This book draws from the successes of award-winning schools, teachers, students, and parents to help leaders understand how they can positively change the educational experience of Black students.
When Black Students Excel offers real-life examples of outstanding elementary, middle, and high schools where teachers and school leaders have rejected policies and practices built upon deficit perceptions about the capacity of Black students. Chapters highlight leadership implications and offer specific suggestions for educators who are seeking to transform their schools in ways that advance the success of Black students. This practical guide includes questions to ask students and their parents, self-assessment tools, and an array of leadership and teaching practices that are effective to empower Black students, elevate school attendance and academic engagement, and improve other important outcomes.
Unpacking important themes that influence the success of Black students, this book is a useful tool for educators who are seeking to understand how they can change programs, procedures, and practices in ways that engage and empower Black students.
Part 1: Case Studies of Schools Where Black Students Excel 1. Patrick Henry Preparatory School (P.S./I.S. 171): New York City Department of Education, District 4 East Harlem, New York City, New York 2. Maplewood Richmond Heights High School: Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, St. Louis, Missouri 3. Wynnebrook Elementary School: School District of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Florida 4. O’Farrell Charter High School, San Diego, California 5. Concourse Village Elementary School (P.S. 359): New York City Department of Education, District 7 Bronx, New York City, New York 6. Paul Laurence Dunbar, Young Men’s Leadership Academy: Fort Worth Independent School District, Fort Worth, Texas Part 2: How Schools Can Engage and Empower Black Students 7. Ensuring Black Students Benefit from Effective Leaders Committed to Their Success 8. Ensuring Black Students Belong, Feel Loved, and Experience Joy 9. Ensuring Black Students Experience Pathways to Success Afterword
"When Black Students Excel is the book I have been waiting on for over 30 years. Finally, a book that sheds the deficit narrative about Black children, and provides a blueprint for schools who serve these students. Black children are brilliant, and this book provides the type of insight that will allow any sincere educator to bring this brilliance to the surface. Bravo!"
--Anthony Muhammad, author of Transforming School Culture and Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap, among others
"At long last, a timely book from Joe Johnson and his NCUST colleagues on what works, not only in moving the needle on black student performance, but also in getting results for all historically underserved students. Examples of urban schools in different parts of the country that are beating the odds in measurable ways are the meat and potatoes of this long overdue volume which celebrates black student excellence throughout. As someone who has served as superintendent of two large urban systems, a state board of education member, and a founding executive director of a state educational agency, I could have used this practical guide to improving student performance many years ago, but I now celebrate the fact that it's finally here! Thank you, NCUST!"
--Carl Cohn, Former Superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District, Former Director of the California Commission on Educational Excellence
"This deeply important work transcends commonly held narratives and popular notions about Black student 'underachievement.' The writing gives those of us who toil on behalf of closing the opportunity gap more than a glimmer of hope, so to speak, as the book inspires innovation while challenging education leaders to dig deeper. In my work on the California Association of Black School Educator's Blueprint for Education Equity, and having activated strategies on behalf of Black students in Compton Unified School District, I can say with certainty that the exemplars called out offer great promise for our work."
--Micah Ali, Chairman, Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE); Founder, California Association of Black School Educators (CABSE); and President, Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees
"When Black Students Excel is a powerful volume that demonstrates the role that schools and educators have in fostering environments that are conducive to Black student success. The book represents a meld of research, insights from practitioners, and powerful case studies from six schools that show that a culture of love is central to empowering Black students, their families, and their communities. The book highlights schools where Black students succeed because of district leaders, school leaders, and teachers who implemented anti-racist practices that begin with an authentic belief that Black students can and will succeed! I believe this volume is a must-read for every educator who is committed to demonstrating that Black Minds Matter in education."
--J. Luke Wood, PhD, Vice President of Student Affairs & Campus Diversity, Chief Diversity Officer and Distinguished Professor of Education, San Diego State University
"The authors of this book have been successfully doing the best urban school transformation work I have seen. In this book, which is focused on successful schools for Black students, they first detail what six urban schools each did to create supportive, successful learning environments for Black students. They then discuss the three major themes that emerged from close study of the six schools. If you want to learn about these schools from some scholars you can totally trust, read this book now."
--James Scheurich, PhD, Professor of Educational Leadership, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis
"Many years ago, Ron Edmunds challenged us to effectively educate African American children. He was emphatic that we had the tools and resources that were needed to educate our children. What was missing in many cases was the will to do what was best for our children. In "When Black Students Excel: How Schools Can Engage and, Empower Black Students" Johnson and his colleagues at San Diego State University’s National Center for Urban School Transformation answer Edmunds’s call. Working with various stakeholders in several urban school districts, they produced results which confirm and validate the dictum that all children can, indeed, learn.
Backing up their bold opening statement, in which they express their belief that black children are born brilliant, they present evidence and case studies which are replicable. Doing so provides other educators with a guide which they may employ as they endeavor to improve the education outcomes of their students."
--Fadhilika Atiba-Weza, Executive Director, National Alliance of Black School Educators
"When Black Students Excel is a must read for every educator and policy maker. The educators in this book clearly understand that if our schools are not successful, it is not the fault of the students but the adults. The foundation of this democratic nation is based on the promise that all citizens have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The caste system in education makes mockery of this promise to black students. When Black Students Excel illustrates the possibility of excellence for all regardless of their life circumstances."
--Shirley N. Weber, PhD, California Secretary of State