Black male teachers tend to enact culturally relevant pedagogical practices that support the academic achievement, cultural competence, and critical consciousness of Black male students. Using critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and life history methodology, we explore the life history and work of a Black male middle school teacher to examine ways in which his historical, societal, institutional, and communal and personal experiences have shaped him to become a culturally relevant teacher and advocate for Black male students. In doing so, we provide implications and recommendations for preservice teacher education programs to retain and better support Black male middle school teachers.
This study describes an information/digital literacy project that was conducted with kindergarten and second-grade students and teachers at a university-assisted school. The study centered on the I-LEARN model—a learning model that blends research and theory from information science and instructional systems design—and investigated how the model could be used to support information-rich learning at the school; the dimensions of digital literacy that were most salient for the teachers and students; and how information/digital literacies can be taught in this setting. The data revealed that each teacher’s approach to the project, their assumptions about their students’ background with technology and research, and their own knowledge about information/digital literacies had significant effects on their students’ learning outcomes.
Annually, thousands of U.S. students fail high school introductory biology. The language demands of biology are large, and science teachers are often unprepared to support students’ language needs. Here, we describe a 4-week summer high school introductory biology course executed in a large West Coast city. Our aim was to help 33 students recover their biology credit. A centerpiece of the 4-week course was the embedding of metacognitive language support tools in class lectures and assessments. Of 29 regular attendees, 28 passed with a C or better. Student science learning was reliably associated with use of the language support tools.
Using the 2012 North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey data, school demographic information, and school’s urban-centric locale census designation, hierarchical linear modeling was conducted to examine the relationship between locale and teachers’ perceptions of school leadership as a working condition and explore any variance in the relationship between school contextual factors and teachers’ perceptions of school leadership associated with locale. After controlling for school contextual factors, the results showed urban-centric locale is not a predictor of teachers’ perceptions of school leadership, and most of the variance in teachers’ perceptions of school leadership is explained by factors within, not between, schools.
Despite post-racial rhetoric, stereotypes remain salient for American youth. We surveyed 150 elementary and middle schoolers in Northern California and conducted case studies of 12 students. Findings showed that (a) students hold school-related stereotypes that get stronger in middle school, (b) African American and Latino students experience greater divergence between stereotype awareness about their group and endorsement than other students, and (c) students who eschewed the applicability of stereotypes to them demonstrated higher engagement and achievement in math. This study has implications for studying race in schools and mathematics, and the need for urban educators to facilitate racialized counter-narratives.
How do school district administrators make sense of educational equity as they undertake reform? This study examines tracking policymaking in two urban school districts. Using case studies and an interpretive approach, the study highlights school district leaders’ shifting ways of making sense of tracking and (in)equity while facing achievement gaps, accountability pressures, budgets cuts, and support for tracking. Even after the emergence of powerful opposition, we find that district administrators continued to rethink the meaning of equity in relation to tracking and they pursued policies that expanded access to high-track classes and gifted education. While potentially widening educational opportunity, these moves fundamentally reinscribed the inequity of tracking in their schools.
Despite reports of already practicing K-12 teachers’ attempts to teach for critical social justice in their classrooms, there is little connection between teacher education programs and/or the impact of teacher practice in the classroom. This article presents data collected over 3 years from one teacher enrolled in an urban-multicultural teacher education program who transitioned into her first years of teaching. Findings revealed that the teacher implemented culturally relevant education through (a) a caring community, (b) holding high expectations, (c) cultural competence, and (d) sociopolitical awareness as a teacher. Barriers the teacher faced as well as lessons for teacher educators are shared.
We explored the associations of collective self-esteem and parent educational practices with school engagement in a sample of 128 Samoan middle and high school students in an urban school district. Simultaneous regression analysis revealed that each of these independent variables contributed to significant variance in school engagement. Specifically, the overall regression model accounted for 22% of the variance in school engagement. Collective self-esteem was the most significant association, followed by parent educational practices. Implications discuss how we must consider Samoan and other marginalized youths’ cultural worth and perceptions of parental practices as critical factors influencing their school connections.
A safe environment is a prerequisite for productive learning. Using a unique panel data set of survey responses from New York City middle school students, the article provides insight into the relationship between feelings of safety in the classroom and academic achievement. The survey data include the reported feelings of safety for more than 340,000 students annually from 2007 to 2010 in more than 700 middle schools. Findings show a consistent negative relationship between feeling unsafe in the classroom and test scores. The study provides insight into the mechanisms through which feeling unsafe in the classroom relates to test scores and presents multiple robustness checks to support the central finding.
Although several studies highlight the integration of hip-hop-based education (HHBE) into teacher education workshops and coursework, little is known about the use of HHBE by the teachers and teacher candidates who take part in these learning experiences. Toward such a contribution, this study examines how teacher candidates proposed to integrate rap into lesson plans designed for middle and high school social studies classes in an urban intensive setting. The findings indicate that the teacher candidates’ proposed uses of rap not only privilege their own preferences and experiences but also position rap as subordinate to traditional classroom-based texts.
We explore the interconnections of pupil admission and school choice with the socioeconomic composition of schools in the city of Espoo, Finland. We analyze pupil enrollment from residential areas, and compare the schools’ expected and actual socioeconomic profiles using GIS software (MapInfo). Social-diversification mechanisms within urban comprehensive schooling emerged: Distinctive choices of language and selective classes are made predominantly by pupils from residential blocks with higher socioeconomic profiles. The role of urban segregation in school choice seems to be stronger than predicted. As mechanisms of educational distinction accompanied with grouping policies, choice leads to socioeconomic segregation across and within schools.
The privatization of public funds for education through school choice programs has fueled the expansion of virtual online charter schools. This redirection of funds contributes to the idea that virtual school success is comparable or even superior to the performance of traditional public schools. The schools most adversely affected are the schools with the highest need, those serving children living in poverty and already underserved minority student populations: urban public schools. The purpose of this article is to investigate the performance of virtual schools and the redistribution of public monies from public to online community schools in Ohio.
The intersection of education, sport, and identity are important topics for urban education and educators. Using data collected from interviews with 27 African American male college athletes, the current study investigated the lived experiences of this demographic group as they formed ideas about "self" within the realm of higher education. Our findings revealed that their definition of masculinity was at the core of their identities. In addition, participants saw themselves as more than athletes—They were scholars and productive members of surrounding communities. Furthermore, interactions with women, teammates, and non-athletic peers influenced participants’ self-perceptions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Presented in this article is a case study of Black students’ enrollment, persistence, and graduation at Cityville University, an urban commuter institution. We combine quantitative data from the University’s Office of Institutional Research and the U.S. Department of Education with qualitative insights gathered in interviews with students, faculty, and administrators. We then use tenets, theses, and propositions from Critical Race Theory to analyze structural problems that undermine persistence and degree completion, sense of belonging, and academic achievement for Cityville’s Black undergraduates.
The purpose was to examine academic achievement, school attachment, and peer acceptance before and after a comprehensive school-based physical activity program (CSPAP) with 378 children in 12 fourth-grade classrooms across six schools in primarily low-socioeconomic status (SES) districts of a large Midwestern metropolitan area. Both personal and normative rate of academic achievement improvement metrics were used. Overall, all students showed personal math and reading growth. However, effects varied by types of achievement indicator and comparison group, revealing noteworthy school-level demographic and implementation characteristics that are inextricably intertwined with program effectiveness and student growth. Implications, especially for minimizing generalizations, are significant.
Although the literature on teacher working conditions often cites student- and school-level factors as contributors to teacher turnover in high-poverty urban schools, the larger context of social and economic inequality within which these factors are situated is often overlooked. This mixed-methods study draws upon a survey of nearly 800 California public high school teachers and case studies of two high-poverty urban high schools to highlight the ways that inequality structures teacher time and student learning in these schools. We highlight efforts teachers make to meet student needs and exert professional agency within the broader social ecology of inequality.
This article uses three tenets of critical race theory to critique the common pattern of teacher education focusing on preparing predominantly White cohorts of teacher candidates for racially and ethnically diverse students. The tenet of interest convergence asks how White interests are served through incremental steps. The tenet of color blindness prompts asking how structures that seem neutral, such as teacher testing, reinforce Whiteness and White interests. The tenet of experiential knowledge prompts asking whose voices are being heard. The article argues that much about teacher education can be changed, offering suggestions that derive from these tenets.
This empirical study analyzed data from 638 teachers and 11,800 students in low-socioeconomic status (SES) urban schools (and schools with urban characteristics) exploring associations of school, teacher, teaching, and professional development characteristics toward student performance on the revised Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and AP Chemistry examinations. The analyses indicated that districts per-student funding allocations, the days of instruction, teachers’ knowledge and experience, and some aspects of teachers’ professional development participation were significantly associated with student performance on AP science examinations that was better than predicted by students’ Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) scores.
Through engaging in interviews with 10 local educational agency liaisons, this study provides insight into their roles, challenges, and training in serving children and youth experiencing homelessness. Using thematic analysis to analyze transcripts, common themes were uncovered. The findings highlight the liaisons’ challenges related to identification and academic barriers, as well as provide deeper insight into their preparation. Furthermore, the results suggest that liaisons are dedicated to their roles and are committed to building partnerships to serve students.
The increase in teacher attrition has been substantial in U.S. public schools over the past three decades. The impact this trend has on student learning is pronounced, especially in high-poverty schools. Minimal research has focused on the resilient teachers who stay in these settings and the personal, professional, and biographical influences that guide that decision. This review of literature, guided by resilience theory, occupational socialization of physical education teachers, and research on poverty, attempts to demonstrate the importance of recruiting, training, and retaining resilient physical education teachers in high-poverty schools.
This article contributes a deeper understanding of teachers’ experiences with and beliefs about teaching mathematics for social justice in urban schools. In-depth, phenomenological interviews were conducted with a national sample of 15 secondary mathematics teachers from eight cities across the United States. Findings identify five overarching commitments of social justice mathematics teachers, the barriers they face, and what they envision for the future of urban mathematics education. Drawing on critical pedagogical theory, this study uncovers how social justice mathematics teachers have on-the-ground experiences and perspectives that can help us build upon Freire’s notion of education for liberation.
Discussions on Latino/a students’ interpretation of the opportunity structure and schooling treat racial/ethnic identification among Latino/as as static, despite skin color variation. This article provides findings from interviews with six Mexican students who discussed teachers identifying them as "White-looking" or "Hispanic/Mexican-looking." Both groups shared belief in the achievement ideology and understood the opportunity structure as fraught with barriers. However, the "White-looking" students perceived themselves as being able to permeate such barriers meanwhile the "Hispanic/Mexican-looking" students believed such barriers affect their ability to "make it" regardless of their aspirations. This study raises questions regarding theories on academic variability of Latino/a students.
The Every Student Succeeds Act redefines the priorities of our nation’s education system. Prior to its passage, turnaround strategies advanced solutions for low-performing schools. Research literature examining how these reforms impacted the schooling experiences of students attending these schools is lacking. We present the results of a qualitative case study of a reconstituted urban school in the Southwest United States, providing the perspectives of 10 students with dis/abilities and the effects accountability reform efforts had on their high school experience. Three expressed needs and desires were identified: (a) a positive school identity, (b) stability, and (c) to be recognized and heard.
Secondary schools in the United States have been changing with the increased arrival of refugee students with interrupted formal education (SIFE), especially at the secondary schools. Refugee SIFE are faced with barriers developing both language and academic skills. This article describes some of the findings of an ethnographic research study that was conducted in an urban secondary newcomer program with SIFE in Northeast United States. The findings suggest that the refugee SIFE were in dire need of psychological support, had many responsibilities outside of school, and had high aspirations for the future despite their limited knowledge of the U.S. educational system.
Educational resilience is often linked to educational success of various immigrant youth including Black immigrants despite the challenges they face. However, few studies have explored the factors that promote and/or constrain educational resilience and academic achievement of Black immigrants. To address this gap, the current article focuses on the educational resilience and academic achievement of Ghanaian-born immigrants (N = 60) attending urban high schools in the United States. Results indicate that self-regulation, technology, religious faith, past experiences, parental support, resources, and safety issues played an important role. Implications and recommendations for educators and policymakers are discussed.
The challenge of opening the doors to science has been a topic of debate for many years. This content analysis study documented an urban school’s attempt to use representational practices to promote positive science identities for African American boys. Our analysis revealed how the school attempted to offer connections between ethnic identity and achievement ideology through representational practices. Whether it was posting the names of famous African American male scientists or promoting attendance to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the school used postings, displays, and interior pictures to communicate a positive science identity. The study highlights the need to promote non-stereotypical science identities for students.
