Resources for working with african american students

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State of Wisconsin

Department of Public Instruction

Elizabeth Burmaster, State Superintendent



100 Black Men of America

[Excerpt] The 100 is responsible for encouraging and facilitating the development of programmatic initiatives that address the educational needs of the youth and those of the larger community. Additionally, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is committed to the growth and development of America’s youth. To further promote excellence in talented young Americans as they pursue higher education goals, the 100 endeavors to provide scholarships to hundreds of deserving college students on an equal opportunity basis regardless of race, sex, creed, or religious preference. Wisconsin chapters are located in Madison (608) 661-8286,, and Milwaukee (414)297-7947.
Addressing Over-Representation of African American Students in Special Education: The Prereferral Intervention Process. From the National Alliance of Black School Educators.

NABSE, in collaboration with the IDEA Local Implementation by Local Administrators Project (ILIAD) at the Council for Exceptional Children, has developed Addressing Over-Representation of African American Students in Special Education: The Prereferral Intervention Process. The guide is designed to assist administrators--a term used here to include building administrators, central office administrators, and school board members, as appropriate--in assuming a leadership role in addressing over-representation in their districts.

African American Families Under Fire: Ethnographic Views of Family Strengths. Beth Harry, Janette Klingner, and Juliet Hart. Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 26 No. 2, March/April 2005. Available for purchase from Sage Journals Online
African American Resources from the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Research

A website with links and resources pertaining to African American history and related issues.

African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania

A K-12 electronic guide for African resources on the Internet.

Catalyst – Chicago

Catalyst Chicago is an independent newsmagazine created in 1990 to document, analyze and support school-improvement efforts in the Chicago Public Schools.

The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers for African-American Children. Gloria Ladson-Billings. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1994.

[Excerpted from] Although statistics paint a harsh picture of the education of African American children, Ladson-Billings integrates scholarly research with stories of eight successful teachers in a predominantly African American school district to illustrate that the "dream" of all teachers and parents-academic success for all children-is alive and can be emulated. Available for purchase from or
Improving Schools for African American Students: A Reader for Educational Leaders. Edited by Sheryl Denbo and Lynson Beaulieu. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. 2002.

[Excerpt] ...[This book] brings together in one volume the accumulated knowledge, from research and experience, of cutting edge ideas that advance our understanding of "what works." These outstanding researchers and practitioners highlight critical issues and provide proven practices that will be invaluable to those preparing to be school leaders in diverse settings, as well as for those creating policies to support the development of schools where all students reach high standards. This volume puts at the fingertips of education leaders and policymakers an institutional and cultural context from which to develop policies, practices, and programs that support high achievement among African American students. Description available online at

Leadership on Purpose: Promising Practices for African American and Hispanic Students. Rosemary Papalewis and Rex Fortune. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. 2002.

This book demonstrates how high achievement can exist in high-poverty, high-minority schools. By drawing on the best practices of 13 exemplary schools, the book highlights the specific means by which ethnically diverse (namely, African American and Latino) students can attain educational success. The book offers seven strategies for principals to be effective leaders, eight tactics for successful curriculum and classroom instruction, and nine ways to make meaningful connections with parents. Available from or

Learning to Read in Culturally Responsive Computer Environments

[excerpted from the article] The goal of this line of work is to explore how culturally defined oral language skills possessed by African-American children can serve as critical bridges to developing early literacy skills. Rappin' Reader and Say Say Oh Playmate, computer-based learning environments designed to facilitate the development of literacy skills in African-American children, will be described and evaluated. This paper will present empirical evidence of the benefits of these programs with a group of struggling readers. While the study is exploratory in nature, analyses of the influence of ethnicity, age, and gender provide insight into the potential of Rappin' Reader and Say Say Oh Playmate. The manner in which these programs attempt to enhance letter-sound relationships will be described, as will the ways in which the software draws on African-American children's cultural experiences to maximize their engagement in reading [end excerpt].

Linguistically and Culturally Diverse: African American and Hmong. 1997. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

This guide assists educators in understanding the difference between speech and language disorders and linguistic and cultural differences. Although this guide specifically addresses children who are African American or Hmong, speech and language pathologists and directors of special education will find it helpful in their work with other bilingual/bicultural groups. $27.00 For information on ordering a copy, please contact Publication Sales at 800-243-8782.

Making the Connection: Language and Academic Achievement Among African American Students (electronic version). By Carolyn Temple Adger, Donna Christian and Orlando Taylor (Editors). 1999.

[Excerpt] The chapters in this collection respond with up-to-date, informative discussions about language variation among African American students that will help educators enhance their students’ academic achievement. (179 pp). Available for electronic download only from the CAL Store for $10.
National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)

[Excerpt] NABSE is the nation’s premiere non-profit organization devoted to furthering the academic success for the nation’s children - particularly children of African descent. Now in its 36th year, NABSE boasts an outreach to more than 10,000 preeminent educators including teachers, administrators, superintendents as well as corporate and institutional members…NABSE is dedicated to improving both the educational experiences and accomplishments of African American youth through the development and use of instructional and motivational methods that increase levels of inspiration, attendance and overall achievement. In Wisconsin, contact Dr. Rogers Onick, Metropolitan Milwaukee ABSE,
National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

[from the website] A national group that works to improve child welfare services, make universal early care and education a reality, build family support services, press for educational reform and provide vital information on children's health.
National Conference on Best Practices in Black Student Achievement at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

January 25-27, 2009

This annual best-practice conference consistently attracts many of the country’s top leaders and advocates for black students.
National Urban League

[from the website] The nation's oldest and largest community- based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. In Wisconsin there are three affiliates: Urban League of Greater Madison 608-251-8550; Milwaukee Urban League 414-374-5850; Urban League of Racine & Kenosha Inc. 262-637-8532.

Smithsonian Education: African American Heritage Teaching Resources

[From the website] The Smithsonian observes the federally mandated Heritage Months by hosting performances, films, discussions, and many other events in Washington, D.C. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, we offer these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards.
Teaching African American Learners to Read: Perspectives and Practices. By Bill Hammond, Mary Eleanor Rhodes Hoover and Irving Pressley Mcphail. International Reading Association. 2005.

[Excerpt] This collection of original, adapted, and previously published articles fills a critical need for professional literature that documents research-based practices and programs that successfully teach African American learners to read. The editors have organized the book into four sections-Theoretical Foundations, Reading Methodologies, Cultural Considerations, and Assessment Issues. Altogether, these sections will assist you in formulating a comprehensive view of teaching African American learners to read by examining the role of education, identifying best practices, considering the significance of culture in the teaching-learning process, and investigating some difficult issues of assessment. Available from or

Urban African American Families’ Perceptions of Cultural Sensitivity Within the Special Education System. Laura T. Zionts, Paul Zionts, Sharonlynn Harrison, and Odis Bellinger. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 18. No. 1, Spring 2003.
Urban School Failure and Disproportionality in a Post-“Brown” Era: Benign Neglect of the Constitutional Rights of Students of Color. Wanda J. Blanchett, Vincent Mumford, and Floyd Beachum. Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 26 No. 2, March/April 2005.

7/18/08 EMK

Disclaimer: Inclusion of a website, article or other resource does not constitute endorsement by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction or any of its employees. This list is offered for informational purposes only.

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