A recent article depicts the Boston Latin School as a primary cultivator of racism in education. We must transition the way that schools cultivate children if we expect for our nation to survive. Boston Latin School can eliminate this perception by removing the obstacles that contribute to racism in education.
According to the article, EDITORIAL: Boston Latin School has race problem, students of different races at Boston Latin School used social media as a vehicle to express the hate that they feel towards other ethnicities. For example, students used tweets to express their hatred. One student tweeted, “You live in the ghetto part of Dorchester. I live in the nice part.”
Students Noel and Webster-Cazeau used a YourTube video to reveal that Boston Latin School’s Black Leaders Aspiring for Change and Knowledge provided the school’s headmaster with a binder full of racist tweets. The racist tweets continued to persist thereafter. Another black Boston Latin School graduate told the Boston Globe that other students wore white sheets to intimidate him when he ran for class president.
The Boston Latin School Black students believe that inappropriate communications from White students reveals a racist culture. The inappropriate communications are associated with White privilege. White privilege in a school is associated with many other dynamics.
For example, enrollment into the Boston Latin School is dependent on an entrance exam. Entrance exams have long been a vehicle to deny Blacks entrance into higher levels of education. The army set the stage for labeling Blacks as inferior by using the Alpha and Beta test that contained a number of visual information processing tasks that Blacks were not proficient at.
The Boston Latin School uses the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) that is administered by the Educational Records Bureau and consists of four subtests. The ISEE is a multiple choice exam in the subjects of English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Multiple choice exams provide a disadvantage to Black students due to the way that they express themselves. Black students have higher achievement levels when assessments are consistent with the Black culture.
Schools require Black students to demonstrate achievement by writing, which requires Black students to transition from demonstrating by oral or dramatic expression activities that Black students are more comfortable with and more likely to have higher achievement levels. Verbal learning and written demonstration is consistent with mainstream American and European student mastery that is contrary to culturally different student learning styles.
Black students withdraw from the instructional and assessment process or become discontented with whatever the school does that hinders student spontaneity and enthusiasm.
Many other school social codes are unfamiliar and opposed to culturally diverse student home codes. Blacks have difficulty with school instructional concepts and ideas that are absent in their community, culture, or economic environment that ignore or misrepresent their present condition. The multiple question Boston Latin School entrance exam is absent of cultural codes that Blacks students find familiar.
Inappropriate curriculum and instruction are concerns that make reversing underachievement for culturally diverse students difficult. Most elementary and secondary school curriculum provide an advantage are towards White middle-class children. Public schools continue to have culturally based philosophies and curricula that focus on White European and Judeo-Christian values.
Improving school for Black students includes establishing a functional partnership between Black culture and school culture and developing school educational missions that do not compromise or ignore the cultural identity of Black children. Effective high school instructional programs place value on the students’ language and culture. Instructional materials and instructors who work well for European students do not necessarily work well for culturally diverse students, and to believe that they do is to assume Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian, Arab and African immigrants, and European-origin students have identical personal, social, cultural, historical, and family traits.
Schools can work effectively with culturally diverse students by having:
- An ethnic and multicultural curriculum
- Teacher training in a multicultural curriculum
- Strong instructional leadership
- High expectations for all students
- A safe, orderly, warm, concerning, appreciative student learning environment
- Continuously monitoring of student progress
- Clear and balanced goals
- High teacher and student morals
- Respecting for individual differences
- Using the Raccelerate Racism System
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
These recommendations become important because historically underserved groups at the Boston Latin School tend to be in a dominated relationship with the majority group.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“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