Closing the Academic Achievement Gap for African-American Boys

Education Week, August 18, 2011

This event is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 2:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. Eastern time.

Join two leading experts, Oscar A. Barbarin III, Hertz Endowed Chair in Psychology, Tulane, and Aisha Ray, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at the Erikson Institute, for an in-depth look at preparing teachers to foster social and emotional development in children, with a focus on supporting African-American boys to do well in the early years of school. They’ll explain how by holistically addressing the needs of African-American male students, we can close the achievement gap between them and other groups of students.

No phone is required to participate in the webinar. An archived version will be available within 24 hours of the presentation.

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to register for this intriguing event and pre-submit pointed questions.]

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  • b.b.shaw

    Wow! We almost went an entire week without some learned professor finally discovering the cure for the achievement gap. That would’ve been a “first”.

  • Question Diversity

    1 BB Shaw:

    But didn’t you read it? It said that their plan is “holistic.” That’s why all the other plans to close the achievement gap didn’t work, because they were “partialistic.” I’m glad that little oversight has finally been caught and remedied.

    Tuesday, August 21 at 1 PM CT — I think I have a root canal scheduled for that afternoon.

  • WR the elder

    Next month Oscar A. Barbarin III and Aisha Ray will present their cure for the common cold. The month after that, they will present their practical device for generating base load power from zero point energy.

  • panjoomby

    Shouldn’t they get the Atlanta Schools Superintendent to show them how? Shouldn’t they be trying to get all students to achieve higher? Is there a gap between White students from the year 1961 & White students in 2011? Shouldn’t we try to reduce that gap (the “generation gap”)? What about reducing the sports gap? The crime gap?

    High ability students gain more from good instruction. Good instruction bounces off the heads of low ability students. The better the instruction, the larger the gap between ability-haves & ability-have-nots. Similarly, capitalism spreads out earners from non-earners. EFFECTIVE systems MAXIMIZE the effect of individual differences.

    The better the instruction, the more the gap between high & low ability students – good teaching creates bigger racial differences. The way to reduce differences is to have dumber (more 2-digit IQ) teachers, because poor instruction spreads out students less. It’d be nice if it wasn’t like that & if all people were exactly equal on all traits. BUT IT IS like that – it’s a trade off – for being a standard deviation lower on ability, Blacks are a standard deviation higher than Whites on athleticism, blues & jazz aptitude, etc. That should be obvious, but we pretend it isn’t – we pretend that’s racist.

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    Segregated schools would help close the gap.

    • Black students perform better when segregated.

    • Brown v Board of Ed had nothing to do with advancing black achievement.

    • At what point will the multiculturalists admit that the Bell Curve is not flawed science and that black academic failure is not a social outcome? Addressing problems requires honest and objective evaluation?

  • Anonymous

    Might just as well be entitled: “Turning the sky green” or “Making circles with corners”

  • Anonymous

    Expect no new news when the report is released. External factors including the ambiguous catch-all of institutional racism will be listed. No mention of poor parenting, home discipline, excessive TV and maybe attention deficit. IQ will also be forbotten.

  • William

    The cure for the achievment gap will be to nobble White children in some way or to use some future recombinant DNA technology on Blacks or to minoritise Whites. I fear nobbling White childen in some way will be found: deculturating and alienating them from a functional culture might be one way, another might be to so advance expenditure on minority education so extensively that it degrades the quality of of education that a White child can receive.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the “intelligence gap”!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    “preparing teachers to foster social and emotional development in children”

    Uh, isn’t that too late, if those things were not first developed by parents?

    As for “holistic” – part of the “whole” picture is IQ. Good luck with that.

  • Anonymous

    Let me submit a plan that did work:

    1-Acknowledge the fact that some black males (as with other groups) are uneducatable. Isolate these so they will not prevent the educatable from being educated.

    2-Employ dedicated black female teachers in grades k-4.

    3-Eliminate race based assignment of pupils. Students are schooled at the closest school possible.

    4-For most blacks (and others) the emphasis should be on vocational training not college preparation. Give all students comprehensive mental and psychological evaluations, and and set their curriculum accordingly.

    5-Non performers and trouble makers should be expelled when they become 16 years old.

  • SF Paul

    Closing the black achievment gap has been a goal of educators for about the last forty odd years. It has never happened and never will. There is no magic formula to make blacks want to learn in school. Black culture will never change.

  • Old Soldier

    Pay attention, class.

    Who here believes this panacea will involve another massively expensive never-ending government program that will provide tens of thousands of government jobs for minorities, will never be judged on its results, and will never end?

    Who here can guess the ethnicity of these two experts? (Aisha is a dead giveaway, but I had to peek at Oscar)

    http://www.minority.unc.edu/institute/2002/spkrbios/drbarbarin.htm

    http://www.erikson.edu/default/faculty/faclistings/aisha_ray.aspx

  • Anonymous

    I’m running a seminar at the very same time to address the issue of the chronic achievement gap of Whites playing in the NBA. While Whites constitute 70% of the population, they account for less than 10% of NBA players–and this disturbing gap is showing no signs of reversing.