This study compares what schools are doing to engage parents and analyzes the efficacy of these initiatives across predominantly Black, Latino, and White schools. Using the National Center for Education Statistics’s (NCES) Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS, 1999-2004), we specify a model that accounts both for factors associated with school policies and practices to engage parents in school- and home-based activities and the extent to which these policies affect parent involvement. Findings indicate that predominantly Black and Latino schools achieve significant gains in parent involvement as the number of policies in place to support and encourage participation increases, but that not all programs achieve the same results within or across racial contexts. Furthermore, we find leadership by minority principals, teacher attributes, responsibilities and training, as well as greater shares of Title 1 funding are positively and significantly related to school- and home-based policies across all three racial contexts.
Student mobility and school segregation are two important issues with significant equity implications for urban school districts that are often addressed separately. This article examines the relationship between student mobility and school segregation. The findings indicate that more segregated schools typically have smaller within-school achievement gaps, a lower proportion of proficient students, a higher proportion of low-income and minority students, and higher nonstructural mobility rates (especially within-year mobility) than less segregated schools. The results also suggest that, regardless of the timing of school changes, high levels of achievement segregation are a significant predictor of student mobility. Policy implications are discussed.
Improving low-achieving schools is a critical challenge facing urban education. Recent national policy shifts have pressed states to take an expanded role in school improvement efforts. In 2009, a federal grant competition called Race to the Top (RttT) compelled states to improve their capacity to implement ambitious education reform agendas. Drawing on the theory of organizational capacity, the study sampled five RttT winning states’ plans to support improving low-achieving schools. Findings indicate that states sought to build capacity to productively enact an expanded role and focus resources and expertise toward school improvement initiatives.
Racial/ethnic stereotypes are deep rooted in our history; among these, the dangerous Black male stereotype is especially relevant to issues of differential school discipline today. Although integration in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education was intended to counteract stereotype and bias, resegregation has allowed little true integration. Thus, old patterns continue to be reinforced through the ongoing processes of implicit bias, micro-aggression, and colorblindness. Thus, to effectively address inequity, the role of race must be explicitly acknowledged in addressing racial disparities in discipline. We close with a set of recommendations for talking about and acting on racial disparities.
We examined how parents and educators in a low-income school conceptualize parental engagement, and how school, work, and family domains together shape these parties’ practices as well as understandings of how and why parents engage. From interviews with the principal, five teachers, and 17 mothers of children at a Title I elementary school, we observed mothers’ varied approaches to juggling employment and caregiving responsibilities with desires to be involved in their children’s education, strategies often unknown and mismatched to the focuses of school staff. The study suggests the value of engagement opportunities tailored to families’ unique circumstances and assets.
To explore the role of teachers’ biases in the underrepresentation of minorities and women in STEM, 128 secondary science teachers were asked to evaluate responses spoken with either falling or rising intonation by African American, Latino, and White ninth-grade boys and girls. Responses spoken by minority students were evaluated less favorably than identically worded responses spoken by White students, and rising intonation responses were evaluated less favorably than falling intonation responses. Female speakers have been shown to use rising intonation nearly twice as often as male speakers, so this bias against rising intonation responses disproportionately affects female students (an indirect effect of gender).
Using a White racial frame as a theoretical framework, this study investigated the relationship between two Latina bilingual education teachers and their White colleagues. A qualitative analysis reveals that the participants demonstrated effective teaching skills using their cultural attributes. However, the participants’ competence stirred jealousy and fear among the colleagues who displayed emotionally driven responses, such as microaggressions, and they were positioned as competitors rather than collaborators. The participants were willing to establish positive relations with their colleagues, but it seems that the unexamined and omnipresent White racial frame throughout their schools systematically alienated them.
The author draws from critical Whiteness studies and the sociological imagination to show how three White preservice teachers in an urban education program used personal experiences with racial privilege to understand structural racism. These stories depart from portrayals of race-evasive White teachers who struggle to engage with critical perspectives on race and racism. The participants’ stories—which openly critique meritocracy and color blindness—not only demonstrate possibility, but they also raise concerns about the use of personal experience by dominant groups and note how considerations of White privilege do not necessarily lead to an understanding of how one is complicit in the reproduction of White supremacy.
We examine the influence of income segregation on a resource vital to young children’s development: a family’s access to books in early childhood. Income segregation reflects the growing economic segregation of neighborhoods for people living in privilege (1%) compared with those in poverty or near-poverty (20%). After describing recent demographic shifts, we examine access to print for children in six urban neighborhoods. Results indicate stark disparities in access to print for those living in concentrated poverty. We argue that such neighborhoods constitute "book deserts," which may seriously constrain young children’s opportunities to come to school "ready to learn."
English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing segment of school population, especially in urban schools. The teaching workforce has relatively unchanged to match this fast growth. Data found no measurable difference in the percentages of teachers’ ethnic backgrounds between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008. This mismatch creates the demand for preparing the K-12 teachers who can work effectively with ELLs. The study examines an innovative program that prepares K-12 teachers through research and service combined with traditional professional development. Findings reveal significant improvement in the teachers’ second language (L2) knowledge and strategies working with ELLs.
Conceptualizations of urban context and place in research, practice, and policy are relational, ranging from spatial dimensions to cultural practices of children, families, and communities in metropolitan areas. In this article, we focus on the inherent complexity of these conceptualizations and long-standing debates in education and social science research that label urban as a point of both identity and designation. We position urban context itself as a genre of thinking and imagining; challenges complicated in research, scholarship, and policy; practice and pedagogy; and public will and political rhetoric, influencing educational options and spanning issues from poverty to schooling.
The participants in this study are 9-year-olds who demonstrate signs of incipient alienation. Even with an experienced teacher who had a positive relationship with her students, some students describe school as boring. The arts may provide a path away from alienation when learning is embedded in the students’ cultural knowledge and when the artistic process is primary. Our research question was, "What do students learn when engaged in a playwriting experience in school?" The evidence suggests that students discovered fun, freedom, and a sense of agency with language arts as a result of their participation in the program.
Preparing underrepresented students in urban settings for college and career is the focus of this study: Nine students graduating from a diverse, urban early college high school describe their experiences. Using narrative inquiry methods, conversations from nine students are examined to uncover crucial points of convergence: all nine engaged in self-awareness, developed relationships with people, looked toward the future, embraced school as a place of learning, and experienced school as "family." Powerful experiences unique to each student are also highlighted. From students themselves, researchers and educators can learn what it takes to graduate high school ready for college and career.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the unique funds of knowledge among three Hispanic families living in the same city, specifically, how parents supported their children’s mathematics learning through funds of knowledge. Participants contributed to their children’s mathematics learning by promoting the five National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards—problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connection, and representation. Participating parents shared knowledge with their children through questioning and discussion, providing experiences, and promoting practice. In this study, participants valued education and supported their children’s mathematics learning at home and school activities.
How do educators reconcile the growing college-for-all norm—the notion that all students should pursue college—with the diverse needs of students in urban settings? What is the impact on Black students across social-class background? Using interviews and fieldwork with teachers, counselors, and diverse Black students in a large Californian high school, I examine college-counseling norms under a social capital framework. With high caseloads, I find that educators support mass outreach and vague encouragements for 4-year colleges. Ultimately, my findings problematize one-size-fits-all counseling norms and highlight the need for more targeted counseling for urban and working-class Black students.
Educational researchers, leadership, and policymakers have had the privileged voices and place from which to theorize and address educational inequities. But for some exceptions, nondominant families have been relegated to participation in school-centric "parent involvement" activities. Drawing from a participatory design-based research study using standpoint and critical race theory, our findings suggest key convergences between the lived experiences and insights of nondominant parents and recent educational equity scholarship, while revealing untapped expertise, knowledge, and capacity for addressing inequity. We argue that holding a "place" for the complex understandings of nondominant families can open expansive possibilities for transforming educational systems toward racial equity.
We examine the views of low-income urban parents toward their neighborhood school. Policymakers must understand the attitudes of these individuals, particularly because they represent some of the most vulnerable groups in our education system. As national education policies have made it easier for parents to choose schools, attention has increasingly focused on parental satisfaction and its predictors. Using a unique survey of low-income urban residents in 10 cities, combined with test score and graduation data, we find that these parents express favorable attitudes toward their neighborhood schools, with weak but statistically significant connections to objective ratings of school performance.
In recent years, districts have paid special attention to the common practice of "district hopping," families bending geographic school assignment rules by sending a child to a school in a district where the child does not formally reside—usually to a district that is more desirable because of higher performing schools or greater educational resources. In several high-profile cases, mothers who engaged in district hopping were charged with "grand theft" of educational services. By situating these cases in the broader context of market-based reforms, we refocus attention on the responses of districts rather than the actions of parents. We argue that increased privatization of education and growing dominance of a "private-goods" model of schooling create the conditions necessary for framing these actions as "theft."
Suspension is commonly used in schools, yet these practices can adversely affect students’ education well-being and do not improve student behavior. This study assesses the use of the Monarch Room (MR) intervention, a trauma-informed alternative to school discipline suspension policies, among 620 court-involved girls placed in residential care and enrolled in an urban-located public charter school. Teachers readily utilized the intervention as a first response to dealing with problematic behavior, and as a result, MR use significantly decreased reliance on suspension practices. Multiple stays in residential treatment and race were significant predictors of MR use.
This study explores how community socioeconomic status (SES), geographical location, and administrator perspectives influence the implementation of exclusionary disciplinary policies. Using Geographical Information Systems mapping technology, in-depth interviewing, and document analysis, this study finds that schools located in high SES sectors have higher rates of exclusionary disciplinary practices, whereas schools located in low SES sectors have lower levels. The findings also indicate five normative values that influence leadership’s decisions to exclude students more frequently. These guiding belief systems include productive efficiency, equality versus equity, the potential of legal liability, prescribing to a cultural deficit ideology, and the notion of strict surveillance.
Decades of federal economic policies that have concentrated poverty into isolated communities have devastated urban education, and expose youth and families to high stress and trauma. Disproportionately negative outcomes for students of color and those who are economically disadvantaged can be understood as manifestations of negative racial school climate and inadequate responsiveness to students’ trauma. As part of a school–university partnership to inform culturally responsive trauma-informed pedagogy, this study assessed the climate of a racially diverse high-poverty elementary school. Findings explored the application of the trauma-informed Sanctuary Model to address students’ trauma and a social justice response for urban education.
Job satisfaction may decrease teacher attrition. Furthermore, job satisfaction correlates with teacher retention, which may influence school building climate and student achievement. Potentially affecting students’ progress and seeking to reduce attrition rates among Black teachers, this quantitative study uses data from the 2007-2008 Schools and Staffing Survey to examine Black female teachers’ job satisfaction. Findings suggest that Black female teachers’ have job satisfaction when they are in an urban, non-charter school; receive administrative support; experience positive student behavior; and are committed to teaching. Concluding recommendations are offered for teacher education programs and school leaders.
This article examines how 18 teachers, counselors, administrators, and support staff from seven New York City public high schools collaborated during the Black and Latino Male Professional Development Initiative (a pseudonym) to develop a "culturally relevant, schoolwide, college-going culture" supportive of Black and Latino males’ college readiness and access. We draw from a mixed-methods empirical research study to discuss participants’ changing understandings of the features of such a culture, and how participants’ action plans illuminate steps for change in their schools. We provide recommendations for creating equitable educational opportunities for Black and Latino males supportive of access to postsecondary education.
Using Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Feminism as guiding conceptual frameworks, this mixed-methods empirical study examines Black girls’ exclusionary discipline outcomes. First, we examined disciplinary data from a large urban school district to assess racial group differences in office referral reasons and disparities for Black girls in out-of-school suspensions, law enforcement referrals, and expulsions. Next, we used a multivariate analysis to determine whether these patterns held after accounting for other identity markers. Finally, we used Critical Discourse Analysis to consider whether office referrals for Black girls were for subjective or objective behaviors and whether they aligned with dominant narratives.
Increasing evidence of the re-segregation of students of color within special education suggests that the constructivist-explicit instruction debate may still be relevant for urban educators. While inclusive educators advocate learner-centered constructivist methods for supporting students with disabilities, mainstream special educators equally promote explicit instructional processes. This article describes the literacy instruction of two teachers who drew on both explicit pedagogy and constructivist approaches to student learning. They reconciled these oppositional frameworks through their focus on "real" reading outcomes for their students. I argue that the teachers’ deeper commitments rendered their eclectic approach a form of inclusive pedagogy.
