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Helping Parents Prepare African- American Children for STEM Careers Dr. Ronald Fortune Dr. Rex Fortune CAAASA State Conference February 21, 2013 Sacramento,

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Presentation on theme: "Helping Parents Prepare African- American Children for STEM Careers Dr. Ronald Fortune Dr. Rex Fortune CAAASA State Conference February 21, 2013 Sacramento,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping Parents Prepare African- American Children for STEM Careers Dr. Ronald Fortune Dr. Rex Fortune CAAASA State Conference February 21, 2013 Sacramento, CA

2 GOALS 1. To present a model STEM preparation program for educators and parents to consider. 2. To establish effective practices in schools and homes which inspire, inform, and prepare parents to assist their school children to prepare for STEM Careers.

3 "Tonight, Im announcing a new challenge to redesign Americas high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. Well reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM]– the skills todays employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future. President Barack Obama State of Union speech Feb12, 2013

4 The Problem Rising STEM needs: The US requires manpower to fill STEM jobs. STEM occupations have grown 8% in the last 10 years ( ) and are expected to grow twice as fast (17%) in the next ten years From , projected 2.4 million job vacancies for STEM workers Lack of minorities in STEM: Currently, African American and Latinos only account for 7% of the entire science and engineering workforce Rising population of minorities: The US will be majority-minority by the year 2042 US STEM Crisis: Therein lies the crisis… a demographic trend of individuals not prepared for the jobs of tomorrow because of serious gaps in Access, Environment and Preparation

5 Mission and Vision Mission: To eliminate barriers faced by underrepresented students of color in STEM and foster their untapped potential for the advance of our nation. Vision: An organization that is nationally recognized for closing the access, environment and preparation gap for underrepresented students of color graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

6 Program Goals 1.To prepare students from underrepresented communities to be competitive for selective colleges and universities in science, technology, engineering, and math-related studies (STEM). 2.To cultivate a graduate school and/or professional vision for all students, aiming for a certain percentage of SMASH graduates to eventually enter STEM-related studies or careers. 3.To develop a sense of social responsibility through promotion of critical thinking, civic awareness and involvement, and leadership.

7 What We Do Focus on Individual students SMASH Academy SMASH Prep Focus on Professional Development for teachers Provide Research, Reports, Evaluation and Dissemination on Inequity in Access and Opportunity K12 Higher Education Workplace

8 What is SMASH? SMASH is a 3-year, 5-week residential summer STEM academic enrichment program on college campuses serving high-achieving low-income high school students of color from traditionally under-resourced schools. Incorporates project-based, culturally-relevant, and social justice oriented curriculum into college preparatory STEM courses Serves ~500 scholars and alum per year across 4 sites (i.e. Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA and USC) 8 year track record at UC Berkeley

9 SMASH Academy Intensive academic Preparation Core classes Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus Biology, Chemistry, Physics Integrated Math and Sciences Course I, II, III Computer Science Co-curricular Classes Science Writing, College Counseling, Public Speaking, Media Technology, Topics in Science Research Exposure to world class labs and tools of great universities Opportunities in new media, latest technology and exposure to new breaking areas in the sciences Field trips science, technology, biotech centers

10 SMASH Academic Year Program College Readiness Application support Financial preparation Regional college visits STEM Exposure & Engagement Exposure field trips STEM projects and lab participation Coaching Yearly Review meeting Mentorship opportunities Civic Engagement Community volunteering Supporting at SMASH events Networking Scholar Skillshare Online resource sharing SMASH Core Math Assessment Senior Celebration Orientation

11 SMASH Prep The SMASH: Prep program is an STEM educational enrichment program with the express goal of increasing the pipeline of viable Bay Area African American male candidates for SMASH Academy and other similar STEM-focused programs.

12 SMASH Prep (more) Targets 6 th – 9 th grade African American male youth Academic preparation Mathematics Communications technology Integrated Science Provide and strengthen Access Role models in STEM careers Exposure to STEM careers Whole Scholar development

13 Program Results 82% of scholars complete all 3 years of SMASH 100% accepted into 4-year college 88% average enrollment in 4-year college Most of our scholars declare a major in STEM compared to national average of 23%

14 Research Projects and Papers Perceived Barriers to Higher Education in STEM among High- Achieving Underrepresented High School Students of Color (Accepted to AERA, Submitted to Journal for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering) Gender and Racial Stereotype Endorsement and Implications for STEM Outcomes among High-Achieving Underrepresented Adolescent Females (Accepted to AERA, will finalize full paper for journal submission) Examining 8 th Grade Math Success and Failure Using the HSLS:09 (Accepted to AERA, will finalize full paper for journal submission) Assessing the Impact of a 5-week Computer Science Course for Students Examining the Impact of Same-Gender Instructors in SMASH Math Courses: Data collected summer of 2011, ongoing data analyses with Dr. Dasgupta (UMASS-Amherst).

