All Articles Tagged "african-american students"
(Huffington Post) — Amid the intense debates about how much progress the nation has made in raising student achievement and whether federal investments in education have produced results, one important trend tends to be overlooked — namely, the notable gains made by African American and Latino students in reading and math achievement since 1971. According to long-term trend data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the most credible national measure of changes in achievement over the past four decades, progress varies by age group for students overall.
Between the early 1970s and 2008, 9-year-olds have made sizable gains in both math and reading — increases of 24 points in math and 12 points in reading on the NAEP scale of 0-500. Thirteen-year-olds have made smaller, though still significant, gains of 15 points in math and 5 points in reading. For 17-year-olds, however, changes in achievement have been so small as to be insignificant — 2 points in math and 1 point in reading. But the record looks entirely different and much more positive when long-term NAEP trend data is broken out by racial/ethnic group. White, African American, and Latino students — the three racial/ethnic groups included in the long-term NAEP — have made greater achievement gains than the averages for students overall, in both reading and math and for all three tested age groups.
Like many schools across the nation, lunch price increases and teacher layoffs are some of the issues that plague the Houston Independent School District (HISD). But the district’s minority students face an additional challenge—they are quickly and incorrectly placed in special education classes.
It’s an issue that Terry Grier, the HISD superintendent, knew would be a major concern since his first day on the job, he told Politic365.
Research conducted in the fall of 2010 by Grier’s administration, as well as an accompanying audit by Boston firm Thomas Hehir and Associates, compared HISD statistics with other school districts. The results were clear: there are 16,386 students classified as special education in HISD schools. Of this number, African American students are the overwhelming majority.
Grier believes that the district is also failing in properly assisting its Hispanic students. For instance, they are often ill-prepared in English classes during the early elementary years. As they face difficulties in middle and high school grades, these students must also fight against labels of English language deficiency and special education.
Placing substantial amounts of children in special education classes is a problem that has long haunted the minority community. Although the school system is quick to label minority children, they provide a slow response and approach to reversing their mistake.
By Christina Burton
Low-income children, particularly black and Hispanic kids, are suffering the most from a cliff-like decline in childhood arts education.
In a recent government study, more than 50 percent of young black adults surveyed in 1982 said they received a childhood arts education compared to 26 percent in 2008, a 49 percent drop and the largest among all race groups. Among whites, childhood arts education dropped only 5 percent in the same time period.
The findings, released by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), give merit to the idea that budget cuts affecting arts programs are heavily concentrated in black and Hispanic school districts. In Los Angeles County, where about 1 in 10 people are black and half the residents are Hispanic, $18 million in state budget cuts are causing public schools to fire teachers, stop ordering books and increase class sizes, especially in poorer school districts.
Statewide funding for art and music classes have also been cut.
Despite the disproportionate impact of public education cutbacks on black and Hispanic children at the local, state and national level, George Simpson, principal of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and an African-American, says that minority children have not been discouraged from getting interested in “what is familiar to them.”
Lisa Rentz, an arts teacher in Beaufort, S.C., teaches in three schools that are 96 percent black. These schools were specifically chosen for an “arts integration” federal grant that increased the amount of arts activities and projects within the school system to increase engagement and academic achievement.
“Availability of arts education in schools and arts opportunities– open auditions, calls for art shows, inexpensive classes – are the key to interest,” Rentz said. “It’s kind of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation. With kids, especially, if there’s no art to make, no stage for them, then they will quickly find less culturally beautiful activities to fill their time and thoughts.”
“The truth is that there is excitement about what they know,” Simpson said. “Youth culture of all ethnicities is ever attuned to popular arts—[including] music—the dominant art form—and some dance, graphic arts, film [and] media.”
LACHSA, a free public school founded in 1985, is currently building a brand new facility. Six hundred students from across Los Angeles County—some who travel more than 30 miles— attend LACHSA each day. Its ratio of white to black students is five to one.
The school, like other arts programs and organizations nationwide, is largely funded by their own fundraising efforts. LACHSA lost about $1 million in state funding since the 2008-2009 school year. The Genesee Center for Arts and Education in Rochester, NY receives most of its funding from local and regional foundations, but corporate funding has shifted to the shallow end of the pool.
