In recent article, the Duval County Public School superintendent and Congresswoman Corrine Brown have entered into a battle that has lead to a civil rights complaint for which the United States Department of Education is presently investigating. While the specifics of the compliant have not been outlined it appears that the political clout of the congresswoman has an impact on the initiation of the investigation. For Duval County Public School officials the civil rights complaints could become detrimental due to the lack of promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

According to the article, Duval County Public Schools under federal scrutiny, Congresswoman Brown ascertains that minority students are at a disadvantage. Brown has officially disagreed with many of the recent proposals initiated by Dr. Vitti as well as expressing that the disparity between minority and White students should not exist. Duval County Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti stated, “It’s absurd, and it is not based on what is actually happening in our schools and it appears like a political agenda.” Congresswoman Brown has made an error in believing that the disparity between minority and White students is unique to Duval County Public Schools.

What historical data indicates that Duval County Public Schools minority school achievement is consistent with national trends?

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is an indicator that reveals Duval County Public Schools have an academic disparity that is consistent with national trends. The NAEP assesses student performance in reading and mathematics at grades four, eight, and twelve. Since the inception of the NAEP, White students have outperformed minority in reading and mathematics.

In 1992, the grade four reading academic gap between Black and White students was two percentage points. The gap has closed to two tenths percentage points in 2013. In 1992, the grade eight reading academic gap between Black and White students was two percentage points. The gap has closed to five tenths percentage points in 2013. In 1992, the grade twelve reading academic gap between Black and White students was one and two tenths percentage points. The gap has closed to one percentage point in 2013.

In 1990, the grade four mathematics academic gap between Black and White students was two percentage points. The gap has closed to two tenths percentage points in 2013. In 1990, the grade eight mathematics academic gap between Black and White students was two percentage points. The gap has closed to five tenths percentage points in 2013. In 1990, the grade twelve mathematics academic gap between Black and White students was one and two tenths percentage points. The gap has closed to one percentage point in 2013. Congresswoman Brown claim of disparity is valid, however it would could be more productive to entertain the Black White educational disparity on a national level.

Duval Public Schools will need to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships to overcome the present Black White racial disparities. Positive relationships at schools and in the classroom are in many ways the prerequisites for effective learning and behavior. Students and teachers who are warm, compassionate, and friendly toward one another in the classroom have the potential to improve instruction and learning. Black students believe their academic achievement increases when they have positive relationships with teachers. Black students also believe that increases in positive feelings affect academic achievement when teachers become responsive to the students’ personal lives. Conversely, Black students believe that their poor academic performance results from teachers who lack concern for them and engage in negative gossip regarding students.

Developing positive relationships with students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students. Having positive and caring relationships in schools increases resilience and protects children from academic failure, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and destructive behavior and violence. Long-term teacher-student relationships result in increased teacher job satisfaction. Teachers who have positive feelings toward their students are more likely to have students reciprocate those positive feelings. Teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students. Students are more willing to develop positive relationships with teachers who tend to form close friendships with their students. Duval Public Schools can benefit all students by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

www.positiveracialrelationships.com

PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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