When black students excel online book study

CHAPTER 1

PATRICK HENRY PREPARATORY SCHOOL

New York City Department of Education, District 4
East Harlem, New York City

Patrick Henry Preparatory, also known as PS/IS 171 is a combined elementary and middle school known for its nurturing, supportive, caring, loving, and orderly environment. Located on East 103rd Street in East Harlem, the school is part of New York City’s Department of Education, District 4. Patrick Henry serves approximately 800 students. Nearly 60% of students identify as Latino/a or Hispanic. Just over 27% are Black or African American. 70% of Patrick Henry’s students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. Patrick Henry is ranked among the best schools in the state although it does not utilize selective admission criteria. This East Harlem School has become one of the state’s highest-performing schools. Quantitative academic data reveal a sustained momentum of growth at Patrick Henry, resulting in the success of Black and Brown students in ways that will alter their opportunities for decades to come. 

In this chapter, you will hear from Principal Dimitres Pantelidis and Instructional Coach, Dr. Mallory Locke speak about the “3 Rs to Student Achievement” based on the Bill Dagget Rigor/Relevance Framework. Rigor focuses on the degree of acquisition, assimilation, application, and adaptation. Relevance promotes connections, purposefulness, and cultural diversity. Relationships reflect student achievements and social and emotional intelligence in areas like expressing, regulating, understanding, trust, and more. We lifted key ideas from chapter one and aligned them with short clips illustrating the key points. We then provided resources either directly from Patrick Henry or adapted versions to accompany the video clip and key ideas of the chapter.

CHAPTER 2

Maplewood Richmond Heights High School

Maplewood Richmond Heights School District
Maplewood, Missouri

Built in 1909, Maplewood Richmond Heights High School serves approximately 405 students in grades 9-12. Approximately 58% of the students identify as White, 24% as Black, 10% identify as two or more racial/ethnic backgrounds, 6% are Latino or Hispanic, and 2% identify as Asian. Black students at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School (MRH) are convinced that the teachers and administrators at their school (most of whom are White) are committed to their success in school and their success in life. They know they are well-prepared to compete, succeed, and pursue their dreams. 

The school culture allows students to stay focused on learning and persist to graduation. The four-year high school graduation rate at MRH hovers at nearly 100% each year. Data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Algebra I assessment demonstrate that MRH students outperform averages for all students in the state. Black students at MRH perform approximately as well as the average for all students in the state and are twice as likely to achieve proficiency or advanced levels as other Black students in Missouri. Similarly, on the state’s English II assessment, MRH students outperform averages for all students in Missouri. Black students at MRH perform approximately as well as the average for all students in the state and are almost twice as likely to achieve proficiency or advanced levels as other Black students in Missouri. 

In this chapter, you will hear how Dr. Kevin Grawer passionately narrates the systems and structures that have made a profound impact on the culture and achievement of students at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School. Through his leadership and in collaboration with his dedicated staff, you will hear concrete strategies they have implemented to attend to the needs of the “whole child”. The work of building students’ ability to achieve academically is not separated from the work of understanding each individual student and the factors that might be influencing each student’s ability to learn.

CHAPTER 3

Wynnebrook Elementary School

Palm Beach County School District
West Palm Beach, Florida

Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Wynnebrook Elementary is a highly rated public elementary school serving students from preschool to fifth grade. The school is part of the Palm Beach County School District, the tenth-largest district in the nation. 94% of Wynnebrook students meet federal free or reduced-price lunch criteria, 50% of the students identify as Latino/Latina, and 42% as Black or African-American. Only 7% of Wynnebrook students are White or Caucasian. 

Engaging and effective instruction within a positive, accepting culture has resulted in impressive academic achievements for students at Wynnebrook. Each year, for the past 18 years, the school has earned an “A” grade from the Florida Department of Education, resulting from high levels of student performance and high levels of growth on state assessments. While Wynnebrook students, in general, perform at high levels, the school’s black students perform at higher levels than elementary students throughout the state of Florida. 55% of students in Florida elementary schools perform at the proficient or advanced levels in English and only 38% of Black students perform proficient or advanced. In contrast, 70% of Wynnebrook Black students perform at the proficient or advanced levels. 58% of students in Florida elementary schools perform at the proficient or advanced levels in mathematics. In contrast, only 41% of Florida’s Black Elementary students perform at the proficient or advanced level. Impressively, 81% of Wynnebrook’s Black students perform at the proficient or advanced levels.

CHAPTER 4

O’Farrell Charter High School

O’Farrell Charter Schools
San Diego, California

O’Farrell Charter High School is part of the O’Farrell Charter School (an elementary school, middle school, and high school) located in the Skyline/Encanto area of San Diego, California. Approximately 580 students attend O’Farrell Charter High School (among the 1,850 who attend the K-12 O’Farrell Charter School). Over half (53%) of the high school’s students identify as Latino/a or Hispanic. Approximately 20% of the students identify as Filipino or Asian and approximately 16% identify as Black or African American. Nearly 63% of the school’s students meet free- or reduced-price meal eligibility criteria. It should be noted that although O’Farrell Elementary and O’Farrell Middle School claim many academic successes, only O’Farrell High School met the eligibility criteria for the National Center for Urban School Transformation’s America’s Best Urban School Award. 

