Schools that close achievement gaps focus on improving learning for all students, maintain a "no excuses" attitude, use research and data to improve practice, involve everyone in improvement processes, persist through difficulties and setbacks, and celebrate accomplishments.
Education should be uniquely differentiated for ALL students, but under-represented and disadvantaged students don’t always have the same educational opportunities. Some strategies we can put in place to close the achievements gaps can include:
Enhancing culture competences, be sensitive to students’ cultures, know that student diversity is an asset.
Providing comprehensive support for students with instructional tutoring, medical and social services, mentorship and peer support groups.
Extending learning opportunities, (such as instituting more full day pre-k and kindergarten programs, continue our before school- after school and summer school programs.)
In the classroom, we can train teachers to use effective researched based best practices for diversity and differentiation.
Providing ongoing professional development for every school building faculty and staff on why everyone in the school building plays a part in the success of ALL children with regard to closing the gap.
Make Closing the gap this district’s priority. The African American Achievement Plan should in parts be included in each school improvement plan, in the district‘s strategic plan as well as in our district improvement plan.
Improve communication and involvement of parents and guardians, Parent involvement is the number one factor for a child’s academic success, I don’t think we can do enough to improve parent involvement so that ultimately it will impact student achievement.
Lastly, we have to be creative and diligent in recruiting, compensating, and retaining highly qualified teachers of color to become inspirations, motivators, mentors, and build positive relationships with our kids and their families. Faculty diversity is an asset that promotes a dynamic, inclusive learning environment for all students.