While Black families have become one of the fastest-growing homeschooling populations, a new study suggests that homeschooling could be significantly beneficial for Black students.
A study conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute found that many Black homeschooled children are earning test scores higher than their white counterparts at public schools.
Black parents have listed numerous reasons for deciding to homeschool their children but perhaps the most prevalent of them all is the desire to pull their children out of environments that are not welcoming to Black youth.
A disturbingly high number of Black children are subjected to numerous forms of racial discrimination and hostility in school that can make the environment unpleasant and detrimental to learning. Decades of statistics have supported that conclusion.
The NHERI’s latest study confirms that Black parents should consider homeschooling as a viable option.
“The Black homeschool children’s high achievement test scores were remarkable,” Dr. Brian Ray, president of NHERI, noted in a press release. “Parents without teaching certificates helping their children from a traditionally low-achieving minority group excel this way should cause all educators and social advocacy groups to take special note.”
In reading, math and language achievement tests, Black homeschooled students were meeting or surpassing the median test scores for all students across the nation.
“They scored at or above the 50th percentile in reading (68th), language (56th), math (50th), and core (i.e., a combination of reading, language, and math; 58th) subtests,” the study revealed. “By definition the 50th percentile is the mean for all students (of all ethnicities/races) nationwide in institutional public schools.”
The study also confirmed that many homeschooled Black children earned scores that far exceeded that of their Black peers in public schools.
“Comparing Black homeschool students to Black public school students yields notable findings,” the press release noted. “While controlling for gender of student and family socioeconomic status, being homeschooled had an effect size in reading scores of about 42 percentile points higher than if public schooled.”
The improvements were also notable in math and language scores.
Home schooled Black students earned scores that were 26 percentile points and 23 percentile points higher than their peers in public schools in language and math, respectively.
The study also revealed other popular reasons Black parents gave for pulling their children out of public schools and turning to home schooling instead.
In addition to wanting to shield their children from racial profiling and discrimination, parents added that they wanted to provide religious instruction or felt like a customized education was simply in their child’s best interest.
For now, Dr. Ray is pondering what exactly the findings will mean for Black students moving forward.
“I wonder how teachers unions, African American advocacy groups, certified teachers, public school administrators, and professors of education will look at these findings,” Dr. Ray added. “Will they start encouraging Black families to homeschool?”
In addition to proving just how effective and beneficial homeschooling can be, perhaps the study will draw more attention to the dire need to reform public school efforts for Black children as well.
As much as the stellar test scores earned by homeschooled Black children is something to celebrate, it’s hard to ignore the fact that parents with no teaching certificate have been able to provide better educations for their children than the trained professionals that other parents have trusted with their child’s education.
It’s only fair that the working parents who don’t have the time to homeschool their children also have a viable option to give their kids the type of education that will better prepare them to excel beyond the classroom.