This article asserts that White teachers in urban schools must turn their racialized focus away from implied deficits of students of Color in the "achievement gap" frame and toward the impact their racial identities have on their craft. Through empirical analysis of White teachers’ experiences, the article suggests six areas of self-work for developing positive, anti-racist White racial identities, an integral component in culturally responsive teaching. The authors draw upon Zeus Leonardo’s "third space" of navigating Whiteness and Janet Helms’s racial identity development framework to offer practical suggestions for building more anti-racist and effective pedagogy.
This article explores decision makers’ responses of surprise or amazement to Students of Color engaged in youth participatory action research (YPAR). To address this topic, I draw upon data collected from a yearlong qualitative study of a YPAR group, applying the theoretical aspects of critical discourse analysis. The findings indicate that the decision makers in the sample expressed surprise at three aspects of YPAR: the students’ (a) capacity as researchers, (b) professionalism, and (c) motivation. These responses—termed "the discourse of surprise"—may have constrained the transformative potential of the students’ research.
This qualitative study investigated the schooling experiences of 20 young Black men who graduated from Douglass Academy, an all-boys public charter secondary school in a large urban city. Specifically, I explore how these students construct meaning from their school experiences and their efforts for academic success. The students articulated two critical components of their school experience that positively shaped their achievement and success: (a) school culture and (b) relationships. The student narratives provide a frame for promoting positive school culture that increases the sense of belonging, educational experiences, and academic aspirations of African American male students.
This study aims to test stereotype threat theory hypotheses using a pupil survey database from Flemish urban secondary education characterized by a stratified tracking system. We relate these systemic features to stereotype threat effects by adding teacher–pupil relations to our analyses. Our results show that stigmatized groups—ethnic minority pupils in vocational education—experience the most negative teacher–pupil relations. To protect their academic self-concept from stereotype threat, they are also most vulnerable to psychological disengagement, discounting negative teacher feedback, and to disidentification from education. Moreover, teacher–pupil relations play an important role in explaining stereotype threat effects.
Using a learning design perspective on No Child Left Behind (NCLB), I examine how accountability policy shaped urban educators’ instructional sensemaking. Focusing on the role of policy-rooted classifications, I examine conversations from a middle school mathematics teacher team as a "best case" because they worked diligently to comply with the NCLB. Using discourse analysis, I identify instances of torque in their conversations: when educators’ compliance with accountability logics pulled them away from humanistic goals of education in ways that stood to exacerbate existing educational inequality. This article contributes to documentation on unintended consequences of accountability policies while identifying features that contribute to torque.
In this article, I employ sociocultural theory to analyze the learning to teach process of two novice teachers enrolled in one Urban Teacher Residency (UTR). Findings show that Genesis and Jackie were differentially drawing on programmatic, disciplinary, relational, experiential, and dispositional resources as they learned to teach in an urban context. I show that programmatic resources of supervision and classroom management requirements (i.e., Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion) not only differentially influenced teachers’ learning and development but also differentially impacted the development of trust with students.
This exploratory design experiment investigates Black male youth’s participation in a science-learning environment designed to conceptualize the practice of critique as improvisational performance. The research highlights the young men’s deployment of a linguistic practice, signifying, used to co-construct and enact the practice of collaborative critique. Implications include calling for the continued reimagining of teaching and learning science within urban contexts, including the need for educators to develop the required skills for recognizing and building upon students’ potential resources. The theoretical and pedagogical choices incorporated in this study contrasts often-utilized discourses of deficiency associated with science education in urban contexts.
The purpose of this article is to describe a pedagogical inquiry the author conducted to engage preservice teachers in social justice praxis and teacher activism to address the impact of racial profiling on classroom interactions by utilizing the Trayvon Martin case. The Martin case provided the opportunity to have rich, meaningful discussions regarding race, equality, and justice with preservice teachers so that they would be better equipped to tackle such issues in the classroom. Most important, this inquiry reinforces the notion that children of color will never be treated equally until we change how they are perceived.
This article examines the perceptions of young migrants (and non-migrants), their parents, and teachers to discuss whether the school is a device of inclusion or a device of exclusion that produces inequalities. It presents qualitative and quantitative data collected in the urban areas of Lisbon and Porto. First, we analyze data from 14 focus groups, involving 94 participants, and 12 interviews. Second, we consider survey data from a sample of 1,010 youngsters of Portuguese, Angolan, and Brazilian origin. Findings suggest the school plays an ambivalent role; however, participants emphasize mostly its discriminatory and segregating role.
In this article, the authors present an analysis of two views of culture reflected in equity scholarship and their implications on research and mathematics teaching. In doing so, they draw on two interrelated theoretical orientations to describe instructional practices that support equitable learning opportunities in mathematics classrooms. These two orientations are grounded in contrasting views of culture. They discuss the contributions of and the tensions associated with each orientation, and argue for a research agenda that focuses primarily on what is called the Cultural Participation Orientation. In addition, the authors discuss the usefulness of drawing on both orientations in understanding equitable instructional practices in urban mathematics classrooms.
In this article, the author uses a "humanizing research" framework to analyze longitudinal data collected over the course of 10 years during a multi-sited ethnography of youth poets in a poetry collective called Power Writing. Using qualitative interviews to understand the role that literacy continues to play in the lives of Power Writing alumni, the author demonstrates how Power Writing continues to influence youth poets’ views on education as they continue their lives as college students, workers, parents, and partners.
Social justice, ensuring that all students receive access to equitable educational resources and opportunities to succeed academically, is a guiding principle for school counselors. With this ideal in mind, specific sociocultural factors that affect the academic achievement of African American students in urban school settings are considered. Subsequently, the four themes of the American School Counselor Association’s National Model—leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systematic change—are used to provide school counselors in urban schools with guidelines to address the academic achievement of African American students related to these sociocultural factors.
Educational disparities are deeply entrenched in U.S. society. Our research focused on a move toward equity and investment in one Midwestern charter school via the implementation of the African American Student Network. Participants were 15 male and 15 female students in Grades 9 to 12 who participated in the network for one semester. Qualitative analysis of focus group interviews revealed that students in the network experienced safety, support, empowerment, affirmation, and connectedness. Quantitative analysis revealed that pre- and post-test grade point averages (GPAs), disciplinary referrals, and attendance trended in promising directions although there were no statistically significant differences.
Middle-class, professional, and White families in gentrifying cities are increasingly choosing neighborhood public schools. As critical consumers of public education, these families frequently bring not only new resources to schools but also new demands. This article examines the process of "school gentrification" by analyzing the discourse of a neighborhood parents’ listserv. I find that as they worked to make their local public school "great," advantaged parents performed the role of careful investors, defined themselves as the source of the school’s potential value, and marginalized low-income families and families of color. These findings raise important questions about educational equity for both educational researchers and urban school and district leaders.
For the past several decades, the construct of parent involvement (PI) has framed much of the literature on school–family–community partnerships. In this study, the authors used a qualitative form of meta-analysis called thematic synthesis to explore a programmatic alternative to conventional PI known as collective parent engagement (CPE). The CPE approach examined in this study was implemented in three low-income, urban school communities. The primary goal was to help low-income parents develop programs and services that could support the strengths, needs, and challenges of children and families at school and in the community. The findings indicated that, when implemented as an isolated or "stand-alone" service strategy, CPE generally does not influence school outcomes. But when tied to a broader system of reform efforts, CPE can help transform the social-institutional landscape of low-income, urban school communities.
Despite recruitment efforts, teachers of Color are underrepresented and leaving the teaching force at faster rates than their White counterparts. Using Critical Race Theory to analyze and present representative qualitative narratives from 218 racial justice–oriented, urban teachers of color, this article affirms that urban schools—despite serving majority students of Color—operate as hostile racial climates. Color blindness and racial microaggressions manifest as macro and micro forms of racism and take a toll on the professional growth and retention of teachers of Color. These findings suggest a need for institutionalized reform to better support a diverse K-12 teaching force.
Social bonds to school (i.e., attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief) can influence educational progress and success for students; however, the children of immigrants’ bonding to school remain unclear. This study utilizes data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and incorporates multilevel analysis to examine straight-line assimilation, segmented assimilation, and immigrant optimism theories in relationship to the children of immigrants’ school bonds. Findings suggest that bonds to school are moderated by gender, race, ethnicity, and immigrant generation. The implications of the evident disparities in the children of immigrants’ bonds to U.S. public schools are discussed more broadly.
This article addresses teachers’ uptake of Black and Latina/o youth linguistic repertoires within the official space of an English Language Arts (ELA) classroom and how youth respond to corrective feedback that is focused on the form of their messages, rather than their function. Corrective feedback offered by one Latina teacher indexed larger standard language ideologies that circulate within urban Black and Latina/o schools. I argue that youth’s responses to corrective feedback point to their emerging critical meta-awareness, given their alignment against narrow conceptions of what counts as language for schooling and learning.
The purpose of this study is to describe the psychology of Black males attending private, not-for-profit, colleges and universities in urban areas. Surveys were administered over three semesters to 886 Black male college students attending 28 national colleges/universities in various urban settings across the United States. The psychological domains examined in this study included academic and racial attitudes, expressive behaviors, mental and physical health, values/priorities, rap music listening habits, leadership, masculinity, and spirituality. Overall, the results reveal that Black males in these settings are mentally healthy, possess predominantly positive attitudes, and tend to engage in constructive and/or productive behaviors.
Relying on the intersections of Indigenous Research Methodologies and Humanizing Research, the authors of this article argue that by re-centering relationships through critical listening and storying, we are better suited to co-construct our shared truths and realities in the space between the telling and hearing of stories. As we do so, we move beyond the sometimes dehumanizing "slash" of researcher/participant and professor/student and into more fertile spaces where our collective desires for educational, political, and social change are forged because of our commitment to sustaining meaningful relationships as well as our refusal to ignore our impact on each other.
Urban public universities play a critical role in the higher education enterprise. In this article, Strayhorn draws on Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and semi-structured interview data to provide a national portrait comparing predominantly White and historically Black public universities, as well as identifying factors that influence the persistence and success of Black men in urban public universities. Findings suggest the importance of background traits, academic readiness, and the ways that urban public universities provide access, support systems, and close connections with communities for students and society. Implications for practice, policy, and research are included.
Although education reforms have been designed to improve academic achievement for all students, there may be intervening factors, such as teacher expectations, that interfere with the success of these initiatives. This ethnographic case study examined student and teacher perspectives on an urban high school reform, and how that reform was experienced within the classroom by African American students. Findings suggest that these African American students felt a strong sense of positive identity with their small school, despite racist public perceptions of it. Within the classroom, students continued to face persistent low academic expectations despite the school’s pursuits of equity.
This article centers and investigates the voices of teacher candidates of color to examine how double binds influence their teaching and learning experiences in teacher education programs. Interview and focus group data from teacher candidates of color at two teacher education programs are analyzed to unpack the types of personal and systemic ties they experience as well as the strategies they utilize to escape them. Implications for eliminating the double bind in teacher education programs through the tailoring of transformative and critical preparation experiences for teacher candidates of color are explored.
Students’ academic experiences are often shaped by normalized conceptions of literacy that do not honor the interrelatedness of multiple identities, languages, and literacies. This qualitative case study in an urban middle school highlights students’ critical meta-awareness of their identities-in-practice in the figured world of their classroom via a narrative analysis of students’ writing, interviews, and focus group discussions. The author focuses on students’ internalization and/or resistance of the curriculum as a basis for developing culturally sustaining stances toward curriculum, pedagogy, and research that actively disrupt cultural, ethnic, racial, and epistemological hierarchies of power in academic contexts and beyond.
Urban teacher residencies have emerged as an innovation for recruiting, preparing, and retaining teachers for high-need urban schools. Though residencies aim to prepare teachers for specific urban contexts, we know little about how context is conceptualized in the teacher education curriculum or what teachers learn about it. This study finds that participants in one residency in San Francisco came to see context as complex and layered, interrupting stigmas often associated with urban schools. Participants felt well prepared to teach in particular high-need settings, but their knowledge and skills did not necessarily transfer to other urban settings in the same city.
To increase teacher diversity, a number of states have strategically invested in Grow Your Own (GYO) programs that recruit, support, and prepare underrepresented youth to teach in urban schools. Drawing from a mujerista lens, this qualitative research examines the experiences and perspectives of two homegrown Puerto Rican teachers in Western New York. The findings demonstrate how access to multiple opportunities and support networks positively shape their pathway into teaching. However, although a GYO program played an influential role, existing barriers undermine the systemic development of underrepresented youth for careers in urban education. Recommendations for research and practice are discussed.
The present study examines how a number of Swedish schools define and categorize students who have been exposed to different forms of violent or abusive acts in school. The study will shed light on how categorizations and forms of explanation used in the schools by professionals emerge from central institutional and professional discourses. The data are gathered from interviews with key officials and observations from school health team meetings. The results indicate a tendency toward more and detailed legal regulations concerning how schools act and react in relation to violent behavior.
