Tag Archives: Disparity

Center for American Progress report: Teaching force lacks diversity and student achievement threatened

5 May

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.
Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress.
“This is a problem for students, schools, and the public at large. Teachers of color serve as role models for students, giving them a clear and concrete sense of what diversity in education–and in our society–looks like,” the report’s authors write. “A recent review of empirical studies also shows that students of color do better on a variety of academic outcomes if they’re taught by teachers of color.”
Using data from the 2008 Schools and Staffing Survey, the most recent data available, researchers found that more than 20 states have gaps of 25 percentage points or more between the diversity of their teachers and students.
California yielded the largest discrepancy of 43 percentage points, with 72 percent minority students compared with 29 percent minority teachers. Nevada and Illinois had the second and third largest gaps, of 41 and 35 percentage points, respectively.
In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce
The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):
• In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.
• According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.
• Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff.
Additional trends reflecting the dispersion of diverse teachers include:
• The percentage of diverse teachers does not approximate the percentage of diverse students in any state with a large population of diverse residents except Hawaii. The District of Columbia is also an exception.
• The larger the percentage of diverse students, the greater the disparity with the percentage of diverse teachers.
• Proportional representation of diverse teachers is closest in large urban school districts.
• Diverse teachers tend to teach in schools that have large numbers of students from their own ethnic groups.
• Diverse teachers are about equally represented in elementary and secondary schools. In addition, statistical projections show that while the percentage of diverse students in public schools is expected to increase, the percentage of diverse teachers is not expected to rise unless the nation and states take action.
The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that
o Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.
o Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.
o Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.
Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.

Niraj Chokshi reported in the Washington Post article, Map: The student-teacher diversity gap is huge—and widening:
Teachers and students are increasingly looking less like each other.

The divide between the share of teachers of color and the share of students of color grew by 3 percentage points over as many years, according to a new report from the liberal Center for American Progress.
Students of color make up almost half of the public school population, but teachers of color make up just 18 percent of that population nationwide. And the disparity is even larger in 36 states. It’s largest in California where 73 percent of students are nonwhite while just 29 percent of teachers are nonwhite…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/05/05/map-the-student-teacher-diversity-gap-is-huge-and-widening/

Here is the press release from the Center for American Progress:

RELEASE: U.S. Teacher Workforce Lacks Diversity, Puts Student Achievement at Risk
Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285
Email: kpeters@americanprogress.org
Washington, D.C. — While America’s public schools are becoming increasingly more diverse, a new report released by the Center for American Progress finds that nearly every state is experiencing a large and growing teacher diversity gap, or a significant difference between the number of students of color and teachers of color.
The report released today revisits a similar Center for American Progress study from 2011. When the original report was released, students of color made up more than 40 percent of the school age-population, while teachers of color were only 17 percent of the teaching force. The report released today shows that since 2011, the gap between teachers and students of color has continued to grow. Over the past three years, the demographic divide between teachers and students of color has increased by 3 percentage points, and today, students of color make up almost half of the public school population.
“The student population of America’s schools may look like a melting pot, but our teacher workforce looks like it wandered out of the 1950s. It’s overwhelmingly white,” said
Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of the report ”We know from research that students of color do better academically if they are taught by teachers of color. We also know that all students need role models in their schools that represent our diverse society. Parents, teachers, and policymakers should be alarmed by the findings and demand that states and districts take action to address this growing problem.
The report, “Teacher Diversity Revisited,” includes state-by-state data documenting the teacher diversity gap across the nation. An analysis of the data reveals the following key findings:
 Almost every state has a significant diversity gap. In California, 73 percent of students are kids of color, but only about 29 percent are teachers of color. Maryland has the same problem, although the numbers are a bit better: In the Old Line State, more than 55 percent of students are kids of color, while just around 17 percent are teachers of color.
 The Hispanic teacher population has larger demographic gaps relative to students. In Nevada, for instance, just 9 percent of teachers were Hispanic. In contrast, the state’s student body was 39 percent Hispanic.
 Diversity gaps are large within districts. For the first time, we examined district-level data in California, Florida, and Massachusetts. These three states account for 20 percent of all students in the United States, and it turns out that the gaps within districts are often larger than those within states.
A companion report also released today by CAP and Progress 2050 describes how the shortcomings of today’s education system and the underachievement of many of today’s students of color shrink the future supply of the teachers of color. The report, “America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color,” finds that fundamental constraints limit the potential supply of highly effective teachers of color. Students of color have significantly lower college enrollment rates than do white students. In addition, a relatively small number of students of color enroll in teacher education programs each year. Finally, teacher trainees who are members of communities of color often score lower on licensure exams that serve as passports to teaching careers.
Furthermore, the report reveals that teachers of color leave the profession at a much higher rate than their non-Hispanic white peers. Those who leave mention a perceived lack of respect for teaching as a profession, lagging salary levels, and difficult working conditions.
Despite the barriers in the educator pipeline, there is great opportunity ahead to make improvements. The report includes a set of policy recommendations for the federal government and for states and local school districts. Enlarging the pool of talented, well-educated teachers of color who are effective in improving student achievement in our schools will require aggressive and targeted recruitment and appropriate support. It will demand a steadfast determination to remove the barriers in the educator pipeline that limit and discourage strong candidates for the teaching profession. At the same time, policies must be in place to offer clear and meaningful monetary incentives, support, and professional development to ensure that the best and brightest students of color enter into teaching and succeed once in the profession.
Read the reports:
Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State-by-State Analysis, by Ulrich Boser http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/05/04/88962/teacher-diversity-revisited/
America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color, by Farah Z. Ahmad and Ulrich Boser http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2014/05/04/88960/americas-leaky-pipeline-for-teachers-of-color/

