This fall, I dropped my twins off at two separate colleges. Like most parents, I had a multitude of emotions. On the top of the list was, “Are they ready for college-level coursework?” I would soon find out.
They both have gone through their share of adjustments to college life. Like most college freshman, they had paid their visits to the math and writing labs, but both of my twins said they found college work similar to their high school level work. It became clear to them early on that many students were not prepared for college-level work.
My son had a paper to write about a problem in his home community. He decided to write about the lack of quality education options for poor and minority children. When he turned in his rough draft, he was accused of recycling his paper and was told his facts were incorrect. His instructor told him access to quality education in Indiana was a problem that had already been solved.
The mother in me told my son maybe he should choose another problem because his instructor obviously didn’t approve of the one he chose, but he refused. He said, “This is a problem in my community. I’m in college watching so many of my classmates struggle, and some are leaving at the end of the semester mostly because they just weren’t prepared.”
Recently, Indiana school grades were released. There are still far too many schools in our urban communities who are failing to provide a quality education to our poor and minority students. The lack of access to quality education for poor and minority students in Indianapolis, and across the state and country, is still very much a problem.
Through a lot of sacrifices and schedule adjustments, I was able to provide my children with an education that prepared them for post-secondary education. There are still many families who don’t have access to quality education for many reasons from cost to transportation. We have to continue to fight for our children; we must refuse to accept failure as the norm in our communities. I’m proud of my son for writing about this issue, even if his professor mistakenly believes the problem has been solved.