As enrollment-driven postsecondary institutions, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) must actively find ways to better "serve" their students. Guided by Stanton-Salazar’s social capital framework, this study sought to understand how institutional agents use various forms of capital to develop structures that support and empower minoritized students. Using data from a study of one 4-year, master’s granting HSI, we highlight how four institutional leaders serve as empowerment agents for students, seeking ways to challenge the status quo while developing the structures and policies necessary for serving minoritized students.
The Factors Influencing Teaching Choice (FIT-Choice) scale was completed by 86 high school students of color prior to beginning a class focusing on motivating students to become interested in teaching. Findings based on confirmatory factor analysis support the underlying FIT-Choice scale factor structure reported in previous studies. Students’ perceptions about teaching and motivations to teach were significantly lower compared with predominantly White female pre-service and in-service teachers for the majority of factors. The high school students of color were most drawn to teaching by their respect for the proficiency required of a good teacher.
Drawing upon standpoint theory and phenomenology, this study chronicles the lived experiences of 16 successful female first-generation students of color as they pursued K-12 schooling and accessed higher education. Findings indicate that a complex set of school, family, peer, and personal factors affected students’ lived experiences in their urban environments; three holistic student profiles illustrate the interconnectedness of these factors. Stories of successful female first-generation students of color demonstrate how they, despite facing numerous challenges, used resistance and resilience during their K-12 urban schooling and when accessing higher education.
This research focuses on factors predicting faculty–student engagement for Black male collegians. In this study, the authors investigated whether students’ perceptions of racial/gender stereotypes had a moderating effect on the determinants of engagement with faculty. The sample population was derived from 16 urban community colleges located across four states. A total of 340 Black men participated in the Community College Survey of Men. Degree utility and intrinsic interest were both found to be positive determinants of faculty–student engagement. The variable with the most significant contribution to the model was faculty validation.
The disproportionate discipline of Black male students is a pervasive problem in U.S. schools. To examine the role of stereotypes in disciplinary disproportionality, pre-service teachers were randomly assigned to read a vignette about a defiant student. Those who read a vignette about a Black student believed that the student was more likely to misbehave in the future, compared with those who read a vignette about a White student. These findings suggest that some teachers attribute the misbehavior of Black male students to more stable causes, which may lead them to alter their behavior toward these students.
To understand how one participant "engage[s] in social action to solve problems," this research utilizes critical narrative analysis to illustrate how researchers may re-enter into critical conversations with participants to interrupt deficit discourses used when describing the lives of Black male youth. This article analyzes the narrative of Teamer—a Black male from the urban south and former student of the researcher—alongside problematic and pervasive discourse to illustrate how individual narratives provide the context for re-examining normalized notions and how participating in critical meta-awareness can interrupt the deficit gaze placed upon Black males.
Our article looks at the main themes of critical race theory (CRT) in education as outlined in the landmark 1995 article published in Teachers College Record by Gloria Ladson-Billings and William Tate. We then apply the key ideas they articulated to the social context of school leadership in the Mormon culture region of the western United States, and through interview data and reliance on secondary data reports, illustrate the resistance to social justice leadership and CRT action that school leaders face. We also explore how they engage with this conservative backlash to apply CRT leadership in practice.
Despite reform efforts to involve parents, parent–school relationships in urban districts are rare. This qualitative study used a constructivist grounded theory approach to gain an understanding of how parent social networks, specifically relationships with other parents in the school, influence parent perceptions of their role in the educational process and their efficacy to fulfill perceived roles. Findings suggest that parents have differing perceptions about their role and differences in efficacy for involvement; however, relationships with other parents are important resources for role construction and efficacy, and may serve to lessen the disconnect between parents and schools in high-poverty districts.
Although educational policy makers uphold that chronic absenteeism (missing 10% or more of the school year) is damaging to students’ schooling outcomes, there is little empirical research to match. This study considers the role of spillover effects of chronic absenteeism on classmates’ achievement. It does so by utilizing a large-scale administrative urban district data set of elementary schoolchildren—a sample of students where the rates of chronic absenteeism are expected to be higher compared with the national average. The results show that students suffer academically from having chronically absent classmates—as exhibited across both reading and math testing outcomes. Chronic absenteeism not only had a damaging effect on those individuals missing excessive school days but also has the potential to reduce outcomes for others in the same educational setting.
Despite being academically unqualified for admission to the University of Texas at Austin, Abigail Fisher, a White female, argued that she was not admitted due to the university’s diversity policy. In addition to framing postsecondary admissions as a zero-sum phenomenon, Ms. Fisher intentionally frames students of color who are admitted to the University of Texas at Austin as academically unqualified. The purpose of this article is to examine Ms. Fisher’s arguments against the University of Texas’ diversity policy as presented in Fisher v. University of Texas from a critical race theoretical perspective. In addition to obfuscating the fact that admission to the top colleges and universities in the United States has become more competitive, Ms. Fisher’s anti-diversity arguments are also consistent with a racial ideology and socially conservative agenda that frames people of color as undeserving of the opportunities traditionally associated with White people. The goal of this article is not only to situate Fisher v. University of Texas as a strategic project of Whiteness, but to also discuss what critical race theory can still teach scholars and researchers concerned with racial inequality in education.
In the last 20 years, the U.S. higher education system has witnessed the tremendous growth of for-profit colleges and universities (FPCUs). In fact, FPCUs have quickly become the fastest growing segment of postsecondary education. With innovative practices and alternative delivery of educational services, FPCUs have established a considerable pipeline for minority students, especially Blacks. This article presents research and literature on the phenomenon of the rising FPCU and what it represents for racial minorities, especially Black males. Recommendations for practice and policy for Black male student success are offered.
This article presents a study of mentor teachers who work with residents in an urban teacher residency program in New York City. Forty-six mentor teachers (i.e., cooperating teachers) were asked to describe moments of effective mentoring, as well as their own strengths, weaknesses, and goals as mentors. Implicit in mentor teachers’ descriptions of effective mentoring were their perspectives on effective teaching. These perspectives offer much insight into the challenges of clinically rich teacher preparation for a particular urban context, raising several dilemmas that should be considered amid the calls for teacher preparation that is deeply rooted in field practice.
This article addresses the discourse on career and technical education (CTE) from a multiperspectival approach to challenge the persisting academic-vocational divide. The author illustrates the paradoxical rhetoric in CTE, then shares a personal experience, and draws on ethnographic research to reveal a different understanding of enabling human capacity to support racially and culturally minoritized youth. In the end, the author suggests that a push beyond the language of investment and skills embedded in educational reform becomes all the more important in preparing youth for the future. Implications for practice, research, and policy toward possibilities in urban education are also discussed.
An African American community and an all-White school board struggled along racial lines over re-naming an elementary school. In opposition to the name change, the school district enforced its school naming policy via a race-neutral approach in practice. The study chronicles an African American community’s successful political actions in challenging its local school board to rename the elementary school Rosa Parks. These actions facilitate pedagogical conditions that augment the cultural identity of the school, bolster community involvement, and improve academic achievement. Implications suggest school leaders should account for diverse contexts where schools are situated when making policy decisions.
To understand the context of urban Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their role in educating Black males, we conducted a literature review examining the academic contributions of these institutions to Black males. To bolster the literature, we examined Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data, determining a set of urban HBCUs based on urban areas as defined by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. We explored success among Black males, including retention, graduation, and major selection. We then presented several institutions as case studies of urban HBCUs and examined programs and services that encourage student success among Black males.
This study investigates whether adequate yearly progress (AYP) status, locale, and sector—common variables used to judge the quality of schools—accurately signal true differences in instructional practices in high school mathematics and science. Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS), we find the school-to-school variation in instructional practices to be minimal. Controlling for a variety of school and teacher characteristics, we find that there is no difference in the use of developmental instruction between schools that make AYP and schools that do not, urban and nonurban schools, and public and private schools.
This study investigates a proposal to relocate a secondary school in Taiwan because of political and urbanization forces. This important issue has received little attention in the educational literature. Interviews, a focus group, and surveys were used to collect the views of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and local influential people. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis was adopted to evaluate the possibility of school relocation. The results showed that teachers were less likely to agree to relocate, whereas policymakers supported the move. The principal, many students, and their parents would agree to relocate if the new site offered a high-quality learning environment.
This article examines how four urban elementary teachers designed their literacy instruction in ways that sought to sustain students’ cultural competence—maintaining their language and cultural practices while also gaining access to more dominant ones—amid expectations to prepare students for high-stakes testing. A large part of their teaching involved taking their students’ backgrounds into account and selecting classroom texts to provide examples of the contributions made by successful culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse people with space for dialogue about inequity.
This article reports findings from a quasi-experimental study of the impact of a summer robotics program for urban middle-grade students. The study focuses on student engagement, measured by school attendance rate the year following the program. Program students, who were nearly all low-income minority students, were matched to comparison students who did not attend summer school. After establishing baseline equivalence in attendance between the groups, the study found a statistically and educationally significant program effect on school attendance the following year, suggesting that high-interest hands-on educational activities can help maintain student engagement in school.
In this article, we examine a residency program that was developed to prepare teachers specifically for New York City schools—the Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Urban Teacher Residency program. This focused preparation on the particular urban context of New York City provides us with a unique opportunity to examine the nature of preparation—how such targeted preparation is conceptualized and organized, what it offers, and what might be missing and need to be strengthened. We also describe the development of a yearlong course aimed at preparing teachers for New York, which emerged from this study.
This study contributes to the emerging research literature on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) support and persistence activities among urban teenage African American and Latina girls. We present three case studies of girls who participated in an afterschool STEM curriculum. Our within- and cross-case analyses focused on how various supports explained girls’ STEM persistence and career plans. Findings highlight the important role that parents played in supporting girls’ persistence and career interests across settings. These findings emphasize the need for research that spans settings to better understand the interplay of support networks that influence girls’ STEM interest and persistence.
Recent research has determined that racial segregation within school districts has decreased, on average, over the past two decades, even as segregation between school districts has persisted. Although case studies have documented White families’ return to urban public schools, with potential implications for segregation patterns, quantitative data on the scope of this trend are lacking. In this article, I examine enrollment and segregation within 97 urban districts from 1990 through 2010. The trend of White return to urban schools is quite limited; in most cities, White enrollment declines have persisted. Meanwhile, urban school segregation has increased modestly in recent decades.
Through an ecological systems perspective, this study explores factors that influence successful academic achievement for African American males in at-risk settings. This qualitative study examines factors that contribute to the successful academic achievement for African American males from at-risk populations. The researchers explore African American boys’ lived experiences and what contributes to their success in school. Educators and counselors are able to encourage African American male engagement in academics by understanding the interconnectedness of lived systems. This study explores the interdependency of systems in the development of self-concept for these youth. Findings suggest the value of using a systems model and approach when working with African American males in public schools to improve post-secondary outcomes. These findings have implications for promoting academic success through family, school, and community involvement for African American males.
This study uses a North Carolina administrative data set to analyze racial segregation and student achievement in Wake County during race-based and income-based school assignment plans. We find a modest increase in the level of racial segregation in Wake schools during the income-based plan, but compared with other large districts in the state, Wake County remained relatively desegregated. We also find a small increase in reading and math test scores and a narrowing of the Black-White test score gap. Our analysis indicates that the improvement in math scores may be partially due to school composition changes attributable to the income-based assignment plan.
Using a qualitative approach, we sought to understand the social networks and decision-making strategies of minority males as they choose to attend a postsecondary institution. Data were obtained from interviews where students self-report perceptions of their college transition process. Our findings suggest that students’ social networks are inefficient, disrupted, and fractured resulting in prominent informational gaps that impacted matriculation decisions. We liken students’ knowledge about the transition to college to a tip of an iceberg; that is, participants only developed a surface-level understanding of the college process. We conclude with implications for policy and practice.
This article investigates the link between school climate and student academic progress in New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) high schools. Using a data set compiled from 2010-2011 NYCDOE school-level aggregated demographic, survey, and progress report achievement data, the authors ran ordinary least squares regressions where they found that a school’s climate significantly correlated with student academic progress; under some conditions, the school climate effects outweighed the effects of student background factors. Finally, the school climate domains of safety and respect, communication, engagement, and academic expectations all proved to be important factors that were associated with student achievement.
