The Schooling of African American Children

Authored by: Stephanie J. Rowley , Beth Kurtz-Costes , Shauna M. Cooper

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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The schooling of African American 1 children has taken center stage in a number of school reform debates, from the Brown vs. Board of Education school desegregation legislation to the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB; 2002) policy. Many of these policies were developed to try to address the decades of exclusion of African Americans from mainstream educational institutions, the negative effects of widespread neighborhood racial segregation, and institutional racism (J. Lee, 2006). Although these efforts have resulted in some reduction in Black–White achievement gaps (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005), it is still the case that African American students underperform compared to their White peers, even after socioeconomic factors are taken into account (Chatterji, 2006; Fryer & Levitt, 2005; J. Lee, 2006). A number of factors related to the achievement gap have been identified, including racial differences in parenting, access to resources, and social factors; among these, differential schooling experiences have emerged as both a significant factor in the achievement of African American children and a promising arena for intervention (Fryer & Levitt, 2005; Hanushek & Rivkin, 2006; Jencks & Phillips, 1998).

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