Combating the Achievement Gap: Ending Failure as a Default in Schools

Combating the Achievement Gap: Ending Failure as a Default in Schools

by Teresa Hill


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Despite 30 years of school reform, the achievement gap between African American students, Latino students, students in poverty and white middle class students persists. Too often, well-meaning teachers, leaders and policymakers inadvertently contribute to the perpetuation of the achievement gap through daily practices. Teresa D. Hill, a practitioner with experience as a teacher and leader in diverse schools, examines the structures, messages, attitudes and beliefs in schools that perpetuate the idea that failure is a default for African American, Latino, and low-income students. She then discusses the practical actions that educators and leaders can take to end failure as a default in their schools.

Combatting the Achievement Gap empowers educators and leaders to make meaningful change in the educational outcomes of African American, Latino, and low-income children by addressing structures, messages, attitudes and beliefs that are within educators’ sphere of influence. It will be of interest to school and district leaders, teachers, and policymakers seeking to address the achievement gap as well as teacher educators and researchers with an interest in education and social justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475826487
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/31/2017
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Teresa D. Hill is a school system leader with experience as a teacher, administrator, and consultant in diverse schools and districts. Her motto is “All children can . . . Period”

Table of Contents

Preface – Know Better, Do Better
Introduction – No Fault Default
Part I – Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone
Chapter 1 – The Ideology of Inequality
The Achievement Gap Ideology
Failure as a Default
Chapter 2 – Failure and Accountability
Table 2.1
Chapter 3 – Signs and Symptoms
Identifying Failure as a Default
Table 3.1
Experiential Curriculum Audits
Chapter 4 – Write the Vision
Academic Preparation
Classroom/School Environment
Exposure, Experiences & Opportunities
Expectation Setting and Horizon Expanding
Relationships and Interactions
Ethical, Social and Emotional Development
Part II – A Long Time Coming
Chapter 5 – Structures
Chapter 6 – Messages
The Power of Words
Planned Communication
Unspoken Signals
Silence is Deafening
Chapter 7 – Attitudes and Beliefs
Sources of Failure as a Default Belief Systems
Bias, Prejudice and Stereotypes
Misunderstandings About Growth and Development
Misconceptions About Teaching and Learning
Unarticulated Societal Beliefs Regarding Public Education
Changing the Culture of Belief
Chapter 8 – For Policy Makers
What Educational Policy Can (and Cannot) Do
The Educator’s Role in Education Policy
Equity vs. Excellence
A Word About Money in Education
Combatting the Achievement Gap
Create Collective Statements of Belief
Support Standards of Input
Develop Meaningful Measures for Inputs and Outcomes
Address the Failure as a Default Cycle
Conclusion – Who Succeeds, Who Fails, Who Cares?

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