Which brings us back to diversity in the teacher corps. The Center for American Progress report, Teacher Diversity Matters A State-by-State Analysis of Teachers of Color, which was highlighted in the Huffington Post article makes the following recommendations:

There have been some successful initiatives to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce over the years. The successful characteristics of these programs are detailed in an accompanying study released with this paper by Saba Bireda and Robin Chait titled “Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce.”10
Briefly, though, those recommendations include:
• Increasing federal oversight of and increased accountability for teacher preparation programs
• Creating statewide initiatives to fund teacher preparation programs aimed at low-income and minority teachers
• Strengthening federal financial aid programs for low-income students entering the teaching field
• Reducing the cost of becoming a teacher by creating more avenues to enter the field and increasing the number of qualified credentialing organizations
• Strengthening state-sponsored and nonprofit teacher recruitment and training organizations by increasing standards for admission, using best practices to recruit high-achieving minority students, and forming strong relationships with districts to ensure recruitment needs are met http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/11/pdf/teacher_diversity.pdf

The mantra is the system is broke and we, as a society, cannot afford the cost of implementing these recommendations. The reality is, we as a society, cannot afford the long-term cost of not implementing these recommendations.

Related:
Is there a ‘model minority’ ?? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Urban Teacher Residencies: A Space for Hybrid Roles for Teachers http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_ahead/2011/10/urban_teacher_residencies

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

The Civil Rights Project report: Segregation in education

19 Sep

In 3rd world America: The link between poverty and education, moi said:

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this state, we are the next third world country.

The Casey Foundation reports in 2011 Kids Count Data Book about the well-being of children. Readers can create a custom profile for each state using the data center, which describe in detail how children in each state are doing. Two articles detail why this society must be focused on job creation and the expansion and preservation of the middle class. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

There are different types of segregation. People can be segregated on the basis of race, class, and income.

Motoko Rich writes in the New York Times article, Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds:

The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970.

Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data.

The report showed that segregation is not limited to race: blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children.

Across the country, 43 percent of Latinos and 38 percent of blacks attend schools where fewer than 10 percent of their classmates are white, according to the report, released on Wednesday by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles.

And more than one in seven black and Latino students attend schools where fewer than 1 percent of their classmates are white, according to the group’s analysis of enrollment data from 2009-2010, the latest year for which federal statistics are available.

Segregation of Latino students is most pronounced in California, New York and Texas. The most segregated cities for blacks include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington.

Extreme segregation is becoming more common,” said Gary Orfield, an author of the report who is co-director of the Civil Rights Project.

The overlap between schools with high minority populations and those with high levels of poverty was significant. According to the report, the typical black or Latino student attends a school where almost two out of every three classmates come from low-income families. Mr. Orfield said that schools with mostly minority and poor students were likely to have fewer resources, less assertive parent groups and less experienced teachers.

The issue of segregation hovers over many discussions about the future of education. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/education/segregation-prominent-in-schools-study-finds.html?_r=1&hpw

Here is the press release for E Pluribus…Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students:

E Pluribus…Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students

Authors: Gary Orfield, John Kucsera, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley

Date Published: September 19, 2012

This report suggests a number of specific ways to reverse the trends toward deepening resegregation and educational inequalities.

Related Documents

Editor’s Note: This new research by the Civil Rights Project includes an extensive report on national trends, “E Pluribus… Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students,” as well as two smaller regional reports, “The Western States: Profound Diversity but Severe Segregation for Latino Students,” and “Southern Slippage: Growing School Segregation in the Most Desegregated Region of the Country.”

Executive Summary

This report shows that segregation has increased seriously across the country for Latino students, who are attending more intensely segregated and impoverished schools than they have for generations.  The segregation increases have been the most dramatic in the West. The typical Latino student in the region attends a school where less than a quarter of their classmates are white; nearly two-thirds are other Latinos; and two-thirds are poor. California, New York and Texas, all states that have been profoundly altered by immigration trends over the last half-century, are among the most segregated states for Latino students along multiple dimensions.

In spite of declining residential segregation for black families and large-scale movement to the suburbs in most parts of the country, school segregation remains very high for black students.  It is also double segregation by both race and poverty.  Nationwide, the typical black student is now in a school where almost two out of every three classmates (64%) are low-income, nearly double the level in schools of the typical white or Asian student (37% and 39%, respectively).  New York, Illinois, and Michigan consistently top the list of the most segregated states for black students.  Among the states with significant black enrollments, blacks are least likely to attend intensely segregated schools in Washington, Nebraska, and Kansas.

School resegregation for black students is increasing most dramatically in the South, where, after a period of intense resistance, strong action was taken to integrate black and white students.  Black students across the country experienced gains in school desegregation from the l960s to the late l980s, a time in which racial achievement gaps also narrowed sharply.  These trends began to reverse after a 1991 Supreme Court decision made it easier for school districts and courts to dismantle desegregation plans. Most major plans have been eliminated for years now, despite increasingly powerful evidence on the importance of desegregated schools.

The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration, has taken no significant action to increase school integration or to help stabilize diverse schools as racial change occurs in urban and suburban housing markets and schools. Small positive steps in civil rights enforcement have been undermined by the Obama Administration’s strong pressure on states to expand charter schools – the most segregated sector of schools for black students. Though segregation is powerfully related to many dimensions of unequal education, neither candidate has discussed it in the current presidential race.

The consensus of nearly sixty years of social science research on the harms of school segregation is clear: separate remains extremely unequal. Schools of concentrated poverty and segregated minority schools are strongly related to an array of factors that limit educational opportunities and outcomes. These include less experienced and less qualified teachers, high levels of teacher turnover, less successful peer groups and inadequate facilities and learning materials.  There is also a mounting body of evidence indicating that desegregated schools are linked to important benefits for all children, including prejudice reduction, heightened civic engagement, more complex thinking and better learning outcomes in general.

