The Assistant Principal Of An Elementary School

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The assistant principal of an elementary school was giving Pedro A. Noguera, the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, a tour when he noticed a young black boy standing outside his office. The man pointed to the boy and declared, “You know, there’s a prison cell in San Quentin waiting for that boy.” Shocked, Noguera inquired about what the school was doing to help the eight-year old. Noguera discovered that the boy would be suspended and his schoolwork delivered to his house weekly. The assistant principal explained, “I can’t allow one kid to take up so much of my time that I end up ignoring the needs of others” (“Introduction” xxii). Sadly, what this boy experienced is not uncommon. From a young age, black students are not expected to succeed. In a 1962 letter, James Baldwin tells his nephew that he was “not expected to aspire to excellence” (“A Letter”). This detrimental assumption, along with the neglect and marginalization that the boy experienced, create a racial achievement gap before students are given the chance to succeed. There is a clear achievement gap between black and white students in the public school system of the United States due to a high concentration of nonwhite students being taught by less qualified teachers with a lack of resources. However, through teacher collaboration, student-teacher trust, mixed-level classrooms and communication with parents, the achievement gap can begin to be narrowed.
The racial achievement gap
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