. Now, they just dumb down the tests.




(Oh man I am so freaking cynical about the American education system.)
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#8 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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I voted "maybe" because there simply isn't enough information to go on. The racial makeup of the students wouldn't be a consideration.

I generally don't want my children in a non-Jewish environment- either they'll be in a Jewish school or homeschooled. This is not because I think non-Jews are "inferior" or anything stupid like that, just that Judaism is such a huge part of our value system that I don't want my kids picking up on "secular culture" and having to unteach everything they pick up at school. I did that with the girls for a few years and I hated it; it wasn't particularly healthy for the family as a whole.

If, for the sake of argument, this is an all-black Jewish day school that's offering us a free scholarship to increase their racial diversity, and they can meet my kids unique educational needs, then yup, I'd take it in a heartbeat! If it's a public or secular private school, I'd be hesitant to send any of my children no matter the racial makeup of the student body.

"Mediocre" test scores might mean that they teach to the child, not to the test, so that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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#9 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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well, I did know someone who had a hard time with their black child being in an only caucasion school. I would imagine that the challenges would be the same. I remember when my daughter was 6 or 7 and we were in an all black neighborhood and did not know itDUH. Then, the other kids started asking her, hey what are you doing here, you are a white girl, and questions like that. I was very surprised. But my daughter had not even considered color before these children made her feel like she didn't belong because she was white.
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#10 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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#11 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
"Mediocre" test scores might mean that they teach to the child, not to the test, so that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

This is definitely the case with my son's school. Along with that, many of the more well educated parents, whose children would likely do better on the test due to their social status, choose to opt out of the testing process because they have educated themselves about the inaccuracies of standardized testing.
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#12 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Heck no.

Liz

Wife, and mother to a small fairy, a demolition expert, a special new someone this fall and a small dachshund.
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#13 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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Heck no.

Liz
Why?
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#14 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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#15 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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Heck no.

Liz
Why heck no? Just curious.
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#16 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Oh boy, this question is a bit loaded, but essentially how old/mature is the child and what grade will he/she be entering? I think that these things should be considered before making a decision. I voted for maybe.

Really, I find it strange when people say that the racial makeup doesn't matter, because if that was the case then why is this question posed? Race does matter, we all see it (just keeping it real), the question is how we treat and respect people of different races. I am a person of color and many, many times I have had to deal with my dd being the only brown face in a situation. Just this summer she attended an daycamp in which she was the only child of color in her age group. I was very aware of this fact, and we did discuss it-honestly. I can't pretend that I don't see color because I know that others do see mine. So as long as your child is aware of his/her self and is comfortable in discussing matters with you, I say perhaps give it a try. You can change schools if you do not like it right?
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#17 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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Dunno. The ONLY white kid? Hmm. It would depend for me on whether they would be socially accepted, or not. If they would have friends and a normal school life, absolutely. If not, I would send them somewhere that would happen.
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#18 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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I want to add that it would never be my preference to send my child to a school that consisted entirely or almost entirely of one culture/ethnicity. If there were two similar schools and one was all black and one was ethnically diverse - I would definitely choose the diverse one.
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#19 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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I want to add that it would never be my preference to send my child to a school that consisted entirely or almost entirely of one culture/ethnicity. If there were two similar schools and one was all black and one was ethnically diverse - I would definitely choose the diverse one.
I disagree. Partly I think we send our children to white schools a LOT without blinking an eye.

And partly I think sending a child to a school consisting of ppl from a subculture that most of us are unfamiliar with would be a very enriching experience.
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#20 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Dunno. The ONLY white kid? Hmm. It would depend for me on whether they would be socially accepted, or not. If they would have friends and a normal school life, absolutely. If not, I would send them somewhere that would happen.
How big a deal this is would depend on the size of the school and the age of the children.

500 kids and one white family? Could be awkward. 8 kids in the class and 7 of them are black? Not as big a deal IMO.

Are we talking about high schoolers who are well aware of race relations in America today, or preschoolers who can't even *see* skin color yet?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#21 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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Well, it wouldn't be my preference to send a child to a mostly white school, either. If the two choices were one that was almost all white and one that was almost all black, and all other things were very similar - I don't know what I would choose. I'm lazy, so probably the closest one.
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#22 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 06:49 PM
 
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It's really pretty tough and lonely to be the only white kid. Probably somewhat like it's tough to be the "only" kid of any particular background in an otherwise ethnically homogenous environment.

I've been the only white kid in the classroom, and I would not choose to repeat that experience for my own kids, just to be brutally honest here.

That said, all schools are different. Maybe the social environment there will be more welcoming and supportive than the school I attended.

