by Murph Shapiro, COSEBOC
December 7, 2012

I’ve just finished three different pieces that include lists of successful practices of inner city schools.

The first is a book, Sweating the Small Stuff by David  Whitman in which Whitman describes 6 schools ( 4 charters; a parochial high school; and a neighborhood public high school) that have narrowed the achievement gap and produced graduates who go off to college.

The book was written in 2008 and is...

I've always been a bit wary of bringing the street into the classroom; not because I thought it was a bad idea to use outside experiences to raise student interest but rather because it is too often simplisticly implemented.

Back in 1969 I was a reading teacher at an experimental school in Philadelphia and I hit upon the idea of a theme based program around boxing. All the kids seemed excited about the idea so I gathered books and articles at different reading levels about boxers and boxing, and offered them to the kids in lieu of the usual reading curriculum...

(Re) Authorizing Literacy Practices for African American Boys

by Alfred W. Tatum, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago

The education of young children has been discussed for more than two centuries in the United States. However, we are in our infancy discussing instructional practices and methods that advance the reading and writing achievement of African American boys. This is not to say that African American boys have not been excelling at both for a very long time, but the voices of those who specifically advocate for their reading and...

Recently a three day symposium Middle School Matters for Young Black Males sponsored by ETS and the Children's Defense Fund was held in Cincinatti Ohio. In general the speakers were academics from the college level and while their comments and presentations were excellent, they were more more theoretical than practical.

One of the panelists, Geoffrey Canada, Head of the Harlem Children's Zone, however, provided more hands on responses to some of the moderator's questions.

Canada feels that we address the needs of young Black children, and particularly those of high school age...

In a speech last March Ivory Toldson expressed in the most direct terms what many others have been saying but have not been heard, or at least not getting out to the public. Here's an excerpt from an article on the speech.

Toldston (sic) said the media’s constant negative — and in many cases, inaccurate — portrayal of black men leads to a vicious cycle that essentially serves to limit black men by sending them a message that they aren’t expected to succeed.


It’s interesting what makes news or what makes an event news. If it’s not picked up the main stream presss it doesn’t make it very far.

It’s now almost two months since the President issued his Executive order - White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans - but there are few out there who are aware of it or who know what it says.

It is news and very important news. While most educators know the...