In this report, we summarize the most rigorous research to date showing that segregated schools are systematically linked to unequal educational opportunities.  Using data from the National Center on Education Statistics, we explore how enrollment shifts and segregation trends are playing out nationally, as well as in regions, states and metropolitan areas.

This country, whose traditions and laws were built around a white, middle class society with a significant black minority, is now multiracial and poorer, with predominately nonwhite schools in our two largest regions, the West and the South. In the following report, we underscore the fact that simply sitting next to a white student does not guarantee better educational outcomes for students of color. Instead, the resources that are consistently linked to predominately white and/or wealthy schools help foster real and serious educational advantages over minority segregated settings.  For these reasons, it remains vital to explore and understand the extent to which other racial groups are exposed to white students.

This report suggests a number of specific ways to reverse the trends toward deepening resegregation and educational inequalities. Two related but smaller reports provide a special focus on the South and the West, the two most racially diverse regions in the country.

Major findings in the reports include:

U.S. Enrollment Growing Rapidly More Diverse

  • In 1970, nearly four out of every five students across the nation were white, but by 2009, just over half were white.
  • Latino enrollment has soared from one-twentieth of U.S. students in 1970 to nearly one-fourth (22.8%).  Latino students have become the dominant minority group in the Western half of the country.
  • White students account for just 52% of U.S. first graders, forecasting future change.

Double School Segregation by Race and Poverty

  • The typical black or Latino today attends school with almost double the share of low-income students in their schools than the typical white or Asian student.
  • In the early 1990s, the average Latino and black student attended a school where roughly a third of students were low income (as measured by free and reduced price lunch eligibility), but now attend schools where low income students account for nearly two-thirds of their classmates.
  • There is a very strong relationship between the percent of Latino students in a school and the percent of low income students. On a scale in which 1.0 would be a perfect relationship, the correlation is a high .71.  The same figure is lower, but still high, for black students (.53).  Many minority-segregated schools serve both black and Latino students.  The correlation between the combined percentages of these underserved two groups and the percent of poor children is a dismaying .85.

Racial Segregation Deepens for Black and Latino Students

  • In spite of the dramatic suburbanization of nonwhite families, 80% of Latino students and 74% of black students attend majority nonwhite schools (50-100% minority), and 43% of Latinos and 38% of blacks attend intensely segregated schools (those with only 0-10% of whites students) across the nation.
  • Fully 15% of black students, and 14% of Latino students, attend “apartheid schools” across the nation, where whites make up 0 to 1% of the enrollment.
  • Latino students in nearly every region have experienced steadily rising levels of concentration in intensely segregated minority settings. In the West, the share of Latino students in such settings has increased fourfold, from 12% in 1968 to 43% in 2009.
  • Eight of the 20 states reporting the highest numbers of students attending schools under apartheid conditions are located in the South or Border states, a significant retrenchment on civil rights progress.
  • The nation’s largest metropolitan areas report severe school racial concentration. Half of the black students in the Chicago metro, and one third of black students in New York, attend apartheid schools.
  • Latino students experience high levels of extreme segregation in the Los Angeles metro, where roughly 30% attend a school in which whites make up 1% or less of the enrollment.   


White Students Isolated with Other White Students; Black and Latino Students Have Little Contact with White Students

  • Though whites make up just over half of the nation’s enrollment, the typical white student attends a school where three-quarters of their peers are white.
  • White students account for about 64% of the total enrollment in the Northeast, but the typical black student attends a school with only 25% whites.
  • Exposure to white students for the average Latino student has decreased dramatically over the years for every Western state, particularly in California, where the average Latino student had 54.5% white peers in 1970 but only 16.5% in 2009.  

The Uneven Distribution of Racial Groups among Schools

  • The dissimilarity index, a measure of the degree to which students of any two groups are distributed randomly among schools within a larger geographical area, shows that much of the shifts outside the South are driven primarily by changing demographics, particularly the relative decline in the percent of white students and growth of the percent of Latino students. During the desegregation era in the South, desegregation plans more than offset the impact of changing demographics.  Now there are no such plans in most communities.
  • Nationally, though black-white residential dissimilarity had declined markedly, black-white school dissimilarity remains virtually unchanged as desegregation efforts are dissolved. In the South, black-white school dissimilarity has increased since 1990.
  • The most extreme levels of black-white school dissimilarity exist in the Chicago, New York, Detroit, Boston, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas.

These findings highlight the effects of inertia and indifference towards integration in U.S. schools since the l970s, as well as the Supreme Court’s reversal of desegregation policies. Success in creating diverse schools requires early and thoughtful action at all levels—within schools and school districts, local governments, civil rights groups, the media, state governments, and via federal policy in education, civil rights and housing.

In this report, we offer a number of recommendations for policymakers, school officials, local community members, parents, and others dealing with demographic transformation and the persisting segregation of public schools:

Creating Awareness

  • Local journalists should cover the relationships between segregation and unequal educational outcomes and realities, in addition to providing coverage of high quality, diverse schools.
  • Civil rights organizations and community organizations supporting school integration should study existing trends, observe and participate in boundary changes, school siting decisions and other key policies that make schools more segregated or more integrated.

Advocacy

  • Local fair housing organizations should monitor land use and zoning decisions, and advocate for low-income housing set asides in developing new communities attached to strong schools, as has been done in Montgomery County, just outside Washington, D.C.
  • Local educational organizations and neighborhood associations should vigorously promote diverse communities and schools as highly desirable places to live and learn; an essential step in breaking the momentum of flight and transition in diverse communities.

Legal Enforcement

  • The Justice Department and the Office for Civil Rights need to take enforcement actions under Title VI in some substantial school districts in order to revive federal policy sanctions for actions that either foster segregation or ignore responsibilities under desegregation plans.
  • Housing officials need to strengthen and enforce site selection policies for projects receiving federal direct funding or tax credit subsidies so that they support integrated schools rather than foster segregation.

