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ERIC Number: ED436614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 50
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Elephant in the Living Room: Racism in School Reform.
Wynne, Joan T.
When serving economically disenfranchised African American children, school systems often unconsciously respond from a racist and class biased paradigm. Teachers often unconsciously operate from a framework of low expectations for these students' success. Society often supports the notion of students getting by with less because less is all the schools believe they can do. The Urban Atlanta Coalition Compact (UACC) is one current reform effort. As researchers engage with UACC schools that are struggling with ways to create better learning environments for African American children, they have observed that racism is a significant factor in the failure of schools to meet these students' academic needs. A 1997-99 research effort explored what could be done as a collaboration of schools and universities to remedy this situation. This paper discusses the early manifestations of racism encountered in the formation of the UACC project during its planning meetings with the steering committee, the boards of education, school leaders, parents, and other parties. Because of these experiences, part of the research was driven by the question of whether the prejudices, stereotypes, and misconceptions of well-intentioned educators sabotage educational reform efforts. The paper also explores reasons for the resistance of mainstream educators to discuss the impact of racist politics, economics, and educational theory on the school's capacity to teach all children. (Contains 33 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A