is just a building, not an actual human, with traits and characteristics, and experiences,
stereotypes, bias, and emotions (but, what about the school's culture). What I really meant to ask
is, are the principles and foundation of your school or institution rooted in racism? Wait, hold
your answer until the end of this blog.
governmental organizations, schools, banks, health care, law enforcement agencies, and
courts of law who have policies, procedures, legislation, and practices which have
disproportionate negative outcomes for racial minorities. Institutional racism began in the
United States in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia, when the Dutch nations of Europe brought
African slaves into the New World to cultivate virgin soil, harvest lucrative tobacco plantations,
and build up an economic system that set the foundation for Colonial America and continued
on up through our modern society today. Institutional racism occurs within and between institutions.
It is discriminatory treatment, unfair policies, and inequitable opportunities and impacts, based
on race, produced and perpetuated by institutions.
Today, African-American men have become targets for police and law enforcement’s
disposal, with the judicial system helping to reinforce this practice through mass incarceration.
While law, judicial, and police institutions don’t explicitly state that they should target black and minority people, this implicit behavior is exactly what is happening.
and at the district level. Think about how many students of color are represented in academically
rigorous programs at your school (AP classes/Chemistry/Physics/students college bound).
How many students of color are tested for gifted programs? How many students of color are in
remedial/special ed programs? Do you have lower expectations for your students of color vs
your white students? Does your curriculum (books, class posters, lessons) represent your student
population? What is the ethnic breakdown of people who have the most power in your schools
Think closely about every aspect within your school and examine whether students of color, particularly African-American students have the lowest test scores, lowest achievement rates, highest drop-out rate, the most reported discipline issues, largest number of referrals, highest numbers in special education services and compare that to their total population on your campus and then look at the rates and percentages nation-wide and see if the percentages and pattern is similar to your school’s.
|Why does this matter? There's lots of research that shows a school system where most of the teachers are white and most of the kids are not has negative outcomes for students of color, especially African-American students. A primary goal of an effective educator is to teach, engage, and promote learning and thinking for all students so they become productive members of their community and the most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher.|
Future Doctor J.