2 Teacher Dr. Tonika Duren Green Ovetis Duren Cooper San Diego State University, San Diego, CaliforniaOvetis Duren CooperLaburnum Elementary School, Richmond Virginia
3 Objective Share excerpts from diaries of “Mad Black Teachers” Statistics on disproportionate placement overrepresentationPromising prevention and early intervention strategies
4 Myths About African American Children DAY 2: Dear Diary, I’m mad about what people are saying about African American childrenTEACHERMyths About African American Children“African American children do poorly on achievement test.”“African American children are underachievers.”“African American parents are uninterested in education.”“African American children can’t behave.”“African Americans can’t attend college.”
5 Diaries of Black Teachers: What teachers are saying What makes you mad about teaching? Everyone is quick to point a finger about what their expectations are for you. Until you walk a mile in my shoes, don’t judge me. Many parents will not come in to discuss challenges their children face, but are quick to come in to discuss a problem they may have with you correcting them.Why is it that Black teachers can handle black children and others have a difficult time controlling them.There is not enough help in the classroom.Unrealistic expectations.Very little parental supportLack of suppliesBlack teachers who compete with you rather than help you. We need to look out for each other.
6 What makes you mad about teaching? Politics/people in charge making rules who have not been in the actual classroom.Teachers are blamed for it all social /academics. We’re expected to do it all.No creativity. We’re expected to teach everything inside a box. We work harder.Very little exposure makes learning difficultParents become very complacent about their child’s education.Many parents don’t ask questions. Parents need to get students involved in other extra curricular activitiesMany of our Black children come to school unprepared.
7 Major Themes of Diaries Parental Support/PartnershipTeacher expectation and accountabilityMentorship and support from other teachersAfrican American students and learningResources
8 DAY 2: Dear Diary I’m Mad About what happens to my children when they leave my classroom TEACHEROne of my students moved to a new school district in a wealthier neighborhood, today I received a call from his teacher because they want to place him in special education. I never saw a problem.
9 2002 Risk Index of Students Receiving Special Education (IDEA, 2004)
10 2002 Percent of Students Receiving Services for Mental Retardation (IDEA, 2004)
11 2002 Percent of Students Receiving Services for Serious Emotional Disturbance (IDEA, 2004)
12 2002 Percent of Students (6-21 years) in Special Education being Served in Different Environments (IDEA, 2004)
13 Special Education for African American Students Risk Factor:3.04 times more likely to receive services for mental retardation2.25 for emotional disturbanceSetting:More likely than any other ethnic group to be educated outside the classroom more than 60% of the day AND in a separate environment(IDEA, 2004)
14 TEACHER DAY 3: Dear Diary I’m Mad About the statistics Disproportionate placement and Overrepresentation: representation of a particular group of students at a rate different than that found in the general population. (Gravois & Rosenfield, 2006).
15 “A system is needed in special education that nurtures, develops, and allows for the voices of African American knowledge producers to be heard, confirmed, and affirmed. There voices will more closely represent those who are studied, tested, identified, labeled, and placed in special education programs” (Patton, 1998, p. 30).
16 Promising Prevention and Early Intervention (Green, 2005) The purpose of this phase is “to create timely and effective general education support that improves the academic performance of struggling learners and, as a result, reduce inappropriate SPED referrals” (Ortiz, 2002 p. 43).Phase III is approached only when early intervention has failed, when all resources have been exhausted, and cultural brokers and other team members are in agreement that a referral to special education is warranted and necessary.Patton and Townsend (1997) point out that: “There is no expectation that teachers can learn everything there is to know about all the cultural represented in their classrooms. It is expected, however, that they do become trained enough to develop instructional practices that affirm their cultural experiences.” (p. 16).Gay (1993b) defines cultural brokers as:…one who thoroughly understands different cultural systems, is able to interpret cultural symbols from one frame of reference to another, can mediate cultural incompatibilities, and knows how to build bridges or establish linkages across cultures that facilitate the instructional process.(p. 48)When instructional techniques are well-matched with the learning styles of struggling African American learners, these students behavior and achievement outcomes improve (Anderson, 1988; Boykin, 1986; Hillliard, 1976; Nobles, 1987)Teachers should “create an environment where it is okay to be different” (Patton, 1997, p. 122). Students should feel that their individual differences are valued and that their uniqueness contributes to the class’s cohesiveness and collective body (Klenfield, 1974, 1975; Gay, 2001; Patton, 1997).
17 TEACHERDay 3: Dear Diary, what am I doing that’s making a difference?
18 What are some strategies that you use to help Black students achieve or become successful in the classroom?In all things PRAY. I view teaching as my ministry. I encourage students to be the best they can be. I am consistent with rewards and consequences. I use data to drive my instruction. Discipline has to be evident before any teaching can begin. I let students know they can rise above their circumstances.
19 What are some strategies that you use to help Black students achieve or become successful in the classroom?Constant parental contactSpeak to parents on the level that they can understandTeach and expect respect before trying to teach academicsChallenge Black students more Set high expectations. Can’t is not acceptableSmall group instructionGo the extra mileImplement technology Constant reinforcementExpose as much as possibleTeach life lessons/Teach morality/ no lies/ hands to yourself/no name callingFind ways to bring their own talents to the forefront (ex. art work)Collaboration/ students need to learn to get along with each other.Stress indiviuality/ Everyone has something to offer to the classWork Harder/ EncourageBegin where they are and then raise expectations/Never assume what they already knowKeep at it/ Never give up!
20 ReferencesCalifornia Department of Education (2006).Retrieved January 27, 2007, fromGreen, T. D. (2005). Promising prevention and early intervention strategies to reduceoverrepresentation of African American students in special education. Preventing School Failure, 49(3),Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (2004). 26th Annual report to congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Washington, DC: Westat for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education.Swanson, C. B. (2004). Who graduates? Who doesn’t? A statistical portrait of public high school graduation, class of The Urban Institute Education Policy Center. Retrieved January 27, 2007, fromThe Nation’s Report Card. (2005). Trial urban district assessment reading 2005 (NCES r). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 29, 2007, fromThe Nation’s Report Card. (2005). Trial urban district assessment math 2005 (NCES r). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 29, 2007, fromThe Nation’s Report Card. (2005). Science 2005 trial urban district assessment of grades 4 and 8 (NCES ). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 29, 2007, from
21 Contact Us Tonika Duren Green San Diego State University Department of Counseling and School PsychologySan Diego, CAOvetis Duren CooperLaburnum Elementary SchoolHenrico Public SchoolsRichmond, Virginia