Is Ebonics The Answer? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Is Ebonics the answer to help black students with their academic performances? InOakland, 71 percent of students in special-education classes are black. They havethe lowest grade-point average of any group. Black students' deficiency in verbalskills and self-esteem is because of the lack of respect given to their slang languageknown as "Ebonics," say school officials. Oakland's Board of Educationproposes to offer Ebonics as a second language in their schools, where 53 percentof the students are black. This has made many people upset and angry, includingme.

Such a move would segregate black children and would set lowerstandards for the most challenged. Ebonics is not a language. It is a mixture ofa dialect and slang. Both dialect and slang help our language grow, and there isnothing wrong with that, but slang and dialect have no place in the workplace orthe classroom. As a result, children would not be able to advance educationallyor professionally in a world that does not recognize Ebonics.

Oakland'sBoard of Education believes that recognizing Ebonics will instill self-esteem instudents and will therefore boost academic excellence. But self-esteem is gained fromachievement, not flattery. Accepting Ebonics tells students that it is all rightto accept lower standards. "I understand the attempt to reach out to thesechildren, but this is an unacceptable surrender, border-lining disgrace,"said the Rev. Jesse Jackson. "It's teaching down to ourchildren."

Children need to be taught that they should set highstandards. Don't cheat future generations by expecting less of them than wasexpected of past generations. Ebonics is not the answer to helping black kidsachieve academic greatness. It hurts rather than helps them.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

sprinkshine said...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 1:22 am
I agree with you, and it's strange that they would offer slang as a language. Those schools should offer spanish and french, just like all the other schools. It would be mad to learn from the urban dictionary.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback