Chris Geden, Community Outreach Director, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri
I recently had the opportunity to attend the twenty–sixth annual Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, INC. Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The theme of the Conference was Re-Weaving the Fabric of Family and Community to Close the Achievement Gaps for Our Children.
I have been to many conferences in my career. Some have focused on youth and some on community but I had never been to one like this that had a laser like focus on finding a solution to the problem of inadequate education for MO African American children. It goes without saying that right now there is a huge gap between the academic performance of our youth of color and their white counterparts. I have heard this several times over the years and have seen the statistics and the data. I have also seen the disparity in person in my time in schools all over the St. Louis Metro Region.
While talking about race and class is never any easy conversation to have, the reality of the situation is that we must have these conversations. Yes, there will be some discomfort but for the sake of our children we need to all be at the table with viable options for our youth.For this reason, I commend the Missouri Black Caucus for bringing together leaders from all over the state to have the conversation and begin finding solutions.
In an effort to continue this conversation, I am going to share some websites that will highlight just how critical closing the achievement gap really is.