This article reports on a 3-year ethnographic study in a Boston Public school of the performance of Haitian students on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and its lasting and likely impact upon them. MCAS is a mandated exam required for students to graduate from high school. Although there are certain provisions for students with limited English proficiency (LEP) to participate under the mandate, LEP students face the test with an enormous disadvantage compared with other students. The issue of second language acquisition appears to have been completely dismissed in the mandated policy. In light of the challenges faced by students with LEP, the article focuses on the core issues at hand in the Massachusetts standardized exam. It analyzes the complexities of language use and acquisition with respect to students with LEP, the pitfalls of the mandated exam, and the effects and impacts created by MCAS on students and their communities. It suggests that an educational system should take into consideration the complexity of acquiring a second language in a particular social context and develop new testing policies and requirements for students whose first language is not English.
The current goals of the standards-based reform environment can be limiting to teachers’ freedom and creativity. This occurs at a time when immigrant diversity transforms U.S. cities and innovative pedagogical responses are increasingly necessary. The confluence of these two processes is underexplored. Ethnography in New York City and Los Angeles demonstrated how, in classrooms serving immigrant ELs often characterized as the forgotten, neglected "margins" (hooks, 1994) three teachers responded to their transnational, multilingual contexts by developing creative practices. Case studies describe teachers as designers who enacted (a) contextually relevant curriculum making, (b) epistemically open assessment, and (c) critical languaging. It is argued that teachers who work with immigrant ELs in complex contexts are provided with opportunities to be creative designers—an opportunity currently limited by the standards-based reform movement in schools.
In this study, I reframe the debate on minority parents and their children’s educators by moving beyond concerns around student academic achievement and toward the quality of relationships among adult stakeholders. Using an interpretive lens based on Foucault’s notion of discourse, I examine three research vignettes drawn from an interventionist research project in two urban elementary schools. This examination identifies and responds to interpersonal, inter-institutional, and inter-epistemological dysfunctions. I make a concluding case for the transformative potential in the interplay of discourses: When inequalities and exclusions are redressed in the research, the project realizes a discursive and ethical possibility.
This case study is the first known employing flow in educational administration in the United States. Using Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory and Dantley’s purpose-driven leadership, an administrator’s practices were examined with respect to two guiding questions: (a) is purposefulness integral to closing extant gaps in achievement, and (b) are the elements of flow found in successful educational administration? The recorded interview was subjected to template analysis developed from tenets of both theories. The results are that all nine elements of flow were found, as were the tenets of purpose-driven leadership in the work experience of an administrator’s success in closing the district’s achievement gap.
Students from urban high schools are usually faced with adverse environmental factors in their pursuit of academic success. These factors make learning more challenging and may confound the measurement of academic performance itself. This study explores how one such factor, ambient noise, affects the measurement of mathematics achievement. Overall, about 40% of students were bothered by noise during testing. The more bothersome the noise is, the lower the math score tends to be. Noise coping explains about 10% of the test score difference, comparable with that by grade point average. These findings indicate a clear association between noise and math achievement measurement.
Studies of effective Black educators describe the teacher’s sense of urgency as the guiding perspective that manifests in their authoritative, insistent manner. Although the bulk of this work offers snapshots of insistence in practice, less is known about the perspectives that undergird Black educator urgency. Using collaborative inquiry methodology framed within an emancipatory theoretical perspective, this article describes the sociocultural factors that give rise to the sense of urgency perceived by Black educators. Findings revealed that the factors that contributed to Black educator urgency were rooted in the educators’ culture-specific perspectives. Discussion and implications for teacher educators conclude the article.
This rich, arts- and spatial-thinking-integrated project examined the effects of making three-dimensional dioramas of traditional African cultures on Black fifth graders at an urban school on students’ racial identities, knowledge of cultural universals, and spatial thinking skills. Pretest and posttest attitudes measured with the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity–Teen evidenced an increase in sense of belonging to other Black people. Students learned social studies content and recognized many cultural universals, allowing them to feel connected to the African groups. Student essays showed admiration for African cultures, connections through similar foods, and links through appreciation of animals.
Schools often struggle to build partnerships with homeless and highly mobile (HHM) families. These families are not homogeneous; they live in and engage with schools from diverse residential contexts. Using Epstein’s theory and framework and drawing from 132 interviews with HHM parents, school personnel, and community stakeholders in an urban district, results suggest that (a) interviewees had divergent experiences with family, school, and community partnerships; (b) some school actors were better positioned to engage HHM families than others; and (c) the diverse residential context of HHM families molded partnership building in unique ways. Theoretical implications and recommendations for practice and policy are discussed.
Data suggest that having a positive, internalized racial identity is related to healthy outcomes. Although some scholars have highlighted the role of education in providing a context to develop such an identity, there is a dearth of research in this area. This study analyzed racial life narrative interviews with 15 Black South Africans to explore the role of education in shaping individuals’ perceptions of being Black during and after apartheid. We uncovered three interrelated dimensions: Educational System Shapes Opportunities, Educational Context Influences Racial Awareness (through opportunities for student activism, curriculum, and personal experiences with discrimination), and Education as (Racial) Empowerment.
This narrative analysis case study challenges the education reform movement’s fascination with "grit," the notion that a non-cognitive trait like persistence is at the core of disparate educational outcomes and the answer to our inequitable education system. Through analysis of the narratives and meaning-making processes of Elijah, a 20-year-old African American seeking his High School Equivalency diploma, this case study explores linkages among dominant discourses on meritocracy, opportunity, personal responsibility, and group blame. Specifically, exposition of the figured worlds present in Elijah’s narratives points to the attempted obfuscation of social inequities present in the current educational reform movement and our broader society. This obfuscation present in the grit discourse and pedagogy aims to diminish the critical bifocality that is needed to understand and improve educational opportunity and outcomes.
In this article, the author uses the critical race theoretical construct of master narrative to explore historical and ideological assumptions about the Civil Rights Movement held by two Black youth in an urban community. Master narrative is defined as the dominant social mythologies that mute, erase, and neutralize features of racial struggle. Through a synthesis of literature by critical race theorists and critical social historians, the author outlines four themes present in master narratives about the Movement, and illustrates how each theme functions to reinforce ideologies of White supremacy. Through counterstory, the author examines ways in which these themes seem to constrain participants’ understandings of race, racism, and racial struggle. The author concludes posing questions to encourage urban social studies educators to think deeply about their historical content knowledge, curriculum, and classroom practices, and restating the need for continued exploration into the implications of master narrative in Black, urban students’ understandings of history and their contemporary conditions.
Black male adolescents face unique barriers in schools that may contribute to racial disparities in educational outcomes. Their social-cognitive strengths, however, influence their confidence to be academically successful despite these barriers. This study explored whether racial academic stereotypes and racial centrality were associated with and predicted school efficacy among 103 urban Black male adolescents. Findings indicated that racial centrality had the strongest relationship with and was the strongest predictor of school efficacy. Youth mentoring programs and educators who work with urban Black male adolescents play a key role in promoting and shaping their efficacious beliefs toward their academic success.
This article reports on the development and initial validation of the Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Self-Efficacy Scale. Data from 380 preservice and inservice teachers were used to examine the psychometric properties of the instrument. Exploratory factor analysis results suggested a one-factor structure consisting of 35 items and the scores on the measure were highly reliable. Evidence of construct validity was obtained with two existing teacher self-efficacy measures. The results of the correlational analysis lend credence that the instrument developed by the research team was indeed measuring self-efficacy beliefs. The implications for teacher education and research are discussed.
Physical education teachers’ (N = 9) beliefs and implementation of competitive activities for middle school multicultural student populations (Grades 6-8) in physical education class in the Greater New York area were examined. Data were collected by nonparticipant observation and field notes, two semistructured interviews, and postobservation informal interviews. The theory of reasoned action guided the study. Three themes emerged: competitive activities, an introduction to culture; using demonstration to teach competitive activity skills to diverse students; and creating community. Successful instruction of diverse students was observed; however, fully incorporating cultural relevance through competitive activities was not fully demonstrated.
More work is needed to engage the talents and empower Latino students to reach their full academic potential. We suggest that one potential cause for Latino student underperformance is the underrepresentation of Latino school leaders. Research suggests that school leaders who understand the cultural background and lived experiences of students tend to be more effective in improving student outcomes. This study explores the production and placement of Latino school leaders in Texas over two decades, and whether Latino educators who have obtained principal certification are as likely as their White peers to obtain a school leadership position.
The academic achievement rates of urban Latino students are significantly lower than those of non-minority youth. To date, most of the research on this topic has focused on learning and motivational characteristics of underrepresented youth in elementary and middle school and much less on urban high schools. This study investigated variables related to learning, motivation, and engagement among high school–aged Latino youth. We found that learning and motivational variables were predictive of academic engagement for Latinos, paralleling work with non-minority samples. Motivational variables are seldom given adequate attention when considering interventions for low-achieving students, despite the abundant literature that demonstrates their connection to academic outcomes. Fortunately, the factors examined in the study are amenable to intervention.
The importance of family involvement in education is well documented, yet no studies have explored teachers’ conceptualization of family involvement for urban English Language Learner (ELL) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms. We used an ethnographic approach to investigate middle school STEM educators’ perspectives on family involvement for Spanish-speaking ELL students. The analysis revealed that the participants recognized barriers to involvement for families of ELL students, yet maintained that families should communicate more and help with homework. One participant’s practices and expectations served as a contradiction to these patterns. Implications and recommendations for P-12 school policy and teacher education are emphasized.
Teaching writing to students of high need in an urban school is simultaneously pedagogical, curricular, and political. Students labeled "at-risk" for school failure often have lowered expectations placed upon them from without that impact how they feel within. Compounding this problem of perception is the real issue of heightened surveillance on these students, including the disturbing trend of involving the police when students break the rules of the school; in addition, their own history of juvenile incarceration often exacerbates their school failure. This article addresses these issues in an urban context, as well as provides insight into literacy teaching that assists students in the acquisition of knowledge, literacy, and expression.
Based on analyses of 1,622 Hmong adolescents in a large urban school district, we illuminate a positive association between school different-race exposure and Hmong limited English proficient students’ reading achievement. However, we also note a negative association of neighborhood different-race exposure with Hmong students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. These findings suggest that even if school different-race exposure opportunities are developed through racially diverse schools, this does not necessarily lead to desirable interracial social ties between Hmong students and mainstream English-speaking students. Rather, Hmong students from low SES backgrounds are more likely to benefit academically when they reside in predominantly Hmong neighborhoods.
This study examines the intermediate effects of a community-based college preparation program in a fast growth, high-needs exurban district in Texas. Participants and a matched group of nonparticipants were compared on a variety of academic and noncognitive measures. Findings indicate program participation is associated with higher scores on the state reading assessment and self-reported expectations of college graduation but do not fully explain the previously documented long-term impact of the program. Using a developmental systems perspective, the authors illustrate interactions between multiple ecological contexts and how this approach can be useful when investigating the efficacy of college preparation programs.
Direct assessments of instructional practice (e.g., classroom observations) are necessary to identify and eliminate opportunity gaps in students’ learning of mathematics. This study examined 114 middle school mathematics classrooms in four instructionally focused urban districts. Results from the Instructional Quality Assessment identified high percentages of lessons featuring cognitively challenging tasks, but declines in cognitive challenge during implementation and discussions. Overall instructional quality exceeded results from studies with nationally representative samples and paralleled results of studies of instructionally focused urban middle schools. Significant differences existed between districts, favoring the district with veteran teachers, long-term use of Standards-based curricula, and professional development initiatives.
Correlation analysis was used to analyze what experiences before and during teacher preparation for 72 graduates of an urban teacher education program were associated with urban commitment, first job location, and retention in urban schools for 3 or more years. Binary logistic regression was then used to analyze whether urban K-12 schooling, volunteer service, and student teaching in a high-poverty urban school predicted urban commitment, employment, and retention for at least 3 years in an urban school. The regressions revealed that all three factors predicted strong urban commitment and that urban commitment strongly predicted first job location and retention.
This article explores student empowerment in a restructured urban Title I middle school. The study includes data from eight participants in an action research project that involved a critical inquiry unit in an eighth-grade language arts class that asked students, "How are you empowered and disempowered by school?" Findings reveal that although No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policies are said to empower students, student empowerment is rather a negotiated process that requires teachers to help students develop an eye for fairness, create opportunities for them to express themselves in new ways, and encourage them to learn from one another.
To challenge deficit thinking concerning immigrants and refugees in urban schools, we engaged members of local immigrant and refugee communities from China, Mexico, Liberia, and Sudan in focus group discussions about their prior educational experiences, their hopes and aspirations for education, and the supports and challenges they encountered in their perceived reality of PK-12 education in the United States. In an effort to promote asset-based approaches, we employed Yosso’s framework in our analysis to highlight the community cultural wealth and to describe the process of creating an "imagined community" of education shared among our participants.
