• Kristen Newsome

Let’s Improve Education for Black Female Students

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Black Girl Magic is real and it deserves to shine in every arena!

In a time where cultural divide is impacting everything from politics to family relationships, it is important that African American families not overlook the impact of a divided nation on our most precious resource--our children, and particularly our girls.

According to a study by the National Organization of Women, More than one-third of Black female students did not graduate on time in 2010, compared to 19 percent of white female students. In 2013, nearly two-thirds of African-American high school seniors scored below the National Assessment of education Progress’s Basic achievement level in mathematics and 39 percent scored below the Basic achievement in reading. That same year, African-American girls had the lowest average SAT scores of female students.

It is a dangerous assumption that African-American girls are doing just fine. We see programs targeted specifically at boys of color, completing ignoring the immense disadvantages of African-American girls and women. The major problem with this line of thinking is that Black girls are being left out of the conversation. People are not acknowledging the challenges these girls and young women face on a day-to-day basis and such exclusion from the public discussion prevents society from addressing an important responsibility..

Connect African American Girls With Safe and Engaging Spaces

Improving education begins outside of schools with helping girls understand who they are and that they are not operating from a deficit simply because of the color of their skin. Traditional public school education fails to address this is most cases. While many schools are attempting to address issues of inequity and discrimination in their administration and classrooms, there is much work to be done. One way that parents can ensure their children are thriving is to engage culturally focused extracurricular programs and after school programs that focus on supporting the academic and social-emotional development of girls of color.

Cultivating a positive self-image, exclusively around race and ethnicity, can make a lasting difference in student performance and confidence. School climates can be extremely toxic for African American girls when they feel like they’re not seen, not understood or invested in by school personnel. There are a lot of negative perceptions of African-Americans, and the perception they receive is that it’s not a good thing to be black. After-school programs designed to create community around and pride in black culture and identity create stronger foundations for learning and engagement. Studies show that girls who participate in these types of programs expressed greater confidence and reported, both on their own and through teachers, more connection to and involvement with school.

With community, our girls can achieve great expectations for academic and life success. Consider enrolling your girls in the My Sister's Keeper Success Institute Community and let us partner with you for her success!

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