Identify and build on what works
Identify those children of color who are achieving at grade level and document their family and school experiences. Find the common elements and incorporate them into the educational expereinces of others.
This may mean providing quality early childhood education programs for poor families, giving books to families who don't have them, or sharing quality magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
Reward those teachers who are successful with recognition, adminstrative support and opportunities to share their techniques and practices with their colleagues. Not in a system of competition but in an arena of cooperation and team work.
Recognize and beware of self-fulfilling prophecies and racism. Poor and Black children who do well deserve attention and praise. They must be challenged to continue their efforts. White and affluent children who are not achieving at grade level need attention and help.
The hard work of making sure that all children succeed must be based on valuing all children.
Created on 10/18/04 by Beverly Cottman of Minneapolis, MN
The idea of identifying and building on what works is a good one. I would concur that researching what is working for students of color who are succeeding is an important first step. The next step that I see as needed is providing the critical piece of professional development so that K-12 practitioners are able to implement strategies effectively.
Created on 02/20/07 by Kay Lutz of Duluth, MN