Will Pittsburgh Public School math teachers continue perpetual tradition of classroom racism (Pertcrism)?

In a recent article, Pittsburgh Public Schools are implementing a new initiative to improved math scores by promoting positive student-teacher relationships. The new project, DEbT-M – Designing for Equity by Thinking in and about Mathematics – is designed to reduce the racial achievement gap in mathematics. The project that is funded by an $8-million, five year National Science Foundation grant is flawed in its implementation design.

The new Pittsburgh Public School initiatives began with thirty-five teachers who participated in professional development during the summer with the intent on bringing the program into the school in the fall. The 35 teachers represent 13 schools which include 3 high schools, three 6-12 schools, two 6-8 schools, two k-5 schools, and one specialized school. Within the Pittsburgh Public Schools there are twenty-four K-5, twelve K-8 schools, eight 6-8 schools, six 6-12 schools, five high school, six special schools, and thirty-two early childhood schools.

The thirteen teachers who are participating in the program are paid $30 an hour, for up to 220 hours per year, for an additional $6,600 per year.

Since the inception of the program, teachers have developed at least two program activities. One teacher has a calendar of school events displayed on her wall and attends the sporting events with the children. Another activity developed by teachers is a scavenger hunt. The activity was developed by three of the teachers before the beginning of the year. Teachers visited local landmarks and took selfies. The pictures of the selfies were placed on a bulletin board in the front office for all students and other stakeholders to view.

The problem with the first activity, which is to attend school activities, is that it will only impact the students who attend the sporting events. Even the seating capacity of many athletic facilities limits the number of students who attend the athletic event. The next challenge is that all of the students are not going to know if the teacher attended the athletic even, therefore limiting the effectiveness of the activity.

What would have been more effective for Pittsburgh Public School teachers is an interdisciplinary project regarding athletics. Since the focus of the program is to improve math scores, math teachers can use the athletics that are in season as an opportunity to teach the mathematics of the athletic sport. Teach them about the different employment opportunities associated with the sport. Your can even take them of a field trip with an emphasis on the mathematics.

The problem with the second activity, like the first, is that it is teacher focused and not teacher-student focused. Who cares that the teachers finally showed the nerve to visit the local landmarks. If it were something that they truly wanted to be involved in, then they would not have had to be paid to complete the activity. Parents and students are aware that it is really about the teacher getting a paycheck and not about improving the education of each child and definitely not about improving student-teacher racial relationships in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

The one plus for the Pittsburgh Public School initiative is the quantity of teachers involved. The initial thirteen teachers represent a very small number of teachers in the Pittsburgh Public School District. Whenever, you have a new initiative in an organization you must use a pilot group. Most school districts implement a new initiative and require that all teachers participate. The fallacy in this process is that there is not such thing as one size fits all. A pilot group allows the program to learn what needs to happen to ensure the success of the project. Once the thirteen teachers have ironed out all of the intricacies then they should role the entire program out to all schools.

The major problem with the Pittsburgh Public School initiative is that it does not use the appropriate transition model.

The present model is a train the teacher model. This model has proven ineffective and is the major reason why the Pittsburgh Public School initiative will not improve teacher-student relationships nor will it improve racial relationships between teachers and students. The Pittsburgh Public School initiative will improve the academic progress of Black and Hispanic students by following the process outlined in the book – Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships.

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Teacher Qualities that Promote Positive Racial Classroom Relationships

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships


“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”

~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
This entry was posted in Classroom Management, Leadership, Racism, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Teacher Training, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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