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Advocating for African-American Students

To address the ever-widening achievement gap of our African American students within the West Contra Costa Unified School District, we will need the full support of the community to effectively advocate for academic success for our Kings and Queens.

I would love to share with all of you a fascinating article written by three leading educators on Addressing the African American Achievement Gap. Here is a link to the full article and below I have added key points from each educator that I want you to consider. Enjoy!

Understanding the role of culture in development is important. My first jobs exposed me to people who saw the world differently than I. The more I learned about why they held their beliefs, the more I understood. Today, I ask my [teacher education] students to think about their own cultures and life experiences as the first step in understanding and relating to the children and families they will encounter in the field.

--Barbara T. Bowman


My mother, who had less than two years of formal education, once asked me what I do for a living. I told her I try to incorporate a rich diversity of experiences for kids into educational settings. She said, “Why that’s just common sense! They pay you for that?” Common sense, and still it’s an uncommon practice among many.

--James P. Comer


We must acknowledge the broader diversity in and of the African American experience and celebrate that all Black children are born geniuses. Black students continue to pursue educational excellence despite the many unnecessary obstacles they face due to constructions and perceptions of race, class, gender, and sexual orientations in America.

--David J. Johns



Submitted by: Andre Shumake, Sr.