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ERIC Number: ED541942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-27
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
Expanding Educational Excellence: The Power of Schools
Coleman, Mary Ruth; Winn, Donna-Marie; Harradine, Christine
FPG Child Development Institute
In this paper, the authors explore four major barriers to academic success that must be addressed, briefly describe two projects that have worked to address these barriers, and make recommendations for moving forward as they work to expand educational excellence for all students. They provide examples of the myriad ways in which schools have the power to address barriers--some of which are under schools' immediate purview, while others are tangential. In an attempt to ensure that all children fit and belong, schools have sometimes tried to actively ignore differences, particularly those of color. This position of being "colorblind" undermines the ability to equitably address, connect with, honor, and celebrate the uniqueness of each child, thus undermining a key relationship to learning. The authors are in no way discounting the strides many schools have made and continue to make in countering the struggles that too many children of color and/or of poverty face. They do, however, feel that only by pointedly describing the major obstacles that stand in the way of too many children's access to appropriate educational opportunities can future work focus on eliminating those barriers, rather than continuing to simply elaborate on the existence of the disparities themselves. They begin by describing system-level, aggregate disparities that exist in American education, despite the isolated pockets of excellence. (Contains 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
FPG Child Development Institute. University of North Carolina, Publications Office, CB# 8185, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185. Tel: 919-966-0857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, FPG Child Development Institute