15 Where are they now? UC BerkeleySaint Marys College of CA Morehouse College UC DavisTexas Christian University Arizona State UC IrvinWashington University San Jose State UC Riverside San Diego State Emory University UC San Diego Cal Poly SLO University of Arizona UC Santa Barbara University of Virginia Bowdoin College UC Merced La Salle Fresno State UCLASFSU North Carolina A &T StanfordDominican University Dartmouth PomonaSaint Louis University UPENN Santa Clara University Rice University Savannah State University MiddleburyCornell UniversityBrown University

16 Level Playing Field Institute


18 2010 API Scores – Statewide Data All GradesGrades 2-6Grades 7-8Grades 9-11 Overall Subgroups African American Asian Hispanic/Latino White Source: California Department of Education website (

19 2010 API Scores – Statewide Data

20 2010 CST Mathematic Trends by Major Ethnic Groups

21 High Minority, Gap Closing Schools that Meet/Exceed CA 800 API Goal (pp , for data for Predominantly Asian Schools) School2010 API CST Math CST ELA% Afr. Am.% Hisp.% Asian% Disadv. 1Sixth Street Prep. (K-8) 96097%89%6%84%0% 86% 2Oakland Charter Academy (6-8)954 95%84% 3%92%3% 95% 3Richardson Prep. (6-8) 94888% 13%64%3% 76% 4St. HOPE (PS 7) (K-8) %74% 78% 8%3% 62% 5Wilder' Prep (K-8) %80% 87% 12%0% 78% 6Victoriano Elementary (K-5)891 82%67% 23%50%2.5%62% 7Laurel Street Elementary (K-5)888 81%65% 17%78%0.2%89% 8Charles Bursch Elementary (K-5)884 74%73% 29%70%0%82% 9Vista Magnet Middle (6-8) 88474%95%3%48%1% 51% 10Harbor Teacher Prep. (9-12) 88485%62%25%53%6% 64% 11Merced Elementary (K-5) 87880%66%5%73%7% 68% 12Arroyo Seco Museum Science (K-8) 86970%65%2%87%1% 100% 13 Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary (K-5) 86875%59%24%57%5%82% 14Willard Elementary (K-5) 86379%58%8%65%7% 65% 15Watts Learning Center (K-5) %64% 92% 7%0% 91% 16Think College Now (K-5) 85974%57%13%68%8% 93% 17Highland Elementary (K-5) %56% 48% 49%0% 87% 18Otay Elementary (K-6) 84676%57%3%53%0% 77% 19Harborside Elementary (K-6) 83875%55%4%54%0% 82% 20Kelso Elementary (K-6) %49% 38% 59%1% 86% Mean88279%68%26%57%2%79% Range %49-95%2-92%7-96%0-65%51-100%

22 Dr. Ron Edmonds H ow many successful programs would you need to see in order to believe in the educability of poor, minority children? I f you answer is more than one, then you must have reasons of your own for doubting that poor children can learn.

23 Promising Parenting Practices

24 What Engaged Parents Say about the Ideal Parent-School Partnership Parents highlighted the importance of communication with teachers Get involved in school activities such as – celebrations, – fundraising, – student performance events, – school policy development, – budget decision-making – Parent training offered by the school

25 Parents Role at Home Parenting activities: – Take their children to the local public library every Saturday, where they are tutored by undergraduate students from UCLA in math and other subjects. – Purchase teaching tools such as index cards, measuring tape, times tables, whiteboards, and use these to review what their children learned in school. – Bought games about different states and work with their children on location of cities and states on maps. – Find interesting games to play with their children for vocabulary building or math skills development.

26 Parents Role At Home Jasmine York, parent of 3 rd Grader, PS 7 – Homework is a high priority in our house. It is the first thing my children do when they get home. I let my children read to me. My husband demands that there is no TV during weeknights. Wendy Belton, parent of 3 rd grader and 6 th grader – I am a single parent, so it is not easy but I check the online student information system (Power School) to see their grades, attendance, and assignments. My children do two to three hours of homework per night.

27 Parents Role at Home Cont. Donna Berry, mother of 5 th grader and Kindergartener – Homework is an essential part of our daily routine. We spend time discussing the assignments and the daily grades. In addition, [my son] does extra math five to ten minutes a day. Alondra Thompson, parent of 7 th grader – Requires at least 2 hours of home study per night – I am hoping to enhance my daughters skills and to help her become more responsible for her own homework assignments so she can learn to be more independent. Mrs. Rosa Rodriguez, parent of 6 th grader – … I never went to school beyond the 8 th grade myself. However, I have experience in choosing school – both traditional and charters – for my children. I chose it because they offered after-school tutoring. I dont have to teach them much at home, but I always ask whats going on and what help they need.

28 Key take-a-ways from Parent Comments (Chapter 4, pp ) 1.Parents should develop vocabulary of their children: Read to them before they can talk. 2.Parents should establish routines at home. 3.Parents should teach students that school and home are places for learning. 4.Parents and teachers need multiple ways to communicate with each other. 5.Parents (or other adult) monitor school work daily. 6.Parents should model that learning is important.

29 Key take-a-ways from parent comments 7.Learning at home takes precedence over TV, video games, and social networks with friends. 8.Students should have a suitable place to learn at home. 9.Parents seek out resources from the community for the school to help children study effectively. 10.Parents make tradeoffs that favor learning opportunities over expensive toys, clothes, games, or other costly entertainment. 11.Parents are lifelong learners and seek out tips for parenting.

30 What are the implications of this presentation?


32 Implications (Continued) 2. Parents roles can be taught and learned. 3.Schools should use all resources, including ESEA Title I, to train parents to help their students at home. Time Training Technology

33 Implications (Continued) 4. Policymakers should embrace this significance of parent engagement strategy. 5.Encourage African-American students participation in proven STEM programs such as SMASH. 6.Parents and educators must help students develop necessary skills as well as develop aspirations for STEM careers.

34 Dr. Ron Edmonds We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. Whether or not we do this, depends upon how we feel about the fact that we havent done it so far.

35 Whats your commitment to make STEM education more accessible for students who need it most?

36 Will YOU join the quest to prepare African-American children for STEM Careers?

37 Questions?

38 Contact Information For more information about Level Playing Field Institute or Ronald For Books & DVD information and purchase or Rex

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