How can the Obama administration help Black students with standardized testing?

In a recent article, the Obama administration is entertaining the thought of reducing standardized testing as a requirement for No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind is a failed attempt at equalizing the playing field for schools, teachers, and students. “Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality and from equity” (Former Senator Paul Wellstone). The Obama administration can help Black students failures by first addressing the standardized testing inequalities before proposing a reduction in quantity.

According to the article, President Obama Plans to Limit Standardized Testing, the executive branch and Capitol Hill are re-evaluating how testing should impact the states. According to Obama’s video posted on Facebook, “Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble“. He went to specifically reach out to his home state by saying “Cleveland schools need to spend more time making sure district tests are not redundant and are both useable and used to inform instruction”. The federal government can not force states to follow new policies. However, they can attach requirements to funding that states are qualified to receive. Even though many of these requirements are targeted at supplementing the education of historically underserved children, the fact remains that these policies have proven ineffective for Black students.

What is the history of standardized testing that has proven ineffective for Black students?

Standardized testing is used in every school across the United States in almost every grade level. Some of the test include Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) are standardized tests provided by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. The tests are administered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. According to a recent ITBS Research Guide, White students have outperformed Black student on the ITBS since 1977.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what students in America should know and can do in the core subjects. NAEP is a mandated project by congress. The NAEP is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. White students have outperformed Black students on the standardized test since 1969.

All of the state sponsored standardized testing mirrors the same format as the ITBS and the NAEP which appears to be detrimental to many Black students.

What type of learning formats will benefit Black students who are mandated to participate in standardized testing?

Written demonstration, such as standardized tests, are consistent with mainstream American and European student mastery that is contrary to culturally different student learning styles. Students who find their culture and learning styles reflected in education are more likely to be motivated for success.

Blacks prefer a socially interactive environment. Black students work and function better in cooperative, informal, and loosely structured environments where teachers and students work together to achieve a common goal. Blacks prefer tactile hands-on learning activities, affective materials to facilitate their learning, approximate time, number, and space activities, and sort word lists by their functional value.

Blacks have developed a specific method of organizing and processing information that provides a disadvantage to Blacks in school settings. Black thinking style differs from other groups due to Blacks using the right hemisphere of the brain. Black thinking is more holistic, intuitive, and integrative when processing information, and Black students approach thinking from an intuitive perspective rather than the logical-mathematical approach. Blacks are more analytical regarding concepts and ideas when they evaluate information from their particular orientation. Blacks are highly creative thinkers who prefer deductive reasoning but have the same reasoning styles as other groups.

The Obama administration and standardized test manufactures should take a closer look at making the experiences more beneficial for all students rather than a reduction in quantity.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

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About Classroom Racism Management Specialist

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.
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