Black Students And School Failure: Policies, Practices, And Prescriptions

Paperback | April 1, 1991

byJacqueline Jordan Irvine

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Research findings by the National Commission on Excellence, the Children's Defense Fund, and the College Board, among others, suggest that much work remains to be done to upgrade the educational experience and performance of the fastest growing segment of the American school population, blacks and other minorities. This country's survival and strength will ultimately depend on the quality of education given to this important group that has been systematically and effectively excluded from the benefits of educational opportunity. Without these benefits, blacks and other minorities will never achieve economic independence, and the self-perpetuating cycle of poor school achievement, poverty, and teen parenthood will grind on relentlessly. This important study addresses the many facets of this complex problem by explicating its many roots, assessing strengths and weaknesses inherent in the present system, and proposing strategies for dynamic changes. Chapter 1 reviews various societal prescriptions regarding education and descriptive practices harmful to black students and uncovers a "hidden" curriculum. The focus of Chapter 2 is on cultural synchronization in style, language, and cognition and on how disappearing black educators increase the lack of synchronization. Chapters 3 and 4 detail the effects of teacher expectations in various contexts including grade level, subject, and time of year, and present a thorough research study of teacher-student interactions. The last two chapters outline strategies for change and implications for training and staff development exploring Afro-centric responses, parent involvement, relevant research findings, and various staff development competenciesfor policy development and prejudice reduction. The detailed introductory essay, the seven tables and five figures, and an appendix that provides supplemental information describing the research study methodology in Chapter 4 complete this valuable volume. Scholars and students of Afro-American and African Studies, as well as educational administrators and practitioners will find this work both timely and provocative.

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Research findings by the National Commission on Excellence, the Children's Defense Fund, and the College Board, among others, suggest that much work remains to be done to upgrade the educational experience and performance of the fastest growing segment of the American school population, blacks and other minorities. This country's survi...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9.04 × 6.1 × 0.52 inPublished:April 1, 1991Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275940942

ISBN - 13:9780275940942

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?Expanding upon the important message of the US Department of Education's report, A Nation at Risk (1983), Irvine defines and illustrates the severity of the problem of black student achievement. Irvine claims that black children are subject to school failure because of their culture, race, and social class. She points out that not all black children are equally at risk, as consideration must be given to regional, class, and gender variations. However, race alone seems to be a salient factor that contributes to unequal school treatment, participation, and distribution of rewards for all black students. Irvine describes the causes of the problem through the use of a process model based on the theories of cultural synchronization and teacher expectations that explain factors that contribute or inhibit the school achievement of black students. The author suggests interventions (such as Afrocentric independent schools, effective teaching, and parent education) for educators of at-risk black students, and describes competencies that can be developed in teacher training and staff development programs. Admitting that there are no quick and simple solutions, no single program or packaged interventions, no one way to teach black children, Irvine suggests that the US needs to develop a long-range, visionary national policy, and that committed, caring, dedicated, well-trained teachers are needed who are supportive, biculturally trained, and not afraid, resentful, or hostile to black children. Excellent references. Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty in teacher training and related areas, and practicing school personnel.??Choice