This study utilized a mixed-methods approach to holistically examine single-sex and coeducational urban elementary mathematics classes through situated cognitive theory. Participants came from two urban low-income Midwestern elementary schools with a high representation of minority students (n = 77 sixth graders, n = 4 teachers, n = 2 principals). Findings demonstrate that African American girls made more math achievement gains in single-sex classrooms; single-sex classrooms might mitigate math academic stereotypes for students and teachers; and that important contextual factors play a role in these outcomes. Testing these factors is a step toward delineating a theory of change for single-sex education in urban public schools.
Drawing from the lenses of critical race theory (CRT) and Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, this article compares the Jackie Robinson story with the Brown versus Board of Education narrative. This juxtaposition illustrates the similarities of these narratives and how interests converged racially. By comparing these historical narratives, we show that there are significant racial contingencies African Americans must internalize to integrate into society. In this sense, we argue that the Jackie Robinson story serves as a powerful and problematic pedagogy for Black males to be part of mainstream society—what we call "expected racial habitus."
This mixed methods study focused on adolescents who rejected conventional singular racial/ethnic categorization by selecting multiple race/ethnicities or writing descriptions of "Other" racial/ethnic identities in response to a survey item asking them to identify their race/ethnicity. Written responses reflected eight distinct categories ranging from elaborative descriptions of conventional race categories to responses refusing the construct of race/ethnicity. Students’ endorsement of multiple or "Other" ethnicities, and the resultant categories, differed by gender, grade, school type, and school compositions. Findings support scholars’ concern that common conceptualizations of race may not capture the complexity of self-identified racial categories among youth.
The purpose of this study is to reflect on the evolution of a partnership between a university and urban charter high school serving a predominately African American population. Because of the author’s embeddedness both as the researcher and participant member, this research assumes the paradigm of autoethnography. Reflections on key components of this evolution provide implications for teacher education, particularly in regard to a call for engagement between urban charter schools and educator preparation programs, and a challenge to higher education to analyze existing perceptions of public charter schools within a wider institutional mission to prepare educators for all children.
White Canadian teacher candidates are brought into direct dialogue with urban high school students through a yearlong immersion in a high school with a "demonized" image in the broader community. Interviews with students reveal experiences of school as "my safe space" and the predominance of a student culture not characterized by resistance, but by a positive experience of school as an autonomous relational space. We argue that attention to student voices through extended immersion in urban high schools enables teacher candidates to experience schools as uniquely situated spaces and disrupts the tendency to essentialize urban students and their schools.
Critical Civic Inquiry (CCI) is a transformative student voice initiative that engages students in critical conversations about educational equity and inquiry-based learning to increase student voice and promote civic action. A quasi-experimental study was conducted to assess if participation in CCI increased the psychological empowerment (as measured through ethnic identity and civic self-efficacy) of high school students. Students who participated in CCI pedagogy reported increases in ethnic identity and civic self-efficacy. These findings indicate the importance of supportive adult relationships, inquiry-based learning, and critical conversations about social and educational inequities in promoting the psychological empowerment of marginalized students.
In the context of high-stakes accountability, education-related policy efforts have aimed to address the improvement of persistently low-achieving (PLA) schools via turnaround reform strategies. Such strategies provide opportunities for educational leaders to influence the process; however, limited research examining the role of the assistant principal (AP) exists. This study explored the role of social justice identities of 12 APs in schools labeled as PLA in an urban, Midwestern city. Despite the policy pressures associated with turnaround reform strategies, APs leveraged their social justice identities to create innovative changes in culture and practice within schools. Although all APs perceived themselves as an ally, the extent of the orientation, and whether it leads toward emancipatory education, remains a question.
Few policies have affected American society as deeply as those related to the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education. Now, 60 years later, segregation persists along race and class divisions. This case study analysis of a merger that took place between 2010 and 2013 in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, one of the most politically contentious ones undertaken in the post–civil rights era, reveals a great deal about processes that sustain patterns of inequality. A new generation of Memphis leaders gives its perspective on education, social equality, and the future.
This article describes how African American students’ success can be improved via the increased support of Black churches and their partnerships with public schools. Findings and implications from a comparative case study of two North Carolina churches that strive to educationally assist African American public school students are detailed. Both churches have outreach programs in local schools, and their activities indicate the value of faith-based partnerships embodying "prophetic activism" that benefits broader communities and empowers African Americans overall. We draw upon the study’s findings to recommend partnership strategies for church and public educational leaders.
This article features an international inquiry of two high-poverty urban schools, one Canadian and one American. The article examines poverty in terms of "small stories" that educators and students live and tell, often on the edges, unheard and unaccounted for in grand narratives. It also expands the story constellations approach to narrative inquiry by adding a new set of paired stories: stories of poverty–poverty stories. The overall intent is to illuminate in more nuanced ways the complex factors that shape people’s lives outside the boundaries of policy prescriptions.
This study was designed to examine urban African American girls’ participation in physical education and its association with academic performance. One hundred eighty four participants completed questionnaires assessing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and learning engagement in physical education while their academic performance was based on individual grades in core academic classes. Quantitative analyses revealed that physical education played a critical role in enhancing physical activity involvement, and vigorous physical activity and learning engagement were significant predictors of academic performance. Findings suggest that besides the contribution to health promotion, African American girls’ participation in physical education may facilitate academic performance.
African American history is often taught poorly in high school U.S. history courses. However, we know little about how Black students perceive and experience this situation. I use a refined racial socialization framework and interview data with 32 Black college students in the Northeast to investigate how familial racial socialization shapes their perceptions of and experience learning about African American history in high school. Findings indicate that Black students socialized into critical and colorblind interpretations of race and racism, respectively, interpret, engage with, and respond to African American history in their high school U.S. history courses in different ways.
I am explicating the neologism critical genetics as a site of curricular engagement for urban science students, acknowledging that schools and school systems are hierarchical structures that reflect a community’s social norms and practices. This critical and standards-based critical genetics curriculum interrogates and disrupts the deficit narratives for inner-city minority youth while helping students manifest skills that are crucial for college-bound science learners. I also explicate the curricular choices made in an attempt to help students participate in developing authentic counternarratives so that they could resist the racial determinism embedded in dominant narratives of school success.
To increase the supply of teachers into underserved schools, teacher educators and policymakers commonly use two approaches: (a) recruit individuals who already report strong preferences to work in underserved schools or (b) design pre-service preparation to increase preferences. Using survey and administrative data on more than 1,000 teachers in a large, urban district, this study provides some of the first district-level evidence for both approaches. Individuals with stronger underserved preferences and teachers of color were more likely to enter underserved schools. Underserved preferences also increased across pre-service student teaching, although increases were mostly unrelated to working with underserved student populations.
Black male teachers make up less than 2% of the U.S. public school labor force. A prevalent discourse among educational stakeholders has suggested that Black male teachers are the key to helping students in urban schools develop skills to succeed in school by acting as role models. This assertion presents Black male teachers as a panacea to improving urban schools while ignoring the historical and contemporary contexts that complicate their roles in schools. This study uses life history methods to access the narratives of a group of Black male teachers to shed light on their experiences working in urban classrooms. The purpose of this study is to broaden our understandings about teacher education, teaching, and teacher retention of Black male teachers.
This case study examines the leadership practices and actions of an urban high school principal who faced many challenges, but worked diligently to improve student achievement and school climate over a 3-year period. Significant improvements were made by using elements of Distributed Leadership, Professional Learning Communities, and Social Justice Leadership. The authors suggest that contextually responsive leadership practices rather than one best practice present better solutions to the complexity in urban school leadership.
School choice has become a cornerstone of education reform plans across the nation especially in urban settings where immigrant populations often settle. Latino enrollment in charter schools has increased accordingly. Yet, little is known about how Latino parents, who arguably face significant linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers, engage in the choice process. This study examines what motivates Latino and non-Latino parents to consider a charter school and what informs their decision to enroll their children. By comparing these groups, we seek to better understand how parents, particularly those who face layers of disadvantage like Latinos, interact with the educational marketplace.
This article presents a 2-year critical case study of an urban high school innovating to enhance the academic performance of low-income Latina/o students, highlighting high-leverage practices that promote boundary crossing between school and community. First, we highlight foundational elements of school logic, mission, and community ethos that enabled boundary crossing. Second, we identify a key set of boundary-crossing practices that tap and build community wealth, and forms of capital that are shared, by bringing community into school and fostering youth engagement in community. We also reveal opportunities afforded and complexities arising from boundary crossing between school and community.
If school choice programs are to provide any degree of equitable access to educational opportunities, then useful information about academic quality needs to be available to all participants, not just those who hob knob with the school board members or chat with the superintendent over the backyard fence. This study draws upon a unique data set to identify two information sources (parent websites and school choice enrollment guides) associated with low-income and minority families’ selection of higher quality schools in Denver. The study also highlights two types of information lacked by low-income and minority families who ended up selecting lower quality schools.
This article uses a critical sociohistorical lens to discuss and explain examples of the ways in which young people reflect, refract, and contribute to discourses of gentrification, displacement, and racial, ethnic, and geographic community identity building in a rapidly changing urban neighborhood. The article explores examples from open-ended dialogic conversations in one seventh-grade classroom. In their conversations, youth imagine themselves and their communities as sociohistorically yet dynamically situated. We argue that such spaces allow for schools and students to bridge in and out of school worlds, amplifying young people’s relationships to enduring struggles in changing urban contexts.
The Urban Teaching Barriers survey was created to assess barriers to urban teaching careers. Pre-service teachers (N = 377) completed this instrument, along with questionnaires that assessed urban teaching intentions and urban teaching self-efficacy. Six barrier domains were identified that tapped concerns over (a) lack of resources, (b) insufficient urban teacher preparation training, (c) cultural competency, (d) safety, (e) personal concerns, and (f) lack of support. The barrier subscales were differentially related to urban teaching intentions and teaching self-efficacy. These results as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.
While after-school programs are plentiful, they are often developed arbitrarily with little attention given to theoretical underpinnings that may inform program interventions. In this article, after-school programs are situated in resilience theory as protective factors, which encourage resilience among young Black males and other urban youth. The resilience literature is explored, granting attention to varying resilience models and contextualizing resilience in young Black males. Several risk factors such as poverty, violence exposure, and academic difficulty, which often plague these young men, are also examined. Finally, after-school programs are introduced as resources for Black males and other urban youth.
Adopting a Freirean perspective, the purpose of this autoethnography is to reframe the typical relationship between university educators and communities in poverty by highlighting the educative impact of such a community on a university professor’s academic, cross-cultural critical and civic learning. By reframing communities in poverty as sources of learning for counter-hegemonic praxis, this article highlights how community engagement facilitates the authentic understanding of critical pedagogy, the rethinking of curriculum development, deeper critical awareness of the mechanisms by which privilege and marginalization are perpetuated, and opportunities to learn how some of these processes might be interrupted through meaningful university–community partnership.
An unsustainable workload is considered the primary cause of teacher turnover at Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), yet most reports provide anecdotal evidence to support this claim. This study uses 2010-2011 survey data from one large CMO and finds that teachers’ perceptions of workload are significantly associated with decisions to leave across schools and teachers. About 1 out of 3 teachers who rated their workload "unmanageable" left their school compared with 1 in 10 who did not rate their workload unmanageable. However, controlling for perceptions of leadership and professional growth, workload was no longer associated with turnover. Accounting for measures of working conditions across schools and teachers, perceptions of the CMO’s student disciplinary systems were the only significant predictor of turnover.
This article uses case study methods and theories of literacy as social practice to explore how an adolescent developed her religious identity and religious literacies in relationship with more secular identities and literacy practices across multiple social contexts. It further examines how the youth engaged her religious identity and religious literacies concomitantly with other identities and literacy practices for developing and displaying academic identity and academic literacies in school. In so doing, the article offers important theoretical understandings and pedagogical implications relative to the potential of religious identity and religious literacies in the education of increasingly diverse urban school populations.
Urban–rural disparities in educational outcomes have so far primarily received attention in U.S.-based research. These studies show that pupils in rural areas are at a disadvantage compared with pupils in (sub)urban areas. This article aims to examine urban–nonurban differences in educational choice in a European context, namely Flanders (the northern part of Belgium). To do so, we make use of data gathered from 1,339 parents of pupils in a sample of 53 primary schools (24 urban, 29 nonurban). We find that pupils in urban areas make more ambitious choices and that this is partly explained by local labor market conditions.