Government Policies

  • The program of voluntary assistance for integration should be reenacted, building on the Obama Administration’s small and temporary Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans (TASAP) grant. The renewed program should add a special focus on diverse suburbs and gentrifying urban neighborhoods (which now normally fail to produce diverse schools).
  • At the state level, recent developments in Ohio offer important lessons in how to create and sustain policy around the issues of reducing racial isolation and promoting diverse schools, such as how to create district student assignment policies that foster diverse schools, and inter-district programs like city-suburban transfers and regional magnet schools.
  • At the regional level, the creation of regional magnets and regional pro-integration transfer programs, as is the case in Connecticut, could provide unique educational opportunities that would support voluntary integration. Providing funds for existing regional transfer programs such as METCO in the Boston area would be a positive step in the same direction.

Our political and educational leaders, who have passively accepted deepening school segregation, need to find some of the same courage that transformed our society in the mid-twentieth century. The challenges we face now are far less intense than what those earlier leaders had the strength to overcome. Many things can be done, at all levels of government and in thousands of communities, to move towards a new vision of educational and social equity. There is much to learn about how to create lasting and successful diverse schools that can shape a successful multiracial society. The time to begin is now.

To access the other reports in this series…

The Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles
8370 Math Sciences, Box 951521
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521
(310) 267-5562
crp@ucla.edu

In The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding, moi said:

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California

27 May

Absenteeism is a huge problem for many children who are not successful in school. In School Absenteeism: Absent from the classroom leads to absence from participation in this society, moi said:

Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/school-absenteeism-absent-from-the-classroom-leads-to-absence-from-participation-in-this-society/

Katy Murphy of the Oakland Tribune writes in the article, Report reveals challenges facing African American boys in Oakland school:

– A series of detailed reports released Tuesday by the Urban Strategies Council revealed some stark statistics on how black boys are faring in the Oakland school district and in some of its schools in particular.

After analyzing rates of chronic absenteeism, out-of-school suspension, grade-level retention and standardized test scores from 2010-11, researchers concluded that as early as elementary school, barely more than half of the district’s black boys were solidly on track to earn a high school diploma.

By middle school, using grades instead of test scores, that estimate had dropped to 33 percent.

Urban Strategies CEO Junious Williams said he hoped the analysis — which also includes schools with favorable statistics — will lead to real changes in the experience of black youths in the city’s public schools.

“People have considered these to be so intractable, the problems of inequitable outcomes, that we’ve all kind of gotten a free ticket on that one,” Williams said.

The disproportionately poor outcomes of Oakland’s African-American students — and in particular, its boys — has been a long-standing challenge in the school district. Superintendent Tony Smith in 2010 used private funding to create a small office, African American Male Achievement, to address them. The reports, produced in partnership with the Oakland school district, underscored the degree of the challenge.

One report found that 20 percent of Oakland’s black male students missed at least 10 percent of the school year, compared to 12 percent of all students. Another found that 33 percent of the district’s African-American middle school boys were suspended from school at least once in 2010-11.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_20681428/report-challenges-face-african-american-boys-oakland-schools?source=rss

Many urban areas are facing the problem of making sure African-American boys finish school.

Here are the demographics of Oakland, CA:

Race
One race

379573

95.02%

White

125013

31.29%

Black or African American

142460

35.66%

American Indian and Alaska Native

2655

0.66%

Asian

60851

15.23%

Asian indian

1753

0.44%

Chinese

31834

7.97%

Filipino

6407

1.6%

Japanese

2128

0.53%

Korean

1780

0.45%

Vietnamese

8657

2.17%

Other Asian

8292

2.08%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

2002

0.5%

Native Hawaiian

187

0.05%

Guamanian or Chamorro

115

0.03%

Samoan

363

0.09%

Other Pacific Islander

1337

0.33%

Some other race

46592

11.66%

Two or more races

19911

4.98%

Hispanic or Latino and race
Total Population

399484

100.00%

Hispanic or Latino(of any race)

87467

21.89%

Mexican

65094

16.29%

Puerto Rican

2325

0.58%

Cuban

581

0.15%

Other Hispanic or Latino

19467

4.87%

Not Hispanic or Latino

312017

78.11%

http://oaklandca.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm

Urban Strategies has information at their site about strategies for achievement:

The African American Male Achievement Initiative focuses on seven key goals that reflect the massive disparities faced by young Black males in Oakland. For an analysis of why these goals matter to our students read this post.

1. ACHIEVEMENT GAP

Goal statement: The disparity data for African American males in the city of Oakland will show a significant reduction in the gap between them and their White male peers.

Baseline Measures:

28% of African American male students were proficient or higher on the English Language Arts CST in 2009-10, compared to 78% of White male students (a 50 percentage-point gap).

30% of African American males were proficient or higher on the Math CST in 2009-10, compared to 76% of White males (a 46 percentage-point gap).

Proposed Targets:

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 90% of African American males are proficient or higher on the English Language Arts CST.

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 90% of African American male are proficient or higher on the Math CST.

By the end of the 2014-15 school year, the gap between African American and White males has been eliminated.

2. GRADUATION

Goal statement: By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, the graduation rate for African American males will be double what is it in June 2010.

Baseline Measure:

In June 2009, the graduation rate for African American males was 49%. The graduation rate equals the number of graduates divided by graduates plus dropouts in grades 9-12 (National Center for Education Statistics formula.)

Proposed Target:

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, the graduation rate for African American males will be 98%. The full alignment of OUSD graduation requirements with the A-G standards for the class of 2014-15 is likely to make it more difficult to reach this already ambitious target.

3. LITERACY

Goal statement: By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, the gap in fourth-grade literacy between African Ameican boys and others will not exist.

