Racist Curricula in the 21st Century Do Exist
Any curriculum, even the most enlightened, has traces of racism. This is simply because we all have biases that come through in multiple ways. Our responsibility as educators is to be critically self-reflective and continuously monitor ourselves, our work, and our interactions with both the students we teach and those around us.
Invariably, believing we are culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining, is an indication that we still have work to do. This is because we are always in a state of becoming. New experiences and knowledge expand our ways of thinking and intersect with our lived experiences making the familiar strange. This is true for individuals and curriculum. That is why continuous critical self-reflection is essential as it affords us the opportunity to negotiate uncomfortable and challenging spaces, experiences, and interactions. It is through this disruption that we learn.
Augusta University on a Mission to Recruit More African American Male Teachers
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
This article originally appeared in JagWire and is reprinted with permission.
Growing up in Elberton, Georgia, Marcus Allen had a lot of incredible teachers who inspired him to be the man he is today.
They were thoughtful, patient and caring, but Allen, who is now the principal of Grovetown Middle School in Columbia County, admits there was one major component missing throughout his childhood education.
“Back then, I didn’t see people who looked like me teaching,” Allen said. “I didn’t have any African American male teachers at my school. And I think it’s important for students to be able to see someone who they can relate to in the classroom. Somebody who they can say, ‘He really might be able to advocate for me.’”
AACTE’s DEI Video Highlights Promising Practices to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
AACTE is focusing on ways that education leaders and colleges of education can employ to address the national shortage of educators of color more effectively. “AACTE’s new mission is to revolutionize education for all learners,” said AACTE Board Chair Kim Metcalf, dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “We are shifting our efforts to provide members support and encouragement to be innovative in ways that address not just today’s needs in their local communities, but the needs that those communities will have in years to come.”
Why are schools still segregated in 2019? The answer to this question is a complicated one. One with roots deep in the history of our educational system. The surface answer has to do with the fact that racist curricula and prejudice within our society still exist. Where you live determines where you go to school. Many times, the poorer, minority students live in lower income neighborhoods. And as children become racially isolated, it then trickles into our schools, resulting in segregation.
In fact, segregation is even evident in schools that are racially diverse. You’ll notice that most students in advanced placement classes are Caucasian or Asian. Who do we see in remedial classes? We see African American students, particularly African American males. Even with a diverse student population, the evidence of systemic segregation is scarily rampant. The deep vestiges of racism and segregation subtly permeate through our schools and it sets dangerous precedents.
In an article that originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, author Julia Piper explores the experiences of Valarie Kinlock as the first black female dean at the University of Pittsburgh. Kinlock, the dean of the School of Education, didn’t realize she was the first when she was hired. Since her appointment, she has gone from being the only black female dean at the university to being one of two. She emphasizes the need for more conversations about racism as more people of color progress to leadership roles.
The article highlights data on the gender of university deans, including the AACTE report published last year: Colleges of Education: A National Portrait. According to the AACTE research, the “average” dean of a college of education is a white woman.
AACTE recently released its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement: AACTE, its members, and partners collaborate to revolutionize education for all learners. Aligned with the new strategic plan, Ed Prep Matters is launching a new column called Revolutionizing Education to showcase the many ways the Association and member institutions are moving beyond traditional perspectives and are pioneering positive change in educator preparation.
The Revolutionizing Education column is an opportunity for member institutions and partners to share the leading-edge research, models, strategies, programs, and initiatives that focus on the three core values outlined in the new AACTE strategic plan:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Quality and impact
- Inquiry and Innovation
This article, written by AACTE Director of Government Relations K. Ward Cummings, originally appeared in the Daily News Opinion section and is reprinted with permission.
The civil rights leader Malcolm X once famously said that the most segregated hour in American life is high noon on Sunday. If he were alive today, he might also include those weekday hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when our children are in school.
This past May was the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. The occasion inspired numerous panel discussions, seminars and reports about how much or how little the state of education has changed in the last half-century. Sadly, considerable attention also was paid to the subject of how segregated American schools remain 65 years later.
This article, written by AACTE Dean of Residence Leslie T. Fenwick, originally appeared in the Washington Post Valerie Strauss column and is reprinted with permission.
“The Problem We All Live With” is the title of the famed Norman Rockwell painting inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges and school integration. In 1964, Rockwell created the painting for the 10th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education legal decision that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. The subject of Rockwell’s painting was inspired by Ruby Bridges, who was just 6 years old (born four months after the May 1954 Brown decision) when she integrated the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.
The rabid violence hurled at young Ruby (mainly that day by white women on the scene) is represented in Rockwell’s painting by a racial slur, the letters KKK and a splattered tomato — all appearing on the wall behind Ruby as she marches forward. Despite this terrorism, innocent Ruby walks close on the heels of the front two guards into an undeterrable future. The painting is triumphant. Ruby’s right to attend an American public school unshackled by segregation was ensured by the federal government and, that day, warranted the protection of U.S. federal marshals.
AACTE is excited to announce the release of its new video series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in educator preparation. The videos address a wide variety of topics ranging from promising practices for recruiting and retaining teachers of color, to the importance of culturally relevant teaching for growing the special education teacher pipeline, and also promoting equal access to quality teachers, just to name a few.
The video series exemplifies the Association’s new strategic priority to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. AACTE and its members value the diversity of students, their families, and educators; equity in access to high quality instructional environments; and the inclusion of all students, defined as access and opportunity in PK-20 classrooms.
This op-ed article originally appeared in The State and is reprinted with permission.
I was wasting time on Twitter when I came across a post that stopped me mid-scroll. The original post posed a question: How many black male educators did you have in kindergarten through 12th grade.
One of my former students chimed in with a shocking number: 1…Coach Thorne.
That’s me; that’s who I was. I taught social studies at Blythewood High School for 11 years and was an assistant football coach.
At first glance, the number 1 seems to be an indictment and a referendum on what we in education circles have known forever—we need more black men in the classroom. But upon further inspection, with a little critical analysis, I believe there is power in one.
Statistics tell us that having just one African American teacher in elementary school reduces drop-out rates among black boys by nearly 40% and increases their recognition as gifted students.
But stats don’t tell the story.