State of Black Education Report: Black Students Being Failed By American Education System

The Black Teacher Collaborative (BTC) is releasing its State of the Black Education report just as another school year comes to
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Atlanta, Georgia (June 2, 2021) - The Black Teacher Collaborative (BTC) is releasing its State of the Black Education report just as another school year comes to an end.

The report provides a critical quantitative exploration of Black education in America. Authored by R. Davis Dixon, PhD, the report peels back historic layers of the American educational system while shining the light on the cultural practices, differences that impact Black students and racism.

“It is especially important to consider that the poison of racism in this country is ever prevalent,” according to the report. “Black students are witnessing violence perpetrated on Black bodies, whether at the hands of police, vigilantes, or White supremacists. And as cell phones and social media increase the awareness of these incidents, the extent of the damage being done to Black students and their educational outcomes is a story that remains under emphasized.”

Black students make up roughly 15% of all public-school students – roughly 7.8 million. Of the 7.8 million Black students, 4.4 million of them reside in southern states.* However, there is a Black teacher deficit in the south. In Texas, over 40% of schools have no Black teachers. In Tennessee, 40 school districts have no Black teachers, according to the report.

“If you’re serious about addressing the educational needs of Black children you have to put deep investments in the south,” says Hiewet Senghor, Black Teacher Collaborative CEO. “To not do so, is equivalent to addressing the needs of Latinx children and not invest deeply in Texas and California,” she adds.

The report reveals that Black students’ experiences in school are characterized by a lack of access to advanced classes; a lack of meaningful access to culturally relevant pedagogy; an overexposure to exclusionary discipline; a lack of access to social, emotional, and academic development; and poor perceptions of school climate. Therefore, Black students have been failed by the American Education system, says author R. Davis Dixon, PhD.

“They (Black students) need a system that honors the integrity of their experiences both racially and culturally,” he says. “They need pedagogy that is pluralistic and based on research steeped in what’s best for Black children.”

The report outlines three steps in building a policy agenda for Black education. It challenges policy makers and philanthropists, at the state and national level, to focus on:

1) considering the research;

2) supporting policies that prioritize teacher diversity and meaningful culturally relevant pedagogy; and

3) implementing policies that improve school climate and eliminate disproportionate discipline practices.

To read the report or to learn more about the Black Teacher Collaborative, visit www.blackteachercollaborative.org.


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