Baseline Measure:

In the 2009-10 school year, 42% of African American male 4th graders were proficient or higher on the English Language Arts CST, compared to 55% of OUSD 4th graders overall and 80% of White male students (gaps of 13 and 38 percentage points, respectively).

Proposed Target:

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 90% of African American male 4th graders are proficient or higher on English Language Arts CST.

By the end of the 2014-15 school year, the gap between African American male 4th graders and OUSD 4th graders overall and between African American males and White males has been eliminated.

4. SUSPENSION

Goal statement: Suspension rates of African American males will not show any significant disproportion.

Baseline Measure:

In the 2009-10 school year, 18% of African American male students were suspended once or more, compared to 8% of students district wide and 3% of White male students.

Proposed Target:

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, no more than 5% of African American male students will be suspended one or more times, assuming an overall district-wide goal of no more than 3% of students suspended once or more.

5. ATTENDANCE

Goal Statement: Chronic absenteeism (absence for 10% or more of school days) will be reduced by 75% for African American males.

Baseline Measure:

23% of African American male were chronically absent in 2009-10.

Proposed Target:

By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, no more than 6% of African American male will be chronically absent.

6. MIDDLE SCHOOL HOLDING POWER

Goal Statement: By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, middle school academic performance of African American males will be on par for district averages for GPA, community services and school holding power.

Baseline Measures:

In 2010-11, 45% of African American boys in grades six, seven, and eight did not display any warning signs of risk for high school dropout (i.e. they had passed Math and English, attended more than 90% of school days, had not been suspended, and had not been held back).

On the 2009-10 California Healthy Kids Survey, 39% of African American male 7th graders reported high levels of school protective factors. The percentages of African American males reporting high levels of each protective factor at school were as follows: 35% reported high levels of caring adults, 64% reported high levels of high expectations by adults, and 18% reported high levels of meaningful participation.

Proposed Target:

By the end of the 2014-15 school year, 90% of African American boys in grades six, seven, and eight will not display any early warning signs of high school dropout risk.

By the end of the 2014-15 school year, 75% of African American boys will report high levels of protective factors at school, and high levels of each protective factor (caring adults, high expectations by adults, and meaningful participation).

7. JUVENILE DETENTION (INCARCERATION)

Goal Statement: Incarceration rates for African American male youth will decrease by 50%.

Baseline Measure:

In 2009, 16.2% of African American males ages 10-17 in Oakland were detained by the Alameda County Probation Department (903 youth). Detention may be pre- or post-adjudication and includes: Juvenile Hall, Camp Sweeney, secure facility (out of county), non-secure facility (in county), Santa Rita Holding (awaiting transfer to adult prison).

Proposed Target:

By 2015, no more than 8% of African American males ages 10-17 in Oakland will be detained by the Alameda County Probation Department.

The initial goals are explained in more depth in this report. Historical data and current progress toward goals are detailed in this PowerPoint presentation. http://www.urbanstrategies.org/aamai/

These strategies may be applicable to other cities.

Related:

Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/study-when-teachers-overcompensate-for-prejudice/

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant                                                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

ilda says this about that ©

The growing class divide: Parents taking out loans for kindergarten and elementary school education

29 Mar

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education.  Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The crisis in college affordability is evident to students and families trying to figure out how they will be able to afford their preferred option. Loren Berlin has written the Huffington Post article, Student Loans For Kindergarten, High School On The Rise:

As if the student loan debt burden wasn’t troubling enough, some parents are saying, “Bring on the debt!”… even though their kids haven’t even learned to read.

That’s right: cash-strapped parents who want to send their young ones to private schools are taking out loans to pay for grade school, according to SmartMoney. And demand is growing.

Your Tuition Solution, one of the largest providers of loans for K-12 education, reported that the amount of money parents requested is up 10 percent from last year, and that the company is on track to finance $20 million in loans for the 2012-2013 school year, SmartMoney reports. Demand is increasing fast enough that First Marblehead, another pre-college lender, has returned to the market after exiting it in 2008, according to SmartMoney.

As more parents turn to loans to finance private education, school tuition is increasing, furthering the demand for the loans. Over the past 10 years, the median price of first grade at private schools has increased 35 percent nationally, as compared to a 24 percent price hike at Ivy League colleges, according to the New York Times.

Ten years ago, the median tuition for 12th grade at a private school was $14,583. Today, that number has skyrocketed to $24,240, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. Stunningly, in New York City, some of the city’s most elite private high schools are poised to break the $40,000 tuition line this year, surpassing Harvard’s $36,305 price tag, reports the New York Times.

The tuitions are “outrageous,” said Dana Haddad, a private admissions consultant, in an interview with the New York Times. “People don’t want to put a price tag on their children’s future, so they are willing to pay more than many of them can afford.”

It’s a dangerous gamble, as Americans are already struggling under mounting student loan debt. Last week, officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Agency announced that total student debt outstanding is now more than $1 trillion. Student debt is rising not only because of a commiserate increase in tuition, but also because in recent years more Americans have turned to college to flee the lousy labor market, reports the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/student-loans-kindergarten-high-school_n_1387706.html?ref=email_share

Affluent parents recognize the importance of education.

So, who is taking out loans for a kindergartner’s private education. According to Jen Doll’s Atlantic Wire article, Kindergarten Loans Are a Sad Reality of Our Time:

Contrary to what you might think, much of the demand is actually coming from families who make more than $150,000 annually. Which means these parents, along with selecting well-above-the-average-means-level schools for their kids, could find themselves repaying loans for the foreseeable future, possibly along with college loans as well. Already, writes Andriotis, “about one in six parents of college graduates have loans, and they’re projected to owe nearly $34,000 on average this year.” More loans before the kids even reach PSAT-taking age means, simply, more and more debt, something it appears Americans are becoming ever more comfortable with—even as the rich complain about how poor they are. Loans are less taboo, and schools are more willing to present loan programs as “an affordability option,” which means these types of loans are likely just going to become more popular.