School–community partnerships are currently in the forefront of place-based urban reform efforts. But the literature on these partnerships indicates a variety of models that require different commitments and resources. Through a close review of the literature, we developed a typology of four partnership categories organized from the least to the most comprehensive in purpose and design. This typology reveals different theories of action as well as the conditions that facilitate or obstruct various models of partnership implementation. We argue that such a typology is a useful tool in guiding systemic educational reform, research, and evaluation.
Latino immigrant children represent the fastest-growing population in the United States and families are frequently residing outside of the traditional migration destinations. These cities lack the infrastructure and resources to provide culturally relevant services and bilingual education that supports these youth. Following a social-ecological approach that attends to the multiple contextual and cultural factors that influence individuals, this study identifies the risk and protective factors experienced by Latino immigrant youth living within a nontraditional destination area. Youth described relationship, immigration, academic, language, and familial stressors as significant risk factors. Protective factors included family networks, peer relationships, and school supports.
A qualitative research study conducted in two public high schools in an urban area of the Midwest sought to explore the issue of race as it pertains to educational policy implementation for unaccompanied homeless youth of color. Critical Race Theory (CRT) served as the guiding frame and method, uncovering the underlying theme of race in school structures, adult perceptions, and McKinney–Vento policy. Findings indicate a need to further explore the role race plays in understanding, framing, and implementing McKinney–Vento policy in schools.
Increasing control and security has become a common strategy to address school violence. Some argue, however, that increasing social control has detrimental consequences for racial and ethnic minorities, especially Latinas/os. This study utilizes mixed methods to research the influence of school justice, fairness, order, and discipline may have on Latina/o youth dropping out. Quantitative data reveal any potential benefits of increased school justice, fairness, and order against dropping out are negated once Latina/o youth are disciplined. Qualitative data suggest Latina/o youth perceive differential treatment as a consequence of increased securitization that could lead to these students dropping out of school.
Programs preparing culturally responsive school leaders must address how race, power, and individual, institutional, and cultural racism impact beliefs, structures, and outcomes for students of color. To develop greater awareness of race, instructors in a principal preparation program assigned students in a primarily White cohort to compose racial autobiographies. Analysis of these racial autobiographies revealed early racial identity development impacted by racial isolation and family influence. The autobiographies included evidence of growing racial awareness and movement away from racial unconsciousness and colorblindness toward acknowledgment of privilege and commitment to future action. Racial autobiography serves as a useful tool to have students examine their own racial identity—a necessary first step toward building an awareness of race, privilege, and institutional and societal systems of racism and other forms of oppression. Further study will determine what changes in leadership practice, if any, might be attributed to this increased awareness.
Parental involvement in education has been associated with a number of positive outcomes for students. Using a mixed-methods approach, the authors examine how role construction and self-efficacy (psychological motivators), invitations (contextual motivators), and life contexts influence a parent’s decision to become involved within the context of an urban high school serving primarily Latino, African American, and immigrant children. Data collection strategies included parent focus groups, teacher interviews, and parent and teacher surveys (N = 73). Findings highlight the importance of school invitations and considering family culture when engaging parents. The authors also compare involvement strategies and barriers as identified by parents and teachers.
Teach For America (TFA), an organization that places college graduates as teachers in low-income areas for 2 years, contributes to teacher attrition. With this mixed methods study in one urban region, we investigated teachers’ professional decisions at the end of 2 years. Respondents fell into categories in relation to the organization’s 2-year commitment, including leavers, lingerers, and lasters, and descriptors related to remaining at placement school or relocating to another school. Historical, environmental, and external factors impacted teachers’ professional decisions related to retention and attrition. Findings provide insight to improve retention of TFA teachers.
Through a Multiple Marginality Framework, this exploratory case study highlights how African American male youth in an urban high school setting perceive the opportunity structure during the historic election of the first African American President. Youth optimism generated by Obama’s election gives students a sense of hope despite the persistent inequality they face in inner-city communities and schools. Findings suggest that the pervasive influence of both structural and cultural factors—such as poverty, racial ideology, racial tracking in schools, and street socialization—help explain students’ aspirations and constrained expectations to pursue professional athletics. The implications of this study call for a reemphasis on the relevancy of school and community factors and influences in improving the perceptions of opportunity for African American males.
Despite the federal government’s historical effort to ensure educational equity via policies targeting issues critical to U.S. urban cities, a transformation has taken place in the discourses shaping educational policy solutions. While policies targeting educational equity have not completely vanquished, they have been largely re-written by discourses of efficiency and accountability. Informed by Hajer’s notion of policy vocabularies, this article highlights how the written inscription of equity-related discourses within documents used to guide leadership preparation may shape the ways in which programs consider the construction of curricula focused on issues related to equity.
Federal policy changes for Head Start (HS) elevate the importance of measured academic performance over other traditional program aims, particularly those associated with the social-emotional development of children. Concerned about the possible effects of these changes on children, based on observations and interviews, detailed portraits of teachers, parents, and children in a program serving the chronically homeless were constructed. Based on these portraits, the authors conclude that the question that has largely directed studies of HS—"does Head Start do any lasting good?"—is the wrong guiding question for policy. The better question is "What is good for them now?"
Adolescents have a unique perspective on their own development. However, educators have not fully considered the role of students’ meaning making in the provision and receipt of school-based supports. To address this gap, this article draws on photographs and in-depth interviews that explore urban middle school students’ experiences with learning supports. The findings suggest that students seek learning supports that provide them with agency, nurture a sense of trust, and allow for opportunities to help others. This article suggests recommendations for the practice and research of learning supports, including involving students more fully in support processes.
Empathy is theorized to help teachers build strategic student–teacher relationships, develop productive parent partnerships, and acquire professionally informed social and cultural perspectives of students and families. However, this literature offers little empirical evidence regarding how practicing teachers conceive of and enact empathy in their work with students of color in urban schools. This article examines early career White female teachers’ conceptions or beliefs about empathy, and how those conceptions inform their professional decision making. Findings suggest several conflicts and contradictions exist between teacher participants’ conceptions of empathy’s relevance to her teaching, and what they do in their actual teaching practice.
A meta-analysis was undertaken, including 66 studies, to determine the relationship between father involvement and the educational outcomes of urban school children. Statistical analyses were done to determine the overall impact and specific components of father involvement. The possible differing effects of paternal involvement by race were also examined. The results indicate that the association between father involvement and the educational outcomes of youth overall is significant statistically. Paternal involvement, as a whole, yielded effect sizes of usually just under .2 of a standard deviation unit. The positive effects of father involvement held for both White and minority children.
Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies assert colorblindness flourishes when most urban teachers who are White feel emotionally uncomfortable to engage in dynamics of race in the classroom. Colorblind ideology distorts urban teaching because it presumes (a) many White teachers are missionaries trained to save and (b) urban schools are pathological deficits that need to be saved. We propose a community of color epistemological approach that draws from emotional strengths found inside urban communities of color and supports the pedagogical and emotional investment needed to (a) operate critical race activism inside urban classrooms and (b) disrupt the normalcy of Whiteness in schools. We present a counterstory of how one urban teacher engaged in critical race teacher activism.
This review highlights the ways in which race is heard and played to advantage or disadvantage. From Barack Obama’s redefinition of presidential—through his deft linguistic style-shifting—to the ways race is read in the speech of students and the general public, Articulate While Black (AWB) challenges the notion of a postracial United States and persuades the reader that who decides the power of racialized English is an open question. Furthermore, it is a call to action for teachers to change the ways race is heard, leveraged, and celebrated in classrooms dedicated to equity and social justice.
Southern California is facing a demographic transformation that will become characteristic of the nation as a whole in coming decades. In this research, we present a historical review of the region’s attempt to address school inequity, recent enrollment and segregation trends, and an investigation of whether segregation still matters. Our results indicate that school segregation has increased, with inequitable access to learning opportunities and resources enduring. Policies advocating integration by some combination of socioeconomic status, race, and/or linguistic background are legal, offer real possibilities, and should be used in Southern California and other similar regions across the nation.
We use the framework of institutional pluralism to provide new insights into a controversial process of market-based reform—school closures. School closure is a shock that highlights the dynamics and definitions of failure and surfaces values and meanings that might otherwise be hidden from consideration. Using qualitative data from a closing urban school, we disaggregate stakeholders’ competing conceptions of legitimacy and argue that failure is an interpretive process. We find that this school was closed based on the evaluative criteria of district administrators, occasioning disruptions for teachers, parents, and students that ultimately run counter to some goals of district administration.
This study examines the relationship between networks that provide high school students with "social capital for college" (SCFC) and their access to selective institutions. It also explores the link between racial disparities in access to selective colleges and the composition of students’ SCFC networks. Findings indicate that while composition of students’ SCFC networks did not vary by race, it was associated with significant differences in the selectivity of their first choice colleges. They also indicate that students in our sample who relied heavily on their peers for information related to college-going are less likely to pursue access to the most selective colleges.
This study draws from a larger phenomenological study on African American academic persistence and career aspirations in education. This article highlights three African American males’ experiences with concentrated forms of stereotype threat in teacher education. Their voices revealed dimensions of how power and privilege operate in teacher education. Three themes emerged as significant factors, stereotype threat, grappling with marginalization, and significant role models, in their schooling experiences and motivations to teach. Findings of this study suggest practical implications for teacher-credential programs, faculty practice, and prospective African American male teachers.
This article analyzes teaching that begins with the realities, ideologies, and articulations of dispossessed youth of color to shift perceptions of cultural deficits into potential academic strengths that are also critical. Drawing on culturally relevant, critical pedagogical, and critical literacy theories to understand the educational needs of historically dispossessed cultural groups in the United States and propose a humanizing pedagogy, this article offers critical participatory teacher analysis that suggests this can be done by (a) agitating students politically, (b) arousing their critical curiosity, and (c) inspiring self and social transformation.
White teacher savior films (WTSFs) depict the teaching profession as one for which conventional credentialing is unnecessary. White teachers with little training and experience perform miracles in urban classrooms where trained, experienced teachers have failed. This same narrative is echoed in alternative credential programs such as Teach For America (TFA). This article compares the WTSF and TFA narratives with the educational research and finds inconsistencies that unravel the myth. The author suggests that the WTSF and TFA narratives serve instead as public pedagogy, teaching movie-goers that urban schools need only well-meaning, less expensive, underqualified and inexperienced White teachers despite the research showing otherwise.
School turnaround—a reform strategy that strives for quick and dramatic transformation of low-performing schools—has gained prominence in recent years. This study uses interviews and focus groups conducted with 86 teachers in 13 schools during the early stages of school turnaround in a large urban district to examine teachers’ perceptions of the social and organizational conditions within their schools. The study shows that some turnaround schools provided more positive working conditions than others, particularly with respect to organizational function and culture. It further finds a strong association between teachers’ perceptions of school-level working conditions and support for school turnaround.
The implementation of education policies requiring the turnaround of persistently low-achieving schools has demanded reforms that will not only improve achievement, but also deliver results in a short period of time. To meet such demands, Jefferson County Public Schools educators implemented Project Proficiency (PP). Results from state-administered mathematics tests demonstrated that all participating schools reported substantial increases in student proficiency. We examined the impact of PP on the performance of students, who met dropout predictive criteria established by Balfanz, Herzog, and MacIver. Study results suggested that PP students at risk of dropout realized meaningful and statistically significant achievement gains.
This mixed-methods study examines educational experiences of Latino immigrant young adult dropouts in New York City, along with pre- and postmigration factors that impact school participation. Due to age, interrupted schooling, and limited English proficiency, high schools view this population as hard to serve. Increasing numbers of these youth turn to adult and alternative education programs, seeking a pathway to college and job training. Data presented raise questions about the impact of local and federal education policies on educational access for immigrant young adults and contribute to the national conversation about education and career pathways for disconnected and underserved youth.
In this article, I draw on the ethnographic study of a Universal Pre-Kindergarten class to theorize the functional appeal of conflict that permeates young children’s interactions. From a conflict theory perspective, I document how young children negotiate meaning in and with their world as they engage in learning through conflict. While considering multiple and overlapping dimensions of conflict influencing and informing life in this classroom community, through an analytic narrative, I theorize and story conflict in an early childhood setting, illustrate the transformative possibilities of conflict, and challenge the concept of the "ideal" early childhood classroom.
This article explores whether contemporary educators should consider single-sex educational settings as viable interventions in educating African American males. Using qualitative data from a 2-year study of single-sex educational spaces in two Los Angeles County high schools, the authors argue that when all-male spaces effectively function as Critical Race Theory counterspaces, the educational experiences of high school–aged Black males are positively transformed. These cocurricular, single-sex counterspaces can effectively shield Black males from the marginalizing effects of urban schooling while serving as platforms for productive reengagement in positive school trajectories. Research-based principles for designing effective single-sex educational settings are discussed.