All demographic groups of students at O’Farrell High perform at outstanding levels on multiple indicators. Black students at O’Farrell High perform at higher levels than high school students throughout California. Students in California take the California Assessment of Student Performance (CAASP). In the 2018-2019 academic year, 57.27% of students in California high schools performed at the proficient or advanced level in English. In contrast, only 38.43% of California’s Black high school students performed at the proficient or advanced level. However, 63.16% of O’Farrell High School’s Black students performed at the proficient or advanced level in English. Black students at O’Farrell High outperformed students in general throughout California and substantially outperformed Black students in California.

The academic performance of O’Farrell High School’s Black students in mathematics is similarly impressive. 32.34% of California’s high school students perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics. In contrast, only 14.27% of California’s Black high school students perform at the proficient or advanced level. Impressively, 47.37% of O’Farrell High’s Black students perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics. O’Farrell High’s Black students are three times as likely to perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics than other Black students in California. 

In addition to meeting California’s A through G requirements, many Black students at O’Farrell are completing advanced placement courses. Twenty-four percent of O’Farrell’s Black students are enrolled in advanced placement courses (compared to 15% of Black students in California).

CHAPTER 5

CONCOURSE VILLAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Community School District 7
Bronx, New York

Located in the poorest congressional district in the nation (NY-16), South Bronx’s Concourse Village Elementary School (P.S. 359) is in the New York City Department of Education’s District 7. Concourse Village Elementary resides on a campus that was constructed in 1969 and opened in the 1969-1970 school year as P.S. 156. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the students identify as Latino/a or Hispanic. One-third (33%) identify as Black or African American. Approximately 87% of the students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals, and 15% of the students are experiencing homelessness. 

Black students at Concourse Village Elementary perform academically as if they are destined to succeed. Fewer than half (45.4%) of elementary students achieve at the proficient or advanced level in English language arts on New York State’s Student Achievement Assessment. Slightly more than one-third (35.3%) of New York’s Black elementary school students achieved proficient or advanced levels of performance in English language arts in 2018-2019. In contrast, 85% of Black students at Concourse Village achieved at the proficient or advanced level in English language arts. Black students at Concourse Village were more likely to achieve proficient or advanced levels of performance than Hispanic, White, or Asian students in New York State and more than twice as likely to achieve grade-level proficiency than Black students elsewhere in New York State. Furthermore, it is important to note that, at Concourse Village, 35% of Black students performed at the advanced level in English language arts (50% performed at the proficient level and 35% performed at the advanced level). 

The academic performance of Concourse Village’s Black students in mathematics is even more striking. 49% of New York’s elementary students perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics. In contrast, only 34% of the state of New York’s Black elementary school students perform at the proficient or advanced level. Impressively, 96% of Concourse Village’s Black students perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics. Black students at Concourse Village outperform every racial group in the state of New York in mathematics. 

Black students at Concourse Village are more than twice as likely to perform at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics as Black students elsewhere in New York State. In New York State, 41% of Black students performed at the “Below Basic” level. In contrast, not one Black student at Concourse Village scored “Below Basic.” Conversely, 15% of New York State’s Black elementary students performed at the advanced level in mathematics. At Concourse Village, however, 58% of the school’s Black students performed at the advanced level in mathematics. From pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Each day, students experience a school culture, curricula, and instructional strategies designed to ensure their success.

CHAPTER 6

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Young Men’s Leadership Academy

Fort Worth Independent School District 
Fort Worth, Texas

The Paul Laurence Dunbar Young Men’s Leadership Academy is located in a historically Black neighborhood in the Fort Worth Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas. The school opened in 2012 as the District’s first school dedicated exclusively to nurturing the success of male students in both the classroom and life. YMLA serves approximately 365 students in grades six through 12. Over half (53.2%) of the students identify as Black or African American and 41.1% identify as Hispanic or Latino. Fewer than 3% of the students identify as White. Approximately 79% of the students meet eligibility criteria for free- or reduced-price meals.

Black students at YMLA achieve at levels that prepare them to earn admission into four-year colleges and universities, win scholarships, and succeed in rigorous post-secondary programs. Over 1,200 high schools in the United States are considered dropout factories because they fail to graduate one-third or more of their students. While only 16% of the nation’s students identify as Black, 40% of the students enrolled in dropout factories are Black (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2015). In stark contrast, 100% of the Black students served at YMLA graduate.

YMLA students must work hard to graduate. Students matriculate through a college preparatory curriculum that includes English language arts, mathematics, science, history, fine arts, physical education, and world languages. YMLA students are more likely to complete advanced placement courses in mathematics, science, and other subjects than high school students throughout Texas. Over 70% of YMLA’s grade 11 and 12 students take at least one Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam. As well, YMLA students are more likely to complete dual-enrollment courses, through which they earn both high school credit and college credit. Many of YMLA’s Black graduates attend respected four-year universities such as Baylor University, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

The academic success of YMLA’s Black students is apparent in student performances on state assessments. High school students in Texas take end-of-course state assessments in English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History. On each assessment, the percentage of YMLA’s Black students who perform at grade level or above is higher than the overall percentage of students in Texas who perform at grade level or above.

CHAPTER 7

Ensuring Black Students Benefit From Effective Leaders Committed to Their Success

CHAPTER 8

Ensuring Black Students Belong, Feel Loved, and Experience Joy

Concourse Village Elementary School
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