But that’s pretty scary, particularly when you consider that the costs of private schools and colleges keep going higher and higher. Per Andriotis: “The average cost of private school is nearly $22,000 a year, up 4% from a year ago and up 26% from 2006-07, according to the NAIS.” Though total private school enrollment is on the decline (perhaps because of the recession?), if loans are available to make up that difference, and if even wealthy people are requiring such loans, there’s hardly a bar to keep the costs from continuing to escalate. The people who benefit from this the most are not, necessarily, the kids, but the banks or schools getting as much as a 20 percent interest rate on a loan that might go as high as $40,000—something you might look at as preying on parents who think it’s their duty to send their child to a particular (and particularly pricey) school. Well, kids have always been expensive.

http://news.yahoo.com/kindergarten-loans-sad-reality-time-191851594.html;_ylc=X3oDMTNsMnRoZ3NpBF9TAzk3NDc2MTc1BGFjdANtYWlsX2NiBGN0A2EEaW50bAN1cwRsYW5nA2VuLVVTBHBrZwNhZGQzMzg2OS0xYTFiLTMwMDYtYjY0OS01ZGMyZDk3ZDI2ZTAEc2VjA21pdF9zaGFyZQRzbGsDbWFpbAR0ZXN0Aw–;_ylv=3

See, Student Loans on Rise — for Kindergarten http://www.smartmoney.com/borrow/student-loans/student-loans-on-rise–for-kindergarten-1332957614617/

Moi knows that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century

Related:

3rd world America: Money changes everything

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

School choice: Given a choice, parents vote with their feet

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/school-choice-given-a-choice-parents-vote-with-their-feet/

The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Focus on charter schools: Charter school laws

23 Jan

This blog wholeheartedly supports charters, but more important, this blog supports school choice.  One of the principles of this blog is that all children have a right to a good basic education. There are a variety of ways that each child will receive that good basic education and the choice should be left to the parents or guardians. The only caveat should be that if the education option is failing to educate that child, there should be other alternatives to choose from. Charters are governed by state law which authorizes them and sets the parameters for operation. One of the reasons many support charters is it is at least theoretically possible for failing schools to be closed. There are going to be good education options of all types and there will be failures of public school, private schools, and homeschools. Just as success is not attributed to all choices in a category, the fact that a public school or charter school is a failure does not mean that ALL public schools or ALL charter schools are failure. People, use a little discernment. Many are so caught up in their particular political agenda that they lose sight of the goal, which is that all children have a right to a good basic education.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has issued the report, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter School Laws, 2012

2011 has been a significant year for charter school policy across the country.

At long last, Maine enacted a charter school law, becoming the 42nd jurisdiction that allows this innovative public school option.

Ten states lifted their caps on charter school growth (either partially or entirely). Most notably, North Carolina eliminated its cap of 100 charter schools, Michigan phased out its cap on the number of charter schools that can be approved by public universities, and Indiana and Wisconsin removed their limits on virtual charter school enrollment.

Seven states strengthened their authorizing environments. Most significantly, four states created new statewide charter boards (Illinois, Indiana, Maine, and Nevada), while New Mexico and Rhode Island passed major quality control measures setting the stage for the future growth of high-quality public charter schools in these states.

Ten states improved their support for charter school funding and facilities. Of particular note, Indiana enacted legislation that creates a charter school facilities assistance program to make grants and loans to charter schools, appropriates $17 million to this program, and requires school districts to make vacant space available to public charter schools to lease for $1 a year or to buy for $1. Also, Texas enacted a law that allows state-authorized charter schools that have an investment grade rating and meet certain financial criteria to apply to have their bonds guaranteed by the Permanent School Fund.

As of this writing, there were bills with major charter school improvements pending in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In addition, we expect to see big pushes for strong legislation in several other states in 2012.

http://www.publiccharters.org/publication/?id=658

See, Report: Quality of Charter School Laws Improves Nationwide                    http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/report-quality-of-charter-school-laws-improves-nationwide/

The Center for Education Reform has a good synopsis of what makes a strong charter school law.

Charter School Law

Before you can have charter schools, you must have a state law. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted charter school laws. (The nine states that do not have charter school laws are Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.) Maine passed their first charter school law in the summer of 2011.

As is the case with most education laws, charter schools are born at the state level. Typically a group of concerned lawmakers drafts a bill that allows the creation of any number of charter schools throughout a state. The content of the charter law plays a large role in the relative success or failure of the charter schools that open within that state. CER has identified a number of factors that can work together to create an environment that promotes the growth and expansion of charter schools. Some of them are identified below.

  • Number of Schools & Applications: The best charter laws do not limit the number of charter schools that can operate throughout the state. They do not place restrictions on the brand new schools either. A poorly written law would only allow conversion schools to operate but this hinders parents’ ability to choose from among numerous public schools. These laws should also allow many different types of groups to apply to open schools.
  • Multiple Charter Authorizers: States that permit a number of entities to authorize charter schools, or provide applicants with a binding appeals process, encourage more activity than those that vest authorizing power in a single entity, particularly if that entity is the local school board. The goal is to give parents the most options and having multiple sponsors helps reach this goal. For more information on why multiple authorizers are important, please go here.
  • Waivers & Legal Autonomy: A good charter law is one that automatically exempts charter schools from most of the school district’s laws and regulations. Of course no charter school is exempt from the most fundamental laws concerning civil rights. These waivers
  • Full Funding & Fiscal Autonomy: A charter school needs have control of its own finances to run efficiently. Only the charter school’s operators know the best way to spend funds and the charter law should reflect this need. Similarly charter schools, as public schools, are entitled to receive the same amount of funds as all other conventional public schools. Many states and districts withhold money from individual charter schools due to fees and “administrative costs” but the best laws provide full funding for all public schools.

