A new study of black immigrant children reveals the following:
“… by kindergarten, children of Black immigrants are doing relatively well in reading and math. They display stronger early academic skills than Hispanic children of immigrant and native parents, as well as Black children of native parents.”
Click here to read the study. The above quote appears on page 2.
For years now, I have pointed out this issue when it comes to the Montgomery County Public Schools and its black immigrant students. It seems as though MCPS black immigrant students outperform MCPS black native students. Click here for a recent blog post on the issue.
Readers wanting to know more about how these populations differ should read the paper found here.
I think this issue is extremely important, and once again, I'm going on the record saying that I want MCPS to show us its achievement data broken out by black immigrant and native students. I do not believe that it would be complicated or expensive to present data in this way. Although, I’m sure MCPS officials would tell me or anyone asking for achievement data presented this way that it will cost a zillion dollars to perform the work. But my guess is they’d say this because they probably are afraid of what they might actually find (which is kind of odd since the current superintendent of schools says openly that we should always be curious and ask lots of questions.)
Let me leave readers with why I think the issue is important.
By understanding this issue better, we might discover that current academic achievement gaps between black and white students really are not actually what we think they are. Now, this is one of those good news-bad news situations. But I think it is one we should tolerate. The good news is we might demonstrate that MCPS benefits a fairly substantial population of black students in ways we had not understood previously: black immigrant students who excel. Who does not want to know this?
And while the bad news certainly might upset some (e.g., the achievement gaps between native blacks and whites is probably substantially larger), it still, in my opinion, helps more than it harms. It helps because with more and better information, we could better focus existing resources. Knowing more allows MCPS to spend resources wiser. Instead of throwing things and programs at all black students, wouldn’t it be better to target smaller populations that actually need more assistance, even if that means singling out our black native students? I think the answer is a clear yes.