The Associated Press
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio - Less parent involvement got a lot of the blame for the failure of black students to perform as well as whites in this upscale Cleveland suburb, a new study said.
In his new book, Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement, researcher John Ogbu concluded that, unlike many white parents, many black parents do not stress homework, attend teacher conferences or encourage advanced-placement classes.
Ogbu also blamed mistrust of schools by blacks, discrimination, lower teacher expectations of black students and a lack of black role models who have excelled academically.
In response, Claude Steele, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, said such anecdotal information can be useful for illustrating problems but should not be used to draw sweeping conclusions.
The study was done at the invitation of black parents who wanted to know why more white students than black students enrolled in advanced-placement classes and went on to college.
Shaker Heights, a community of Tudor-style homes and wide boulevards, has about 32,000 residents and a 5,600-student public school district. The district is about 51 percent black, and about 35 percent of the school staff is made up of minorities.
Ogbu's book suggested that Shaker Heights schools hold a community forum to discuss getting parents more active in the schools.
"At school, parents' participation or involvement was dismal," Ogbu wrote. "We wish to emphasize that it was not just working-class parents who did not participate enough in the education of their children at school. Middle-class and professional parents likewise did not."
Ogbu is a Nigerian immigrant and an anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
The district paid him $15,783, of which $14,000 was for consulting fees and the remainder for expenses.
Ogbu spent several months studying the schools, students and parents.
He and his assistant researcher mingled with teachers, black parents and students.
At times, he interviewed students in their homes.
Ogbu found that many black students and parents distrusted the school district because it is controlled by white officials.
Lawsuit says Ky. diocese covered up for priests
Ky. teachers rally to protect funding
Developer planning Mason mall site
Soldiers heading to war keep genes on active duty
IN THE TRISTATE
Tristate doesn't seem too terrified
Board votes to change administrator's contract
Saturday's a school day
Recreation tiff prompts call for new ethics rule
Suit against Enquirer dismissed
Suit over superintendent selection dismissed
Obituary: Albert Brooks
Tristate A.M. Report
RADEL: Morgan trumps Marge
PULFER: Horse auction
HOWARD: Some Good News
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
St. Thomas mourns loss of student
I-75/Fox interchange priorities are listed
Teens get tougher sentence
Disease steals breath, dreams
Finke moves to Lakota
Lebanon leaders get pay raise
Milford asks voters for school levy again in May
Trustees postpone traffic study of Hamilton-Mason
Ah, the palms of Miami, swaying in Ohio's winter wind
Trustees divided over Liberty Twp. takeover
Hummer Memorial Park wins award from state
House defies Taft on budget
House approves taxes-free budget fix
Body-double murder plot gets Ohio woman 20 years
Concealed weapons charge thrown out
Bills to try again for lower DUI limit
No last words as killer executed
State librarian saved Lincoln's life
In upscale suburb, parents of black students less involved
Buyer protection posed
Forum ponders how to end homelessness
Patton case hits grand jury
Remark on radio jeopardizes grant
House panel weighs medical malpractice fix
Priest's journal suggests church knew of abuse
Lucas on anti-terror panel
House panel approves bill to prohibit cloning