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ERIC Number: ED457176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Race at the Center: Perspectives on Improving Science and Math Achievement.
Lloyd, Carol
This study explored the perspectives of teachers, administrators, and students as they were engaged in a 5-year funded project aimed at improving science and mathematics achievement for African American students in a school district. The study also discusses the obstacles that hindered and the supports that bolstered this project. In this study, race is at the center of the examination of science and mathematics achievement. Interviews were conducted with 27 secondary school teachers, 27 elementary school teachers, and 4 project administrators (also school district administrators). Twelve African American secondary school students were also interviewed. The perceptions of obstacles and supports were derived from the experiences of the co-principal investigator. As a result of the project, more African American students were enrolled in upper level mathematics and science classes and more received grades of "C" or better than previously. However, the number of these students remained extremely low. In many instances, teachers blamed the students' low achievement on their families or on previous teachers. Administrators were less likely to support this view, but some students agreed with teachers' emphasis on parental influence and responsibility. Those schools in which African Americans showed greater gains in mathematics and science had principals who were risk takers who supported teachers who wanted to alter their pedagogy. Principals of the effective schools were also able to confront and examine the racial disparities within their schools. The teachers in this study were increasing their focus on state standards and testing, a fact that that moved them further away from pedagogy that is relevant to any student, much less those of nondominant groups like African Americans. The school district suffers from many constraints that hamper efforts to increase student achievement, including low teacher salaries and inadequate funding, but it is to be hoped that another grant to improve mathematics and science may make the district able to consider some of the issues raised in this report. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A