My name is Brandon Jones and I am writing again on my topic of African American students and standardized tests scores. Since my last post, I have really dug deep into investigating why the test scores of African American students are so low. In this article, it gives a possible reason for why African American do so poorly on standardized tests. For example, in the article it talks about how stereotypes can be a factor in success. Unfortunately this happens to be very true in black community. One common stereotype is that African Americans do not aspire to higher education.
For my original research, I did some field work. On Thursday, February 27, I visited Ad Prima Charter School, a school with a majority of African American kids in attendance and they let me observe one of their after school classes. By just sitting in on this class, showed me that those kids are living proof that stereotypes are truly oversimplified images. Both teachers and students were passionate about learning and they showed it. I saw students that were hard at work and focusing on the task at hand. One thing that I had noticed was that almost every student had a snack with them. It made me realize that hunger plays an important role in learning. If a child is hungry, their bodies try to save that small amount of energy for basic body functions like keeping the heart and lungs going, so the rest of the body won’t have energy to think about math problems or to figure out the main idea of the story. Also the teachers were able to help any student in need, no matter the subject or what type of work it was. The sight of this just put me in awe. The fact that the teachers were able to find time in that hour and 30 minutes to accommodate every student and still be able to keep a watchful eye over the class and still get their work done, shocked me in a good way and I respect that. There was one thing that really stood out to me the most during the entire observation. One of teachers called over a 4th grader named Irving and told him to tell me about his idea. Irving asked me would I try a Macaroni and Cheese pretzel. I said I would but this really spoke to me. It shows that the teachers want kids to think creatively and to have ideas and to be the opposite of what stereotypes and society depicts them to be.
* Ad Prima Charter School
These kids are shining examples of what African American students can be. If African American students would just sit down and take the time and put in the effort to do well, then my issue would be resolved. We also need more teachers that are supportive of students. Teachers who take the time to get to know the students and to care about what the student has to think or say.
* A teacher who is helping a young black student
This picture gives me hope, of one day when we as a black community, will strive for excellence in everything we do and negative comments or biased opinions will not bring us down, but build us up and to make us stronger.
As for my Agent of Change part, I will most likely lean toward something like reading to younger kids or tutoring students who need help but until then I end this blog post with a quote by Aristotle Onassis.
“ It is during our darkest moment, that we must focus to see the light.
The link to my Annotated Bibliography is here