    We will be taking a “holistic” approach to the problem, focussing on getting Whites interested in basketball at an earlier age.

    Our expert panel will propose government grant to bus White children into inner city neighborhoods where they will be exposed to the “best of the best”. These grants will also ensure that each and every White child who desires a career in the NBA will have free unlimited cable access to NBA On-Demand on their T.V.s and cellphones.

    Each White child will be assigned a Black basketball mentor, who will introduce them to the typical home life of a future NBA star. They will be taught proper “soul” nutrition so that they can develop the proper physical skills necessary to compete at the highest levels.

    Educational experts will show them how to maximize time on the basketball court by minimizing the amount of wasted time spent in the classroom studying subjects not immediately applicable to success in the NBA. Beginning in elementary school, they will be given special college credit classes for learning about how “the system” has oppressed them.

    No documentation of illegal residence will be required of participants.

  • Anonymous

    “with a focus on supporting African-American boys to do well in the early years of school.”

    Semi-literate education experts?

  • madison grant

    Step right up, folks! We’re selling our new product Miracle Cure-All Snake Oil from the back of our wagon.

    It will close the IQ gap between the races. It also cures baldness, rheumatism, cancer and jock itch.

    So step up now because it’s going fast!

  • sheila

    god…if only this were possible…before the black man was given the right to vote (about 75 years before the white man considered allowing the *women of his own race* the right to vote)there should have first been a national program to educate him about being a responsible *citizen*…I figure about two full generations *should* have been adequate, but then again…

  • HH

    And by “holistic” presumably they mean cheating, grade inflation, dumbing-down of exams, etc?

  • MAJ

    To close the achievement gap – my first suggestion is getting rid of the two clowns running the webinar. (My second suggestion is to tell them it is actually an inherited intelligence gap and we can all go home).

    Oscar’s “credentials” include the usual liberal, black, idiot “research” and books based on ideology and a thesaurus.

    A quick search shows that Oscar has written (or had written for him) such classics as “Institutional Racism and Community Competence” and “Mandela’s Children: Growing Up in Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

    Apparently his “research interests are examining educational interventions for achievement and social well-being, and the role of community and family in health risks and health threats.”

    If anyone knows what that means perhaps you can let Oscar know.

    A longer bio reveals Oscar participating in years of nonsense projects with fancy names that blacks find impressive and apparently millions in wasted grant money.

    Here’s the link – it’s first-rate affirmative action busy work with no purpose. In the end it is truly disgusting.

    http://www.minority.unc.edu/institute/2002/spkrbios/drbarbarin.htm

    Worse, how Oscar has the gumption to even show up at these events and webinars is a mystery. He received his PhD in 1975 and in the 31 years since – despite his research work – black children, black students, and black communities have actually gone BACKWARDS. What exactly is this guy doing? I’ll tell you – nothing. He’s a fake academic pet of guilty whites.

    Aisha Ray is also on the bill. I looked into her background as well – but let’s face it – you already know.

    I think we’ve had enough of these con artists.

  • jdavis

    Here is how to close the achievement gap, establish for them a closed society so they just complete against other blacks. Then the gap would be based on fairness…they can never close the unreachable gap as a result of limitations, natural limitations.

    Just like I could never defeat Mike Tyson in a boxing ring. Unnatural expectations based on natural limitations. Get it?

  • Anonymous

    #11 – I agree with all points except the last. Make that “10 years old”.

  • Anonymous

    #14 – delicious satire!

  • Gary

    “…in-depth look at preparing teachers to foster social and emotional development in children, with a focus on supporting African-American boys to do well in the early years of school. They’ll explain how by holistically addressing the needs of African-American male students, we can close the achievement gap between them and other groups of students.”

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. …But will the public have to pay for this academically vacuous fallacious and fatuous fiasco -again?

  • Anonymous

    If you read Gunnar Myrdahl and the integration arguments in Brown vs Topeka you will understand that all that was needed to end black underachievement was to integrate the schools back in 1956.

    Wonder what happened.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    I have a strong feeling a video of this will be shown at the first teachers’ meeting I am mandated to attend in a few weeks.

    In that case…

    Bring it on! Fire up the video!! Turn up the volume!

    I have a new 16GB iPod Nano loaded with hours of classic rock.

    While the video is playing, I’ll be surreptitiously listening to Locomotive Breath.

    What? Would you rather be tortured by PC LIES or lulled by Jethro Tull?? You should hope your own kid’s teacher tunes out the mindless drivel of “closing the achievement gap!!” As for me, I’ve had enough.

    But will the public have to pay for this academically vacuous fallacious and fatuous fiasco -again?

    Yes. Again and again and again…In more ways than you can imagine.

    Bon

  • john in germany

    Give the black kids a break. Stop making them compete with other kids(kids of any other race) that will beat every time academically.

    For the sake of their self esteem, segregate them, at least in school.

  • Anonymous

    in-depth look at preparing teachers to foster social and emotional development in children, with a focus on supporting African-American boys

    First step making them walk, not stampede into the classroom.

    Second step making them sit down.

    Third step making them stay in their seats.

    When I taught in Watts during the mid eighties I found the girls to be far more vicious, cruel and unruly than the boys.