On the up side, it does make you sit up and pay some attention when you're on the OTHER side of the majority/minority fence!
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#23 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Are we talking about high schoolers who are well aware of race relations in America today, or preschoolers who can't even *see* skin color yet?
eee, AFAIK, even preschoolers are actually very aware of skin color and cultural differences, and they tend to congregate with other preschoolers of similar ethnic backgrounds, even in very diverse classrooms.

Didn't someone just put out a study about this? (isn't there ALWAYS a study?) where even kids as young as 3 have already picked up on racial/cultural differences and actively seek out those children who resemble themselves?

It would take a lot of talking and communicating with my kid to feel comfortable that my child was really being well-served in a situation like that.

Unfortunately.
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#24 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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hmmmmmm - this will be a very real issue for us. More so for HS than Elem. The HS is about 10% caucasian.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#25 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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I've been the only white kid in the classroom, and I would not choose to repeat that experience for my own kids, just to be brutally honest here.


On the up side, it does make you sit up and pay some attention when you're on the OTHER side of the majority/minority fence!
Yes, I had this experience a few times, too, growing up. It was rough being shy, too - so the kids didn't bother to learn my name. I was "blondie" or "white girl" to most people. However, I think the experience did open my eyes to a fraction of what it feels like to live every day as a minority in your own country. I think that experience was invaluable for me.
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#26 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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I said yes. I actually went to a grade school from Kindy to 5th grade that besides when my brother started school when I was in 5th grade, it was me and 3 other kids who were white. None of us were in the same grade.
I quess I just never knew anything else so I never thought about it until I went to junior high and I was part of the majority.
When my parents bought our house they did not know my neighborhood was part of a project that all the kids were bussed out of the neighborhood 30 minutes away to a totally different school district, that majority African American.
A lot of the other parents fought it and had their kids transfered out. I am not sure why my parents did not do it, but til this day they still rave about my grade school.
When I got into about 4th grade I had some promblems with bullies but I had gone to that school for so many years that I had very established friends who stood up for me.I am not even sure it was race related or for just the simple reason they wanted to bully someone.
When I think about it today it still is not that big of deal for me, I have the majority of positive memories of school.
I think my parents were so nonchalant about it, the only thing that bigged them was how far away my school was, when there was 2 grade school 5 minutes away from our house.
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#27 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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mojo mom, that sounds like some of my dh's school experience.

i agree that there's not enough to go on. what is the school's educational philosophy? what about discipline?

if the question is there's one school 10 minutes to the east that is all Afircan American and has average/mediocre facilities and nice teachers and there's another school 10 minutes to the west that has equal facilities and equally nice teachers and is all white and there's another school that is 10 minutes to the south that is racially diverse and has equal facilities and equally nice teachers then i would pick the racially diverse one.

if the question is would i seek out an all African American school to send my child to just because it was all African American the answer is no. my feeling would be that they might like having an all African American student body and i wouldn't want to put my highly sensitive, spirited, anxious, dramatic little girl in a situation where she might not be wanted. she wouldn't cope well. there are probably other kids who would do well in that environment, but i'm doubtful that my kid would thrive.

right now we're in a small private $chool because of dd1's anxiety issues. i wish it were more racially diverse. it's not all white, but close. it certainly does not reflect the racial make-up of the surrounding community. they did just hire a new director, though, so maybe he will put more of an emphasis on a racially diverse student body.

can you give us a little more background on your question?

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#28 of 436 Old 06-29-2007, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies. I asked this question for 2 reasons, 1) I remember in school there was often "1" child of a different race either in the class or the school and I imagined it must be isolating and 2) I am likely sending 2 of my kids to the school described above (so there will be 2 white children, not 1 in the school ). My kids are technically 1/4 hispanic but look white.

There are 303 students in the school.
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#29 of 436 Old 06-30-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I voted no.. partly because of the school being mediocre/not so great facilities and partly because of the low test scores but also a big part of it is the racial diversity.. there isnt any.. Im looking for schools for ds now and Im making it a point to look for something diverse. DH is Mexican and Polish, Im English, Scottish, and Irish.. I want our children to be around caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and any other race out there. I don't want to subject my kids to just 1 race all the time. I think its a BIG deal that kids learn to appreciate other races from the beginning so they dont discriminate later in life. I dunno.. those are just my thoughts
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#30 of 436 Old 06-30-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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I don't think the question is fair. What would the alternatives to this school be? Everyone should choose the best educational choice available for their children. Is this the best one in the area?

I would definitely not decide against a school due to its ethnic makeup. There are so many more important factors.


Of course, I choose no school at all, but that's another story.
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