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The Trouble With Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education Pedro A. Noguera Solomon M. Cross Diversity Book.

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Presentation on theme: "The Trouble With Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education Pedro A. Noguera Solomon M. Cross Diversity Book."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Trouble With Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education Pedro A. Noguera Solomon M. Cross Diversity Book Presentation EDU Diversity Frameworks Dr. Patsy J. Robles-Goodwin Texas Wesleyan University June 23, 2012

2 Introduction “The trouble with black boys is that most never have a chance to be thought of as potentially smart or talented or to demonstrate talents in science, music, or literature. The trouble with black boys is that too often they are placed in schools where their needs to nurturing, support, and loving discipline are not met. Instead they are labeled, shunned, and treated in ways that create and reinforce an inevitable cycle of failure” (Noguera 2008, p. xxi)

3 Chapter 1: Racial Identity & School-Related Behaviors For minorities, adolescence is when young people begin to solidify their understanding of their racial identities (Noguera 2008, p. 5) Understanding significance of race means recognizing that membership within a racial category requires certain social and political commitments (Noguera 2008, p. 5) High-achieving students of color are sometimes unwilling to enroll in Advanced Placement courses or engage in activities that have been associated with white students because they fear becoming estranged from their friends(Noguera 2008, p. 8) If they appear to engage in behavior that violates racial norms, they may be seen as rejecting membership in their racial group and run the risk of being regarded as a race traitor (Noguera 2008, p. 8) Some high-achieving minorities learn how to succeed in both worlds by adopting multiple identities (Noguera 2008, p.9)

4 Chapter 1: Solutions Educators can make sure students are not segregating themselves, sitting in racially defined groups in the classroom (Noguera 2008, p. 14) Educators can encourage students to pursue things that are not traditionally associated with members of their group (Noguera 2008, p. 14) Teachers can find ways to incorporate information related to the history and culture of students into the curriculum (Noguera 2008, p. 15) An effective teacher who is able to inspire students by getting to know them can actually do a great deal to overcome anti-academic tendencies (Noguera 2008, p. 15)

5 Chapter 2: The Impact of Social and Cultural Forces on the Academic Achievement of African American Males Even as babies, black males have the highest probability of dying in the first year of life (Noguera 2008, p. 17) In the labor market, they are the least likely to be hired and the most likely to be unemployed (Noguera 2008, p. 17) Black Males are more likely to be classified as mentally retarded or suffering from a learning disability and placed in special education and more likely to be absent from Advanced Placement and honors courses (Noguera 2008, p. 18)

6 Chapter 2 Poor children generally receive inferior services from schools and agencies located in the inner city, and poor children often have many unmet needs (Noguera 2008, p. 21) Because poor children often lack access to preventative health care, their untreated vision problems are inacurately diagnosed as reading problems, and as a consequence, large numbers are placed in remedial and special education programs (Noguera 2008, p. 22)

7 Chapter 2 Black males are more likely to be labeled as behavior problems and less intelligent even while they are still very young. Black males are also more likely to be punished with severity, even for minor offenses, for violating school rules, often without regard for their welfare (Noguera 2008, p. 22) Black males are not merely passive victims but may also be active agents in their own failure (Noguera 2008, p. 22) John Ogbu suggest that because of the history of discrimination against Black people, even those who work hard will never reap rewards equivalent to whites. This contributes to self-defeating behaviors (Noguera 2008, p. 23)

8 Chapter 3: Education, Immigration, and the Future of Latinos in the United States Latinos have the highest dropout rates and the lowest college attendance rates (Noguera 2008, p. 43) Latinos in the United States constitute the youngest, fastest growing, yet poorest subgroup of American society (Noguera 2008, p. 52) Education should serve as a ladder out of poverty and lead to a better life (Noguera 2008, p. 53) Schools that serve Latinos fail to server as the vehicle through which their dreams and aspirations can be fulfilled. These schools are overcrowded, underfunded, and provide inadequate education (Noguera 2008, p. 53)

9 Chapter 4: How Listening to Students Can Help Schools to Improve Opportunity for greater personalization in the learning experience of students is an advantage of small schools (Noguera 2008, p. 64) Students in small schools were far more likely to report that they felt safe as compared to students at large schools (Noguera 2008, p. 66) A willingness to listen to students implies that adults actually want to hear what students think, that they respect them enough to listen, learn, and be open to suggestions they might make (Noguera 2008, p. 70)

10 Chapter 4 Students can tell if adults are genuinely interested in their opinions, and if they discern that no one is listening when they share their perspectives, they will quickly lose interest (Noguera 2008, p. 71) It is important that conversations not be limited to students hand picked by adults because they occupy a leadership role. We shouldn’t omit those who might know more because they are better connected to their peers, even if it means including students who are not models of ideal student conduct (Noguera 2008, p. 71)

11 Chapter 5: Latino Youth Latino youth often find themselves caught between two worlds, neither fully American nor fully part of their parents’ country (Noguera 2008, p. 75) Through constructing culturally relevant educational policies, programs, and pedagogy, we can assist Latino immigrant youth to avoid the pitfalls that beset the population (Noguera 2008, p. 75) Finding ways to help reduce the strains caused by separation, while minimizing the losses in learning associated with extended absences, is an important pedagogical consideration for schools that serve large populations of Latino immigrant youth (Noguera 2008, p. 77)

