Let's Talk About It, Urban Education

Is the Road to Special Education (for Black Boys) Paved with the White Educator’s Paperwork?

Many studies note that there is an over identification of Black boys to special education.  While serving as the Teach For America Vice President with Teacher Leadership Development in Greater Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to spend time in classes in Trenton, Camden, and Philadelphia.  In this role, I saw 3rd grade special education classes that were 100% Black males…

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Let's Talk About It, Urban Education

How to Facilitate Award Winning Professional Development

Imagine that a teacher comes to a workshop and says he is struggling to get his students to learn calculus. He describes them as resistant, unmotivated, and chatty. But wait a minute. An hour later, he tells the room that his students should be grateful to have him, that he drives 45 minutes each way, and that he is highly…

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Let's Talk About It, Urban Education

Are Schools Seeking Black Overseers to Control Black Students?

The article below is based on interviews with several Black male educators who work in urban school settings on the east coast. In an effort to honor the perspectives of those participating in the interviews, several of them created the title for this article.  I often think one of the best questions to ask ourselves is, “What am I learning…

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Let's Talk About It, Urban Education

The 5 Outcomes that Are the Real End Game for Staff and Students

Various experiences have given me reason to think more about what it means to be culturally responsive, not just as an educator but also as a human being. The first time I thought deeply about race was probably in high school. I was one of 4 African American students in an honors class, combined English and history. Each seat was…

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Let's Talk About It

3 Questions You Need to Ask Before Teaching at an Urban School

What’s the difference between working in an urban school versus a suburban one? A private school versus a public school? If one were to sit in the teachers’ lounge (or wherever educators convene to honestly converse), one might hear varying concerns depending on where they work. Though there may be some common themes (e.g., budget constraints, student needs, parent involvement,…

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