Two similar, and very telling, stories about Black students and how reverse integration would be beneficial to their academic achievement were published this week. Recently, the Oakland school district in California released data on the achievement of its black male students as part of its African-American male achievement initiative. The data showed a population which is missing more than 18 days of school on average and lagging gravely behind white males in English and Math. What was most interesting about this report, published in San Jose Mercury News for one, is the remarks left by a few of the commenters, which included:
Gee Yu: “The difference with the schools then and now is that we had black teachers in our schools. … We hired local teachers from the local colleges who had roots in the community…”
Football Watcher: “Put more African-American men in the classroom as teachers! In my 11 years, I almost never had any problem with African-American boys. I was an example of what they could be if they put their minds to it. We would have conversations at lunch and in between classes where I asked real questions like, “What do you want to do after you graduate (and not the song and dance about UC and A-G requirements)?”
On a different side of the country, Angela Tilghman, an instructional coach at McCaskey East High School in Pennsylvania, had similar ideas as the commenters and put her researched plans into action by creating a homeroom, segregated by race and gender, in order to better mentor black female students and black male students at her school. The move has proved to be controversial with CNN reporting on the topic with the headline “School separating kids by race.”
As Tilghma discussed, her idea came into being because of the research she had discovered, which highlighted how this type of segregated learning environment would be conducive to inspiring participants. It has long been recognized in many education circles that the integration of schools following Brown v. Board of Education in the 1950s had a negative impact on the education achievements of Black students. And plenty of research still show that students learn better in an environment of their peers, which is led by a role model of the same race.
Pedro Noguera, professor of teaching and learning at New York University, told CNN that he was weary about the experiment’s ultimate impact. “Sometimes when we separate students in this way, we inadvertently reinforce stereotypes and may in fact stigmatize children by suggesting that there’s something wrong with them and therefore they need extra help,” he said.
Disappointingly, the real solutions that arise to address Black learning are always challenged and ceased by the claim of racism. The reality is that the needs of Black students are far different from the needs of White students, who rarely deal with the issue of being a minority in a classroom. Far from complaining, the instructors and principal at McCaskey East took matters into their own hands but for that, they’ll continue to get a lot of flack despite any improvements.
(Blackweb2.0)–According to a recent study done by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). On Monday, The Commission released its annual briefing report on The Educational Effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)and Encouraging Minority Students to Pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers. The study found that students at historically black colleges and universities reported higher levels of academic involvement in their studies and in faculty research projects than black students at non-HBCUs.
(NY Times) — For years, this city had one of the worst school systems in the country. Fewer than half its students graduated, enrollment had fallen precipitously and proficiency levels were far below the national average. n 2007, the school board hired Andres Alonso, a Cuban immigrant with a Harvard degree and strong views on how to change things. In three years, he pushed through a sweeping reorganization of the school system, closing failing schools, slashing the central office staff by a third and replacing three-quarters of all school principals.Not everyone likes Dr. Alonso’s methods, and many find that his brassy self-confidence can grate. But few are arguing with his results. Since he was hired, the dropout rate has fallen by half, more students are graduating and for the first time in many years, the system has gained students instead of losing them. For Baltimore, such bragging rights are rare, given that it has lost more than a third of its population since the 1960s, as the middle class — both white and black — has fled to wealthier, safer suburbs.
(New York Times) — An achievement gap separating black from white students has long been documented — a social divide extremely vexing to policy makers and the target of one blast of school reform after another. But a new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known. Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.
The NBA and Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. are starting a scholarship program that will provide more than $350,000 in aid to students from Hispanic and African-American communities.
NBA Commissioner David Stern and Bacardi president and CEO John Esposito announced the launch of the “Gold Standard Scholarship Program” on Wednesday during an event at the NBA Store.
The program, conducted in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, will award $10,000 to 24 minority students. Four national scholarship recipients will be eligible for an additional $30,000 each.
Applications for the program, open to eligible candidates through January 2011, can be found at NBA.com/GoldStandard.
(Grio) — Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced TEACH, a national campaign to increase the number of African-American and Latino males being prepared as PK-12 classroom teachers. Nearly 40 percent of public school students are African-American or Latino. In many school districts this statistic hovers above 90 percent. Yet, less than 8 percent of the nation’s teachers are African-American and fewer than 4 percent are Hispanic/Latino. In schools inside central cities, 73 percent of teachers are white. In urban schools outside of central cities, 91 percent of public school teachers are white.
(Black Web 2.0) — We all heard rapper Trick Daddy declare his love for the kids, but maybe he should take a page out of T.I.’s book. The King of the South recently gifted all the young attendees of his King Camp with a new laptop to help them in their academic endeavors. “This is not a gift,” says the Atlanta rapper, “this is a reward. There’s a difference. It’s a reward for all your hard work, your dedication, and your resilience.”