Home Page for Charter School Law Data: http://charterschoolresearch.com/

http://www.edreform.com/issues/choice-charter-schools/laws-legislation/

So, what does this all mean? No one method will educate all children. If the goal is to give all children a good basic education, then all options must be on the table. Otherwise, the supposed adults are protecting their jobs and their pensions.

Resources:

Why Charter Schools

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

A no-brainer: Early childhood learning

14 Nov

Most parents no matter their class or ethnicity want to give their children a good start in life. A key building block to a solid education foundation is preschool. Changing family patterns make full day kindergarten an importation option. Adoption.Com provides a good overview of the history of full day kindergarten

CHANGES IN FAMILY PATTERNS

Among the changes that make full-day kindergarten attractive to many families are the following:

–An increase in the number of working parents. The number of mothers of children under six who work outside the home increased 34 percent from 1970 to 1980 (Evans and Marken 1983). In 1984, 48 percent of children under six had mothers in the labor force (The National Commission on Working Women 1985)

–An increase in the number of children with preschool or day care experience. Since the mid-1970s most children have had some kind of preschool experience in Head Start, day care, private preschools, or in early childhood programs in the public schools. These experiences have provided children’s first encounters with daily organized instructional and social activities before kindergarten (Herman 1984)

–An increase in the influence of television and family mobility. These two factors have produced 5-year-olds who seem more knowledgeable about their world and are apparently more ready for a full-day school experience than the children of previous generations

–Renewed interest in academic preparation for later school success. Even when both do not work outside the home, parents are interested in the contribution of early childhood programs (including full-day kindergarten) to later school success.

The article also discusses the pros and cons of full day kindergarten.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reported on a recent conference about early learning in the article, Early childhood education again in spotlight:

Q.What does “high quality” mean when talking about early education programs?

W. Steven Barnett, co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, said that quality programs for 3- and 4-year-olds develop skills and knowledge in language and literacy, math, science, social studies and the arts, while also addressing social, emotional and physical development. The Center for the Child Care Workforce says that such programs also have qualified and well-paid staff, low staff turnover, low student-teacher ratios, provision of comprehensive social services and nurturing environments, and periodic licensing and/or accreditation. The results of such programs, research shows, are students who succeed better academically, graduate from high school more often and are more economically productive later in life. Economic impact studies have shown that every $1 invested in early childhood education saves taxpayers up to $13 in future costs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/early-childhood-education-again-in-spotlight/2011/10/06/gIQAwMNVYL_story.html

The goal should be to enroll as many children as possible in early learning programs.

A good summary of the benefits of all day kindergarten is provided by the Indiana Department of Education.

  • Teachers reported significantly greater progress for full-day children in literacy, math, general learning skills, and social skills. Full-day kindergarten children spend more time in teacher-directed individual work and learning centers. Elicker and Mathur (1997) found that full-day kindergarten allowed children to be more actively engaged and more positive in their activities.
  • Researchers find strong support for quality full-day kindergarten programs among parents and educators. Parents and educators report that full-day kindergarten is less rushed with opportunities for extending learning experiences, flexibility to address individual students’ needs and better communication between home and school (Elicker and Mathur, 1997; Hough and Bryde, 1996; Wichita Public Schools, 1989).
  • The full-day schedule allows more appropriate challenges for children at all developmental levels. For advanced students, there is time to complete increasingly challenging long-term projects. For children with developmental delays or those “at-risk” for school problems, there is more time for completion of projects and more time for teacher/student interaction.
  • Full-day kindergarten programs can result in social benefits. In a longitudinal study by J.R. Cryan (1992), children in full-day kindergarten programs showed more positive behavior than their peers in half-day kindergarten in the areas of originality, independent learning, involvement in classroom activities, productivity with their peers, and their approach to the teacher.
  • Full-day kindergarten programs can result in academic benefits. Research analyzing twenty-three studies of full-day kindergarten indicated that “overall, students who attend full-day kindergartens manifest significantly greater achievement than students who attend half-day kindergarten” (Child Study Journal, 27(4), 273). Full-day kindergarten children have fewer grade retentions and lower incidence of Title I placements (Cryan, 1992).
  • School corporations in Indiana that currently provide full-day kindergarten also find academic and social benefits. A longitudinal study of full-day kindergarten in the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation revealed academic, social and behavioral benefits. On standardized tests, full-day kindergarten children performed significantly better than half-day kindergarten children in third, fifth, and seventh grade on the CTBS.
  • The number of transitions kindergartners face in a typical day can be reduced by full-day kindergarten. Due to family work schedules, children who attend half-day may be cared for by three or more care givers over the course of a day. While full-day kindergarten does not eliminate the need for child care outside of school (Elicker and Mathur, 1997), many parents, who are given the option, prefer full-day because children may have fewer transitions.
  • Two-way transportation can be an important benefit of full-day kindergarten. Currently, most school corporations in Indiana only provide one-way transportation for half-day kindergarten students. There are a number of children in Indiana who are unable to attend kindergarten because their parent(s) do not have access to transportation during the day.

Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S have a Kindergarten Readiness Checklist of skills your child should have mastered by the time they enter kindergarten. Two other good articles are Ellen H. Parlapiano’s Ready for Kindergarten? and BabyCenter’s Kindergarten Readiness: Is Your Child Ready For School?

Early childhood learning should prepare children for learning and help with socialization. Alison Gopnik has an excellent article in Slate which reports about the results of two new studies, Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School which argues against strict academic programs in preschool. Kate Zernike has an excellent in the New York Times about how some children are literally being pushed out of childhood. In Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten?  Zernike writes:

Research suggests that there is little benefit from this kind of tutoring; that young children learn just as much about math, if not more, fitting mixing bowls together on the kitchen floor. But programs like Kumon are gaining from, and generating, parents’ anxiety about what kind of preparation their children will need — and whether parents themselves have what it takes to provide it….