Educational achievement is a key determinant of future life chances, but children growing up in poverty tend to do worse by many academic measures. Family, school, and neighborhood contextual characteristics may affect academic outcomes. In an attempt to explore neighborhood and individual-level factors, we performed multilevel analyses to explain child’s behavioral problems, repeat grade, average math, and reading scores. Outcome measures were associated with specific neighborhood characteristics, above and beyond the effect of student-/family-level factors. The findings warrant further consideration of ecological interventions aiming to improve academic and behavioral outcomes of children living in poverty.
The racial "mismatch" between a non-White student public school population and a primarily White teaching force continues to be underexamined through an appropriate cultural lens. This literature review provides examples of how White teachers must properly recognize non-White students’ actions and rhetoric in classroom settings as valuable cultural capital. By addressing how White teachers must reflect on their own race within the dominant school structure to close the opportunity gap, this literature review presents both a theoretical and a practical "call to action" for how White teachers in urban classrooms must critically rethink non-White students’ cultural capital in the context of teaching and learning.
Schools located near to airports are exposed to high levels of noise which can cause cognitive, health, and hearing problems. Therefore, this study sought to explore whether this noise may cause auditory language processing (ALP) problems in primary school learners. Sixty-one children attending schools exposed to high levels of noise were matched to 68 children in quieter schools. Audiological screening and ALP assessments were undertaken and revealed that the children from the noise-exposed schools scored below average in all the ALP subtests. This study suggests that airport noise may impact on children’s ALP abilities.
This study explored the relation between classroom interactions and exclusionary school discipline practices within and across four classrooms in a disciplinary alternative school. Critical social practice theory and critical microethnographic methodology supported the examination, interpretation, and analysis of interactive power to illuminate ways of transforming exclusionary school discipline practices. Data showed that exclusionary school discipline practices are mediated through power relations with insights into and implications for transforming exclusionary school discipline practices found in teachers’ discipline goals, ideology, and views of culture.
In this critically reflective article, we share our perceptions of the epistemologies that shape our own understanding of successful ESL education and that of a school district that asked us to help redevelop its ESL program. Our differing epistemologies, ours critical and aimed toward social justice, theirs built on what we describe as neoliberal educational discourse and deficit constructions of ELLs and Latinas/os, inevitably led to the collapse of our collaboration. Our differences, particular points of tension, and the impact of this deep and wide chasm on policy and schooling are examined.
This mixed-methods study examined urban adolescents’ perceptions of gender and racial/ethnic barriers to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) success, and their meaning-making and coping regarding these experiences. The sample includes surveys from 1024 high school-aged students and interviews from 53 students. Logistic analysis showed that higher science aspirations significantly predicted perceived support for girls and women in science. Analysis of interviews showed themes of microaggressions, responses to microaggressions, and gender- and race-based support. Findings suggest participants vary in perceptions of barriers, yet are generally optimistic about overcoming such obstacles.
This study compared the homework practices of English-speaking and non-English–speaking parents. Using a national data set of 7,992 students across ages and ethnicities, the frequency and type of homework practices were investigated. Statistical analysis revealed significant (though small) differences between the overall homework practices between the groups of parents. There were also differences between the types of homework strategies parents employed, with English-speaking parents more likely to provide a place for homework and helping with homework and non-English more likely to check for homework completion. The results challenge the notion that nondominant parents are less involved in their children’s homework.
Understanding the beliefs of preservice teachers is an important area to investigate in the teacher education process. This article examines the relationship between preservice teachers’ beliefs pertaining to diversity and urban schooling and how these inclinations contribute to a commitment to teaching urban students. Canonical correlation analysis was used to identify profiles of preservice teachers who exhibited varying degrees of interest to teach in urban schools. The statistical analysis provides a range of positive and negative attitudinal inclinations toward urban teaching. It is important to examine preservice teacher beliefs to benefit students in urban schools especially in light of prevailing teacher attrition.
In this article, we report on an ethnographic study of figured worlds of resettlement and identities that Muslim refugee youth from the Russian Federation coconstructed in an urban school at the Southwestern U.S. border. In the school, multiple cultural-historical discourses came together within a glocal context: refugee families, a global Islamic movement, and deficit-oriented educational ideologies. Three empirically derived themes emerged: Glocal adaptation, multiple literacies, and sticking together. The overall impact of this study derives from two aspects of the analysis: The cultural-historical analysis of refugee resettlement and the hybrid identities of refugee students.
This longitudinal mixed-methods study investigates the efficacy and sustainability of instructional coaching outcomes among urban elementary teachers (N = 36) using focus group and quantitative pre-, post-, and 1 year-after intervention data. Coached teachers participated in a 30-hr workshop and then seven cycles of coaching (15 hr) targeting use of five research-based principles of learning—the Standards for Effective Pedagogy—for teaching diverse students. Findings demonstrate instructional coaching led to statistically significant (a) pedagogical transformation and (b) patterns of sustainability and attrition. Implications for theory, practice, and research are derived by interpreting quantitative and qualitative findings together.
This case study describes tensions that became apparent between community members and school administrators after a proposal to close a historically African American public high school in a large urban Southwestern city. When members of the city’s longstanding African American community responded with outrage, the school district’s senior administration backed away from their proposal to close the school, despite making what it felt was a "neutral" and technical-rational decision. However, the local community interpreted this move as the historical continuation of racist behaviors and policies that had been experienced by the community over a period of several decades. Critical race theory (CRT) allows for an analysis regarding the nature of these beliefs about race and indicates the need for school administrators to engage the realities of the community members they serve, rather than merely enacting technical-rational administrative behaviors that serve to continue regimes of marginalization and oppression.
As urban districts undertake special education reform initiatives to move toward inclusive schooling arrangements, educators are challenged to reflect critically on their practices to support greater participation of all students, including those with disabilities. The authors describe the narratives of three educators who participated in a professional development opportunity offered in the context of special education reform within a large urban school district. By exploring the parameters of their practice, their professional priorities and their struggles in adopting the offerings of this professional development, the authors derive important clues to the process of change that can inform professional development for inclusive practice.
As part of a larger investigation into the educational experiences of Haitians in South Florida, this study explores factors that influence the identity development and academic success of Haitian students. Individual and focus group interviews with Haitian students, parents, and teachers provide the context for studying how pressures from both home and school shape the identity development of Haitian youth. Using a conceptual framework grounded in both structural and cultural analysis of identity formation, we describe three themes that emerged from our analysis: (a) learning as recitation or inquiry, (b) teacher as strict parent or lenient spectator, and (c) peers like me or Americanization.
Cosmopolitan capital became an integral ingredient in the set of competencies considered to provide a competitive edge for effective citizenship in the 21st century. Recently, internationalization of education became a more common phenomenon in secondary schools, serving as a tool to provide youth with cosmopolitan capital and relevant capabilities for the future. This research investigates the internationalization processes taking place in Palestinian-Arab secondary schools in Israel. Drawing on semistructured interviews with school principals and teachers, it identifies and characterizes the phenomenon of internationalization in schools. The findings reveal a complex, multidimensional behavior of school principals with regard to this process. Generally, principals support internationalization, although the scope, nature, and intensity of the international activities largely depend on schools’ contextual variables. The international dimension in Israeli Palestinian-Arabs schools was found to be closely related to political and national circumstances. The importance of this dimension in secondary education is depicted through the school principals’ and teachers’ views and opinions.
The intense focus on standardized tests has created a culture of anxiety in many inner-city schools. This article presents the findings of a case study of a test anxiety program that helped inner-city students and staffs deal more productively with anxiety through play, performance, and team building. According to the findings, the program created an environment where children and teachers talked about, addressed, and even played with their fears around testing. The program did this by destigmatizing anxiety, using improvisation to transform children’s relationship to fear, and by creating new tools for dealing with anxiety and test-taking.
Recently, we have witnessed three trends impacting educational experiences for undocumented Mexican students: (a) a dramatic increase of Mexican-origin people, (b) organized and openly supported anti-immigrant policies with a racial dimension, and (c) increased participation by politicized migrants in national public discussions on immigration. Still, there is little research on the educational outcomes of undocumented migrants. Through critical race theory (CRT), this study offers a quantitative intersectional approach that disaggregates the specific influence of gender, race, and citizenship on educational attainment. Our findings challenge traditional homogenizing narratives of the Chicana/o educational pipeline, calling for an intersectional examination of the nuanced educational experiences of people of Mexican origin (POMO).
Recent evidence suggests that the neighborhood context, particularly for urban youth, can influence a range of outcomes. This study makes contributions to the field by examining how the neighborhood context directly relates to missing school. To do so, this study employs a large-scale, longitudinal data set of multilevel observations for entire elementary- and middle-school student cohorts in an urban district over 8 academic years. By linking urban school district administrative data with U.S. Census data, this study provides unique insight into how the characteristics of the neighbors on a student’s residential block (determined by his or her exact home address) predict school absences. The results indicate significant relationships between school absences and multiple categories of neighbor attributes, as delineated across measures of poverty, family structure, homeownership status, and race. These results are also distinguishable based on student gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
A mainstay in NCLB and the Obama administration education plan is turning around low-performing schools. This study utilized surveys and interviews with school leaders from four turnaround urban high schools in Texas to understand student outcomes before and after school restructuring and reconstitution. Although some organizational changes were apparent; overall, respondents cited rapidly changing technical strategies and haphazard adjustments from external sources as a great challenge. Reconstitution also magnified challenges that existed before and after restructuring efforts. Most importantly, the evidence suggests that school reconstitution did not immediately improve student achievement, impact grade retention and decrease student dropout in the study schools.
School "turnaround" has received significant attention recently in education literature and policy action, especially as a means to dramatically improve urban education. In current common education usage, "turnaround" refers to the rapid, significant improvement in the academic achievement of persistently low-achieving schools. Employing a conceptual framework informed by research regarding school reform history, the school leadership fashion cycle, and paradoxes in educational innovation and reform, this exploratory study examines policy documents, foundation works, and empirical studies in considering the historical roots, current recommended practices, and outcomes to date of the turnaround reform movement. We present the results of our inquiry in the form of a series of vexing paradoxes that characterize the recent fervor for school turnaround at the same time they signal the promise and pitfalls of the reform idea. We conclude by examining implications for urban school policy makers and school-based leaders.
Informal "teacher talk" about students is ubiquitous, but it remains largely unexamined. This study critically examines casual, everyday teacher discourse about students perceived to be racially or culturally "different." Data were collected through participants’ journal entries, group discussion, and interviews. Findings revealed three dominant deficit-based discursive themes embedded in informal teacher talk about students of color. I argue for the need to heighten educators’ critical awareness of deficit discourse and its relationship to teaching, learning, and issues of equity. This article will likely be of interest to educational administration faculty, teacher educators, K-12 educators, and those studying school culture.
This article compares a White teacher’s approach to authority with that of an African American warm demander. Ethnographic methods and discourse analysis illuminated how an African American teacher grounded her authority with African American students in shared culture, history, and frame of reference. A comparative analysis makes visible what White teachers need to do differently to establish cross-racial authority with African American students, such as prioritize interpersonal relationships, communicate in culturally congruent ways, link care with justice, develop a critical race consciousness, ally with students, and critique curriculum. The article offers a reconceptualization of the warm demander relevant for White teachers.
This article explores the results of a study of Latino youth in New York City public high schools. We propose that the common element among the schools is what we call here transcaring, an overarching culture of care that allows for the creation of third spaces within school, transcending traditional dichotomies around language, culture, place, and measurement found in many U.S. schools. We identify the different threads that make up transcaring strategies—translanguaging, transculturación, transcollaboration and transactions through dynamic assessments—focusing on each of its components by drawing examples from our data.
In this research, situated in a small urban district with a state-imposed school board, we analyze participation of community members during a three-year effort to improve schools. Through a qualitative analysis of forms of community engagement, this article offers a framework for understanding participation. We present two overlapping continua of participation by community stakeholders in school board meetings. One continuum focuses on who initiates participation, and a second represents the impact of participation. We conclude that decision making by boards is often complex, reflecting public and private moves that include and exclude stakeholders. Ultimately, participation on school boards involves listening, communication, and trust.
This study sought to examine the association of the various forms of capital on the developed achievement of Black males. As one of the richest longitudinal family economic data sets, the Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics is used to estimate multilevel growth models of the math and reading achievement of Black males. Results suggest that the family’s permanent income has a large positive effect on the level of both math and reading achievement. Of the practices of social/cultural capital, parental emotional/cognitive stimulation, parents observing the classroom, and parental attendance at school events each had meaningful positive effects on the level of both math and reading achievement.