Black Lives Matter in Education

As schools across the nation bring the unprecedented 2019-20 school year to a close, I know from experience that plans are being made for School Year 2020-21. One reoccurring concern is how to find and implement the most effective strategies to improve students’ academic performance. Year after year results of standardized tests show that Black students are most at risk for sustained academic achievement.

There is no doubt in my mind that with the camera lens now pointing to disparities within Black communities, additional pressure is on schools to advance efforts that significantly raise achievement in Black students. Research has shown that students who receive appropriate educational opportunities in a caring school environment tend to show academic gains. The idea is to create a systemic approach to improve education for Black students.

There are identifiable causes for low performance in Black students. Yes, several are non-school factors that impact learning. However, schools have always been a beacon of hope for struggling students.  Here are some ideas that work:

  • Use data to make individualized instructional decisions
  • Develop realistic and measurable goals and objectives to meet students’ individual needs
  • Place the most effective teachers with the most vulnerable students
  • Hire psychologists, social workers and/or behavioral therapists to help with relevant issues
  • Use a variety of assessments to measure progress
  • Provide additional time for reteaching/tutoring based on data
  • Prioritize collegial collaboration and training
  • Intentionally welcome parents and guardians as partners in the teaching and learning process
  • Establish a safe and orderly school environment
  • Make instructional time sacred; free from non-educational distractions
  • Flood classroom and school libraries with quality books and educational materials depicting Black people
  • Celebrate large and small successes
  • Genuinely treat Black children like they matter; because they do
  • Read my book, 7 Insider Secrets: Transform Your Low-Performing Elementary School and Score an A in Record Time, available at