The best you can say is that they’re useless,” said Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, who compared the escalation of supplemental education with Irish elk competing to see which had the biggest antlers.

A key building block to a solid education foundation is preschool. There are many different considerations in selecting a preschool. The overall considerations should center on the quality of the preschool and whether it meets the needs of the child. For some, those concerns take a back seat to whether the preschool is the “right” place rather than the appropriate place. “Right” meaning where the parents and child can mingle with the “right” sort or type. The focus of moi’s comment is to urge parents to look at what will in the long term make a happy, healthy, well adjusted child who is secure enough to take on the challenges of life. Nothing in life is guaranteed, even to the most well connected. How one copes with survival in a world that often presents challenges, which upend what people thought they knew, depends on internal fortitude and a sense of security. 

For a variety of reasons, despite the budget mess, we need to INVEST in children.  

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources

  1. Pew Center Pre K Now
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures Resources on Kindergarten
  3. Education Commission of the States, Full Day Kindergarten: A Study of State Policies in the United States

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color

13 Nov

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.

Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress.

“This is a problem for students, schools, and the public at large. Teachers of color serve as role models for students, giving them a clear and concrete sense of what diversity in education–and in our society–looks like,” the report’s authors write. “A recent review of empirical studies also shows that students of color do better on a variety of academic outcomes if they’re taught by teachers of color.”

Using data from the 2008 Schools and Staffing Survey, the most recent data available, researchers found that more than 20 states have gaps of 25 percentage points or more between the diversity of their teachers and students.

California yielded the largest discrepancy of 43 percentage points, with 72 percent minority students compared with 29 percent minority teachers. Nevada and Illinois had the second and third largest gaps, of 41 and 35 percentage points, respectively.

In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce

The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):

·         In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

·         According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.

·         Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff.

Additional trends reflecting the dispersion of diverse teachers include:

·  The percentage of diverse teachers does not approximate the percentage of diverse students in any state with a large population of diverse residents except Hawaii. The District of Columbia is also an exception.

·  The larger the percentage of diverse students, the greater the disparity with the percentage of diverse teachers.

·  Proportional representation of diverse teachers is closest in large urban school districts.

·  Diverse teachers tend to teach in schools that have large numbers of students from their own ethnic groups.

·  Diverse teachers are about equally represented in elementary and secondary schools. In addition, statistical projections show that while the percentage of diverse students in public schools is expected to increase, the percentage of diverse teachers is not expected to rise unless the nation and states take action.

The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that

o    Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.

o    Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.

o    Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.

Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.

This portion of the comment is not politically correct. If you want politically correct, stop reading. Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to?

Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means some one who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

This Washington Post article made me think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero. Number of BlackMale Teachers Belies Their InfluenceThe reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

The purpose of this comment is not that boys and girls cannot learn from teachers of either sex. The point is too many children are being raised in single parent homes and they need good role models of both sexes to develop. That brings me back to Will Thomas and The Washington Post story. Mr. Thomas is not only a good teacher, but a positive role model for both his boy and girl students. We need more teachers like Mr. Thomas.

I have never met an illegitimate child. I have met plenty of illegitimate parents. People that are so ill-prepared for the parent role that had they been made responsible for an animal, PETA would picket their house. We are at a point in society where we have to say don’t have children you can’t care for. There is no quick, nor easy fix for the children who start behind in life because they are the product of two other people’s choice, whether an informed choice or not.  All parents should seek positive role models for their children. For single mothers who are parenting boys, they must seek positive male role models to be a part of their son’s life. Boys and girls of all ages should think before they procreate and men should give some thought about what it means to be a father before they become baby daddy.

This brings me to an opinion piece in the Washington Post by Yvette Jackson of the National Urban Alliance in the Answer Sheet, a column normally written by Valerie Strauss. In How toHelp African American Males In School: Treat Them Like Gifted Students Ms. Jackson opines:

Damaging and pervasive chasms grow between teachers and students when teachers feel unprepared to meet the needs of students of color or economically disadvantaged students. Making cultural connections and strengthening teacher-student relationships are critical to making learning meaningful and relevant to students.

Finally, students must be enabled to be more active in their own education. Schools should give students opportunities to participate in teachers professional development aimed at enriching curriculum, improving teaching and expanding the range of materials students create.

Ms. Jackson is correct that having high expectations is essential along with discipline and structure. Still, what she fails to recognize is only one part of the equation, which is education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s) and school. All parts of the partnership must be committed and involved.

Which brings us back to diversity in the teacher corps. The Center for American Progress report, Teacher Diversity Matters A State-by-State Analysis of Teachers of Color, which was highlighted in the Huffington Post article makes the following recommendations:

There have been some successful initiatives to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce over the years. The successful characteristics of these programs are detailed in an accompanying study released with this paper by Saba Bireda and Robin Chait titled “Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce.”10

Briefly, though, those recommendations include:

Increasing federal oversight of and increased accountability for teacher preparation programs

Creating statewide initiatives to fund teacher preparation programs aimed at low-income and minority teachers

Strengthening federal financial aid programs for low-income students entering the teaching field

Reducing the cost of becoming a teacher by creating more avenues to enter the field and increasing the number of qualified credentialing organizations

Strengthening state-sponsored and nonprofit teacher recruitment and training organizations by increasing standards for admission, using best practices to recruit high-achieving minority students, and forming strong relationships with districts to ensure recruitment needs are met

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/11/pdf/teacher_diversity.pdf

The mantra is the country is broke and we, as a society, cannot afford the cost of implementing these recommendations. The reality is, we as a society, cannot afford the long-term cost of not implementing these recommendations.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©