An Action Research Study of a Minority Student Population in an Affluent New Jersey School District: Reflections of Prejudice, Bias and Overcoming Community Resistance to a Quality Education for All Students
I am re-working the article as a reflective article to submit to Routledge's Journal of Reflective Practice. The peer reviewers were concerned with the strong language in the title including the word "prejudice." They felt the article was too strong for their publication and that race issues were biased.
This is a study where the principles of organizational theory, change theory and a review of critical race theory were applied to influence change throughout an affluent school district which served a small percentage of African American children. In the Winter of 2012 a doctoral student, inspired by the Professor’s lectures on the “Hidden Curriculum” and the long range issues caused by elementary school groupings for reading and mathematics in diverse communities, described problems of discrimination facing the African-American students in her community. This preliminary discussion evolved into a meeting of the Professor with fifty Black Parents and a four-year journey to change the paradigm in the district’s schools, the political steps taken to make the district more inclusive as well as the meetings with district staff. The numerous hurdles encountered as the parents began to take an active role in board of education meetings and challenging classroom practices at the elementary level will also be described. Definitive steps that emerged from the action research could benefit educators, parents and similar communities in resolving one of the most critical issues facing school districts with small minority student populations.
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