Racially Different Expectations of Student Performance at a High School in the United States of America: Youth-led Action Research Project

By:
Jane Cho,
Vincent Shelton,
Rod Ojeda-Beck,
Paul Donohoue,
Gladys Puente,
Courtenay Tessler
To add a paper, Login.

The citizens of Davis, California, had to reconsider their "hate free" town when they were presented with a 26 page data report on the racial disparities in schooling outcomes within the city's school district. Written by Davis Blacks for Effective Community Action (BECA), a non-profit community organization that provides support to Davis' Black families, the intent of the report was to find a solution for the negative effect of racism in education. BECA, a second non-profit statewide organization called Youth In Focus (YIF), the Davis High School (DHS) principal, and several DHS staff members, last year selected a racially diverse group of 29 DHS students to investigate the causes of and solutions for the racial differences in academic achievement and in the frequency of disciplinary actions. Concurrently, DHS teachers and staff were invited to join a dialogue group that met monthly to be informed of YIF's progress, and to explore the phenomenon of racial disparities in their school. The YIF Student Research Scholars were trained in social research techniques by YIF, BECA, and DHS staff. Following weeks of poignant, facilitated sessions of cross-cultural dialogue and self-reflection, YIF Scholars chose and conducted student focus groups and a written survey to answer their research question, agreed upon by the entire group: "How do expectations of teachers, close friends, classmates, families, and administrators contribute to racial differences in academic achievement, class placement, and discipline patterns?" Results indicated that students perceived that teachers, classmates, and administrators held racially different expectations of the performance and behavior of students. Currently, in the spirit of action research, the Student Research Scholars are near completion of an educational video, have held a youth conference, and have presented their data over 15 times, including to university classes of teachers-in-training and to the California State Legislature.


Keywords: Educational Equity, Positive Youth Development, Racism in Education, Racial Differences in Educational Outcome, Emancipatory Education
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Jane Cho

Affiliation not supplied
USA


Vincent Shelton

Davis High School
USA


Rod Ojeda-Beck

Davis High School
USA


Paul Donohoue

Davis High School
USA


Gladys Puente

Davis High School
USA


Courtenay Tessler

High School Councellor, Davis High School
USA


Ref: D05P0107