Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
During our 2021 America’s Best Urban Schools Virtual Symposium, a participant told me, “I’ve attended several sessions and I’m starting to see how all these successful schools are doing many of the same things!” Yes! Too often, we are led to the mistaken impression that success is all about a unique and charismatic leader or about a set of circumstances that cannot be replicated in traditional urban schools. In contrast, visitors to our 2021 Symposium acquired abundant evidence that mortals can create learning environments where Black and Brown children will thrive and succeed at high levels, where family poverty is a springboard for success and not a sentence to failure, and where other demographic characteristics have no power to limit the achievements of students. Success is never easy; however, it is attainable through careful attention to ensuring that 1) all groups of students feel both valued and capable, 2) all groups of students have real access to challenging academic curricula, and 3) all groups of students experience instruction that is designed to engage their hearts, minds, and bodies. NCUST is proud to have showcased outstanding teachers, support personnel, principals, and superintendents who are making profound differences in the lives of their students! We can’t wait for our 2022 Symposium!
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