12 Chapter 5 It is not clear that the future will be bright and promising for Latinos as it was for European immigrants of the past (Noguera 2008, p. 79) Globalization and deindustrialization have contributed to a worsening of circumstances for low-skilled Latino immigrants (Noguera 2008, p. 79) Socialization associated with acculturation and assimilation often result in a lowering of the academic achievement and performance of Latino students (Noguera 2008, p. 81) Too many are trapped in the worst schools and are treated as though their inability to speak fluent English is a sign of cognitive and cultural deficit (Noguera 2008, p. 82) Many Latino youth will remain hard working and hopeful, but caught in circumstances that erode their dreams of a better future. This will continue unless we develop a new educational direction and a new political strategy (Noguera 2008, p. 82)

13 Chapter 6: Critical Analysis of Responses to School Violence School punishment consistently correlates with race, academic grouping, and high school graduation rates (Noguera 2008, p. 102) Those most likely to receive punishment in school are also more likely to have been placed in classes for educationally mentally retarded or trainable mentally retarded students (Noguera 2008, p. 102) A teacher who fears the student is more likely to resort to some form of discipline when challenged, or to ignore the challenge in the hope that the teacher will be left alone (Noguera 2008, p. 106) Rather than handle a classroom disruption on their own, teachers are also more likely to request assistance from the central office (Noguera 2008, p. 106)

14 Chapter 7: Rethinking Disciplinary Practices Schools react to the behavior of children while failing to respond to their unmet needs or the factors responsible for their problematic behavior (Noguera 2008, p. 113) Schools contribute to marginalization of such students, often pushing them out of school altogether, while ignoring the issues that actually cause the problematic behavior (Noguera 2008, p. 113) Schools punish the neediest children because in many schools, there is a fixation with behavior management and social control that outweighs and overrides all other priorities and goals (Noguera 2008, p. 113)

15 Chapter 7 Once students know that the rewards of education – obtaining knowledge and skills, admissions to college, and access to good jobs are not available to them, students have little incentive to comply with school rules (Noguera 2008, p. 115) Students may have so many negative experiences in school that they soon begin to recognize that education is not working for them and will not provide them with access to socially desirable rewards. These students are more likely to be labeled defiant, difficult to deal with, and act out in ways that match the expectations that have been set for them (Noguera 2008, p. 115)

16 Chapter 7 The repeated violations suggest that students understand completely that the social contract underlying their education has been broken (Noguera 2008, p. 117) By their actions, it appears they have decided to make the lives of adults and other students miserable as their way of obtaining retribution for a failed education (Noguera 2008, p. 117)

17 Chapter 8: Racial Politics & Equity in Education Despite their relative privilege, middle class Black students typically lag behind White and Asian students of similar and even lower socioeconomic status (Noguera 2008, p. 131) Black students who perform at high levels are compelled to adopt a “raceless” persona so as to avoid stigma associated with membership within their racial groups (Noguera 2008, p. 140)

18 Chapter 9: Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Students whose basic psychological physical, and emotional needs have not been addressed often experience greater difficulty in school (Noguera 2008, p. 162) The greatest obstacle preventing schools from raising achievement and closing the gap is not a lack of resources or technical expertise but rather a lack of will (Noguera 2008, p. 168) The toughest is having the courage and will to commit to real success for all children (Noguera 2008, p. 169)

19 Chapter 10: Rethinking Standards-Based Reform in Public Education Schools serving recent immigrants who speak little or no English are held accountable to the same standards as schools serving native-born English speakers (Noguera 2008, p. 174) The same is true for schools serving poor children with significant social and psychological needs, and schools that are faced with shortages in essential resources (Noguera 2008, p. 174) School ranking often follow a form of race and class profiling: if you know the demographic composition of a school or district, it is easy to predict where that school or district will fall on the rankings (Noguera 2008, pp )

20 Chapter 10 In Florida, the state still allows failing schools to operate, but they pretentd that by labeling such schools with D or F on the front door they will have taken tough action (Noguera 2008, p.176) If we want to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn, we must ensure that their basic needs are met (Noguera 2008, p.180) Although the new law is called No Child Left Behind, many of these needs have been ignored, and many children are being left behind (Noguera 2008, p.180) State government should be required to establish minimal operational standards for public schools, and they should be held accountable for the quality of education provided to all children (Noguera 2008, p. 181)

21 Chapter 11: Holding Public Schools Accountable Without the power and the resources to exert control over schools, low-income communities cannot be expected to hold their schools accountable (Noguera 2008, p. 215) Ideology, racism, and divisions related to class, national origin, and even geography have historically prevented politicians and vast segments of the general public from considering problems affecting the poor as a matter of national concern (Noguera 2008, p. 215) Although reforming public schools will not eliminate poverty or racial discrimination, education continues to be the only legitimate source of opportunity available to the poor (Noguera 2008, p. 215)

22 Chapter12: Transforming Urban Schools When parents are respected as partners in the education of their children and when they are provided with organizational support that enables them to channel their interest to the benefit of the school, the entire culture of the organization can be transformed (Noguera 2008, p. 250) Parents have knowledge of children’s lives outside school, which teachers do not have, and that knowledge can be helpful in developing effective pedagogical strategies (Noguera 2008, p.250)

23 Reference Noguera, P. (2008). The trouble with black boys: And other reflections on race, equity, and the future of public education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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