By Dr. Rosie Milligan
I want to start by expressing my weariness regarding the continuous reports on the state of Black America. It seems that year after year, these reports surface without any discernible progress from the previous ones. Additionally, I find myself perplexed by the frequent mention of “Black and Brown” when discussing issues affecting Black America in the context of Black Los Angeles. Are these references an acknowledgment of the distinction between these two groups and their unique needs? Furthermore, I believe it’s essential to recognize that a significant portion of Black children entering our schools are products of the foster care system. These children have specific educational needs that must not be overlooked.
If we genuinely want to address the challenges facing Black individuals, let’s focus on doing precisely that, rather than attempting to demonstrate inclusivity. The reality is that we often feel excluded rather than included. It’s crucial not to neglect the distinct educational requirements of children who have been separated from their parents and families. Schools readily accommodate students who require English as a second language or those with disabilities. Research proves that African American students lag significantly in English literacy, math and technology. So, why do we not see a comprehensive plan in place to rectify the significant disparities in English literacy, mathematics, and technology literacy among African American students? I pose the question: Is it acceptable for African American students to be left behind, and do they truly fit within the “No child left behind” slogan? Have we not learned from the 9/11 tragedy that when one suffers, we all suffer? African American students must be part of the inclusive educational effort, and if not, why not, and if not now, then when? If a Black child has a broken leg and requires a crutch, should we provide one to other children who do not have broken legs?
Currently, illiteracy is one of the most pressing challenges faced by African American adults and children alike. We are living in an era heavily influenced by technological advancements, with a shift away from face-to-face interactions toward written communication, such as letters, faxes, texting, and emails. It is imperative that we address illiteracy among Black children. As we enter the technological age, the educational deficiencies among Black children pose a significant barrier to a prosperous future for African American students. While the nation emphasizes STEM education, it’s clear that literacy serves as the foundational skill necessary for success in STEM programs and for the future workforce.
My takeaway from the recent Townhall meeting is that the Los Angeles Board of Education requires an immediate and thorough overhaul, from top to bottom. In fact, one could argue that they should be sued and held accountable for producing educationally disadvantaged outcomes. After all, our taxes contribute to their salaries, and as employers, we would not tolerate unproductive employees. Perhaps it’s time to explore the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver improved educational outcomes for our children.
Dr. Rosie Milligan is a Senior Estate Planner, Business Consultant/Coach, CEO of Professional Business Management/Consulting Services, Founder of My Tech Academy, and Founder of Black Writers On Tour. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website, Drrosie.com, or at 323-750-3592.