Principal - November/December 2019 - 59

were not well-versed in strategies
intended to improve academic outcomes, since most of their previous
students arrived at school with solid
support systems in place. Their skill
sets were often limited when it came
to engaging minority students, reluctant learners, and exceptional and
special-needs students.
In "Deepening Culturally
Responsive Understandings Within
a Teacher Preparation Program:
It's a Process," Donna Sobel, Cindy
Gutierrez, Shelley Zion, and Wanda
Blanchett argue that due to "disproportionality and the growing diversity
of the nation's K-12 student population, it is of paramount importance
that classroom teachers be prepared
to critically examine, reflect on, and
respond to practices for learners
with diverse needs and from diverse
backgrounds."
This suggests the following questions: Why are so many students who
are attending urban schools performing below grade-level proficiency?
Is failure really not an option? And
finally, how do we narrow and ultimately eliminate the achievement gap
between minority students and their
white peers?
Dropouts Trend Downward

According to the National Center
for Education Statistics, the 2016-
2017 school-year-adjusted cohort
graduation rate for public high
schools was 84.6 percent, with 91.2
percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders,
88.6 percent of whites, 80 percent of
Hispanics, 77.8 percent of African
Americans/blacks, and 72.4 percent
of American Indian/Alaska Native
students meeting the criteria to earn
a diploma or equivalent.
www.naesp.org

That represents a trend in the
right direction for dropout data, but
national and local graduation rates
indicate that current approaches
might not provide an equitable education for all learners. Urban school
educators must rely heavily on force
multipliers to make an intentional
effort to address the gap.
Throwing money blindly at the
problem is not the answer. There
is no evidenced-based approach to
solving this dilemma, but the 10 recommendations below might serve as a
granular-level start:
1. Conduct a forensic autopsy of
grade-level curricula. To meet all
scholars' needs, differentiated
instruction and culturally responsive pedagogy must be embedded
in the curriculum.
2. Conduct monthly forums to
solicit ideas and feedback
from educators and parents
in every local school district.
Scholars' needs are unique and
community-specific.
3. Mandate implicit bias training
for all educators, staff, and
school resource officers and offer
voluntary implicit bias training
for school board members.
4. Target and apply for federal
grants under the McKinneyVento Homeless Assistance Act to
meet the needs of students with
unstable housing.
5. House at least one parent
resource/outreach center at a
school in every feeder pattern
that provides student uniforms,
other clothing, food pantry
items, and classes for parents.
6. Employ a minimum of one school
psychologist and one social

Failure in America's urban
public schools is not only
an option, but all too
often, an expectation.

worker at every school, depending on enrollment. Teachers and
administrators are not equipped
or trained to provide appropriate
Tier III support for the mental
health concerns exhibited in
today's schools.
7. Train all educators and staff
members in restorative discipline practices.
8. Establish SAT/PSAT/ACT prep
elective courses at K-8, middle,
and high schools, as well as college preparatory courses.
9. Require higher-order science and
mathematics coursework at every
elementary, middle, and high
school to prepare students for a
rigorous college curriculum.
10. Establish career and technical
education and industry certification programs beginning with
sixth-graders in urban schools,
such as robotics, coding, computergenerated imagery (CGI), and
culinary arts programs.
Equitable strategies can help boost
local graduation rates-and end the
tendency for urban schools to fail the
kids they teach.
Eugene Butler Jr. has served as assistant
superintendent in the Tucson (Arizona)
Unified School District and in various roles
with Miami-Dade County (Florida) Public
Schools.
Principal n November/December 2019

59


http://www.naesp.org

Principal - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - November/December 2019

from the editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Intertwined for Achievement
Planting the SEAD
Making PLCs a Plus
Measuring Up
Look Out for the Leader
Engagement Across the Generations
The Sum of Its Parts
Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Raising the Bar
Principal’s Bookshelf
School Law
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover1
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 1
Principal - November/December 2019 - 2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 3
Principal - November/December 2019 - from the editor
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5
Principal - November/December 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - November/December 2019 - 7
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - November/December 2019 - 9
Principal - November/December 2019 - Intertwined for Achievement
Principal - November/December 2019 - 11
Principal - November/December 2019 - 12
Principal - November/December 2019 - 13
Principal - November/December 2019 - 14
Principal - November/December 2019 - Planting the SEAD
Principal - November/December 2019 - Making PLCs a Plus
Principal - November/December 2019 - 17
Principal - November/December 2019 - 18
Principal - November/December 2019 - 19
Principal - November/December 2019 - Measuring Up
Principal - November/December 2019 - 21
Principal - November/December 2019 - 22
Principal - November/December 2019 - 23
Principal - November/December 2019 - Look Out for the Leader
Principal - November/December 2019 - 25
Principal - November/December 2019 - Engagement Across the Generations
Principal - November/December 2019 - 27
Principal - November/December 2019 - The Sum of Its Parts
Principal - November/December 2019 - 29
Principal - November/December 2019 - 30
Principal - November/December 2019 - 31
Principal - November/December 2019 - Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
Principal - November/December 2019 - 33
Principal - November/December 2019 - 34
Principal - November/December 2019 - 35
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
Principal - November/December 2019 - 37
Principal - November/December 2019 - 38
Principal - November/December 2019 - 39
Principal - November/December 2019 - 40
Principal - November/December 2019 - 41
Principal - November/December 2019 - 42
Principal - November/December 2019 - 43
Principal - November/December 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - November/December 2019 - 45
Principal - November/December 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - November/December 2019 - 47
Principal - November/December 2019 - 48
Principal - November/December 2019 - 49
Principal - November/December 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - November/December 2019 - 51
Principal - November/December 2019 - Principal’s Bookshelf
Principal - November/December 2019 - 53
Principal - November/December 2019 - School Law
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - November/December 2019 - 56
Principal - November/December 2019 - 57
Principal - November/December 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - November/December 2019 - 59
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - 61
Principal - November/December 2019 - 62
Principal - November/December 2019 - 63
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover3
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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