Practitioner Research as "Praxidents" Waiting to Happen

A.J. Schiera, University of Pennsylvania

Practitioner research, as Ravitch (2014) writes in the previous issue of Perspectives on Urban Education, holds the unique possibility of “generating local, practice-based knowledge that is deeply contextualized and meaningfully embedded in a specific milieu” while spurring a “counter-hegemonic way of thinking about and approaching theory-research-practicepolicy connections and integrations” and “push[ing] against traditional expertlearner dichotomies” (p. 5). My academicself strongly aligns with these values and approaches. My teacher-self often felt worlds away from this. Ravitch’s piece has motivated me to write about this gap that I feel in relation to the field of practitioner inquiry, and to explore my own reflections on my practice as a form of practitioner research.

Reading for Change: Social Justice Unionism Book Groups as an Organizing Tool

Kathleen Riley, Ph.D., West Chester University

In my view the only meaningful option is to acknowledge that it is in our common interest to make equity and quality the cornerstones for educational reform. That can only happen if parents, students, and teachers band together to wrest control from the elites who are driving federal and state policy, and insist on schools they directly control. That in turn will require a social movement – Occupy Our Schools – which has as its goal the reinvention of schooling as engaging, demanding, responsive, accessible, timely, futureoriented.

–James H. Lytle, Perspectives on Urban Education, 2013

The Black Lives Matter Movement and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Marybeth Gasman, University of Pennsylvania

Since I began conducting research pertaining to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 1994, I have been asked one persistent, and frankly annoying, question: ‘Are HBCUs relevant?’ As a professor of higher education, I have never been asked whether any other type of institution is relevant. By and large, most people believe that colleges and universities are important players in moving society forward and are needed. However, when it comes to HBCUs, the tables turn and people continually ask whether or not these institutions are important, relevant, and if they matter.

Trying, Choice, Social Conformity and Pride?

Danielle Annett, University of Connecticut

Our Marks, Our History, Our Choice?

More than twenty years ago I was struck by the essay, Marked Women, Unmarked Men (Tannen, 1993) because for the first time in a long time I felt as though someone turned on the light in the dark room of what it felt like to be female, to fall outside the definition of the majority. I had a cognitive and sociological understanding of the messages that were clear, and simultaneously muddy enough to inspire insanity. While in my early twenties I was exasperated by comments, looks, unfair criticism and more without the lens to metabolize these incongruous messages. I kept asking why I should minimize my identity to get what I need?

Continuing HBCUs' Historical Commitment to Personnel Preparation: Preparing Transition Professionals to Serve Students of Color with Disabilities

Lisa Maria Grillo, Antonio L. Ellis and Jaquial D. Durham, Howard University

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are “Black academic institutions established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and still is, the education of Black Americans” (Roebuck & Murty, 1993, p. 3). These institutions were founded decades following the Civil War primarily by the federal government’s Freedmen’s Bureau, abolitionist missionaries, and Northern philanthropists whose motivation was to train African-Americans for the industrial enterprises (Gasman, Spencer, & Orphan, 2015). HBCUs, the only higher education option for African-Americans until the mid-1960s, also trained AfricanAmerican teachers and preachers (Gasman et al., 2015). Higher education options for African-Americans expanded to include Predominantly White Universities (PWIs) after the Civil Rights Movement (Ellis, Smith, & Barnett, 2016; Palmer, 2010).

A New Educational Perspective: The Case of Singapore

Daniel C. Kent, Yale-NUS College

Introduction: Education in Singapore Then and Now

Lying at the edge of peninsular Malaysia in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore is a post-colonial country with a population of 5.5 million individuals known for its tropical climate, technological advancement, and diverse population. The city-state ranks near the top of the world for various metrics on wellbeing, with a high GDP per capita, low unemployment, and high life expectancy in addition to a number of other metrics (Central Intelligence Agency, 2017).

Student Engagement in High-Stakes Accountability Systems

Wendy Cavendish, University of Miami

Adrián Márquez, Mary Roberts, Kristen Suarez & Wesley Lima Miami-Dade, County Public Schools

Introduction

In a nationwide effort to create standardized performance criteria, there has been an emphasis on testing data as the strict measurement of teacher and student success or failure (Volante & Sonia, 2010). These testing accountability systems, developed under No Child Left Behind (2001), were based on assumptions that high-stakes assessments modeled on state standards would lead to improved academic performance and increased graduation rates.

Constraints and Negotiations: TFA, Accountability, and Scripted Programs in Urban Schools

Kara M. Kavanagh, James Madison University // Teresa R. Fisher-Ari, Georgia State University

Abstract:

As the educational community continues to consider the impact of the proliferation of accountability-aimed reform on students, schools, and communities, the consequences of said reforms on teachers must be included. Results of this study indicate that even distant, broad educational policies manifest in specific and profound ways in teachers’ daily, lived experiences, shaping novice teachers’ identity, beliefs, and efficacy. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the perspectives of 38 Teach for America Corps Members (CMs) to situate how the educational reform climate socializes and oppresses teachers from all layers of influence, resulting in permeated macrotransgressions, which negatively impacts teachers.

Student Achievement Outcomes of Immigrants and English Language Learners in an Urban Classroom: A Case Study of Great Strides and Hope

Benedict Lazarus Adams Indiana, University School of Education at IUPUI

Almost two and half years ago, I embarked on a dissertation project for my doctorate in Urban Education Studies and Teacher Education. I was curious to explore the achievement outcomes of immigrant students (from non-English speaking countries) and English Language Leaners (ELLs) in an urban classroom. This study entailed understanding how urban teachers supported this population of students throughout their learning processes, as well as how teachers made sense of and carried out instruction for this group of students in today's urban classrooms. My ultimate goal as a teacher educator was to translate what I learned from this study into principles and practices to be shared with new teachers. After several setbacks related to finding a suitable site, I received permission to conduct the research in an urban high school within five miles of a large Midwestern state capitol.

Counterstereotypic Identity among High-Achieving Black Students

Vinay Harpalani, Savannah Law School

Introduction

This article examines how racial stereotypes affect achievement and identity formation among low income, urban Black adolescents. Specifically, the major question addressed is: how do high-achieving Black students succeed academically despite negative stereotypes of their intellectual abilities? Results indicate that high-achieving Black youth, compared to high achievers of other ethnicities, view intelligence as a more flexible as opposed to fixed entity and place greater salience on intellectual abilities. Additionally, high-achieving Black males place less salience on sports involvement than marginally-achieving Black males. Implications of these findings are discussed from a developmental psychology perspective.