National Association of the Education of Young Children | Barbara T. Bowman, James P. Comer, David J. Johns
How to Close the Achievement Gap?
“African Americans have been exposed to generations of legal and illegal measures to deny them basic rights.” ~Barbara T. Bowman, James P. Comer, David J. Johns
Closing the Gap
How do we close the achievement gap? It’s simple. By getting rid of racism, classism, and oppressive systems that disenfranchise black and brown people. Next.
I know. Daunting, discouraging, deflating. Now, how do you feel? Luckily, as educators, we have the opportunity to disrupt oppressive systems through education. Educating our students equitably requires being intentional about understanding one’s own culture in relation to the cultures of the students with whom we interact.
“[T]he persistence of the educational achievement gap imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession” (McKinsey & Company 2009).
Top Five Takeaways for Equity in Education
Conduct an audit of the racial identities of students most frequently evaluated for Individual Education Plans (IEP) or disciplined for behavior.
Provide or seek out professional development about the relationship between learning and cognitive development of children and adolescents.
Ensure that all lessons contain a range of cultural references.
Invite students to share aspects of their cultural background through assignments, activities, discussions, etc.
Create faculty and/or department time to discuss the implications of one’s own cultural background in one’s classroom.
DO NOW - Create a classroom activity that allows students to share an important aspect of their culture.
"The achievement gap is a problem not only for African American students and their families and communities; it affects the well-being of the entire country." Barbara T. Bowman, James P. Comer, David J. Johns
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