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Study: Black Parents Report Better Outcomes with More Black Teachers at School

Over 90% of Black parents want more opportunities to be involved in their children’s education and want more input into education laws, according to a study by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

UNCF recently surveyed 1,200 low- to moderate-income Black parents, which resulted in a report on the perspectives of African American parents on key issues in education.

Dr. Meredith AndersonDr. Meredith AndersonDr. Meredith Anderson, director of K-12 Research for the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, authored the UNCF report, titled "Hear Us, Believe Us: Centering African American Parent Voices in K-12 Education.” It offers an analysis of the experiences, challenges, and aspirations of African American parents in relation to such topics as race, college readiness, and parental engagement.

A key finding in the study was that Black parents want to see more Black leaders in education. About 70% of African American parents and caregivers said they believe the involvement of African American leaders and organizations will make school improvement efforts more effective.

“Across several indicators in the study, Black parents reported better experiences when their child attended schools with more Black teachers,” said Anderson. “While the research abounds on the positive effects of Black teachers on students, this report emphasizes the parent voice in this important scholarship. This report substantiates what we have known for decades: Black teachers matter.”

Black parents also reported higher education aspirations for their child and lower instances of school suspensions when there are more Black teachers at their child’s school.

Safety was a top concern, according to survey responses; 80% of African American parents ranked safety as the most important factor, followed by student achievement (at 61%) such as a school’s graduation rates, and support for students with disabilities (at 52%).

Other key findings are that 84% of Black parents believe it is important for their child to attend and graduate college — over 80% check their child’s homework and speak to their child’s teacher on a regular basis. Further, 93% of Black parents say they want more opportunities to be involved in their child’s education and input into education laws.

The UNCF report includes a series of recommendations aimed at addressing the concerns and aspirations of African American parents. The recommendations include investing more in Black teachers and making intentional efforts to expose students to higher education opportunities.

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