Greece, Rome, Mali?

Hans Bader’s daughter is learning world history — the politically correct version — in third grade, he writes on Liberty Unyielding.  Our World Far and Wide, by Five Ponds Press, lists three great civilizations: Greece, Rome and Mali.

Timbuktu was the capital of the Empire of Mali.

Timbuktu was the capital of the Empire of Mali.

In black Africa, “Mali was far less significant than ancient Ethiopia (sometimes called the ‘cradle of mankind‘),” writes Bader.

Ancient Egypt was one of the world’s great civilizations — and some pharoahs were black, Bader writes. So why feature the short-lived empire of Mali?

The book also profiles seven great Americans: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez.

Black immigrants’ kids do well in school

The children of black immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America are well-prepared for school and well-behaved in the classroom, compared to their native-born black classmates and children born to Hispanic immigrants, concludes a University of North Carolina study released by the Migration Policy Institute.

Black immigrant parents are likely to be married, educated, employed and proficient in English, notes Education Week.

. . . mothers are also less likely to have abused drugs or alcohol during pregnancy and more likely to have breastfed, all of which lead to better health outcomes for young children, the report says.

Black immigrant parents also report strong support for education and were more likely to enroll their children in center-based care during the preschool years.

More than half of black immigrant children come from low-income families, the study found. Apparently, strong parents can ensure that poverty isn’t destiny.

A World with No Math

A World with No Math is a promo for Save the Children’s CrowdRise fundraising campaign to fund math education in Africa and Asia. Quite a few Americans also are living in a world without math.

Immigrant blacks outperform natives

Africans outperform African-Americans in Seattle schools: Even the children of destitute Somali refugees do better.

The district compared blacks who speak English at home with those who speak other languages at home but aren’t considered English Language Learners.

Amharic-speaking students from Ethiopia scored the highest, nearly reaching the district average in reading. Somalis did worse than other African immigrants, but much better than English-only blacks.

• Only 36 percent of black students who speak English at home passed their grade’s math test, while 47 percent of Somali-speaking students passed. Other black ethnic groups did even better, although still lower than the district average of 70 percent.

• In reading, 56 percent of black students who speak English passed, while 67 percent of Somali-speaking students passed. Again, other black ethnic groups did better, though still lower than the district average of 78 percent.

Black immigrants attend college at a much higher rate than U.S.-born blacks or whites, concluded a John Hopkins study in 2009. The immigrants were educated, successful people in their home countries, researchers said.

However, that’s not true of the very poor Somalis who found refuge in Seattle.

Seattle School Board member Betty Patu, who has worked for decades with community groups serving students of color, said she has noticed that all immigrant families, regardless of socioeconomic status, place high value on education.

“Their motivation is different,” she said. “When you leave your country, you come here to do something. You don’t come here just to sit around and do nothing.”

In short, it’s the culture, stupid.

However, Marty McLaren, a board member and former teacher, blames “a culture of low expectations . . .  dating back to the days of slavery” for American blacks’ poor performance. Faced with institutionalized racism, students give up, she said.



The trouble with debt-to-degree

The debt-to-degree ratio — how much students borrow per credential earned — favors selective colleges that enroll affluent, academically prepared students; colleges that serve low-income students look bad.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  At a Kansas college, artists from Ghana taught Ashanti weaving, pottery, bead-making and bronze-casting.