Description of Research Focus and Constructs of Interest
It is evident that both socioeconomic and educational variables cause poor and minority children’s underachievement. This article examines the components that contribute to students of color’s low academic performance and suggests strategies that competent leaders may employ to create a school atmosphere that will improve the level of education. Satisfying the academic demands of a culturally and linguistically diverse youth population is one of the most pressing challenges confronting the educational community (Smith, 2005). Many students in the United States are now under-educated, particularly African American, Hispanic, and economically poor children.
While there is a substantial relationship between poor academic performance and low socioeconomic status, which is generally characterized by parents’ educational level and income, there are also linkages between different school characteristics and academic failure. A lack of respect and appreciation for cultural diversity, low expectations for underachieved, poor teacher-student interactions, and a sense of privilege hindering essential reforms in schools are examples of misguided impressions about students of color (Smith, 2005). This article examines how these factors affect African American children’s academic progress and offers suggestions for how school administrators may better meet the needs of students of color in their schools.
Description of Research Questions
The main research question in this article is to determine the factors affecting the academic performance of African American students. This is reflected in the study of the perception of such students at school and various criteria for the privileges of other children. This article raises a question on how a lack of respect and acceptance for cultural diversity affects African American children’s progress. It also proposes measures to improve the school teacher training system to improve race-neutral education.
Description of Research Participants and Measures
To measure academic performance, the results of testing in CST English/Language Arts and math scores were selected. Students were divided into categories corresponding to their racial and ethnic origin. Thus, African Americans, Asians, Hispanic, Whites, and students experiencing economic difficulties were picked (Smith, 2005). To determine the level of academic failure, the total number of people was calculated, and the percentage and amount of children below the proficiency level. The results obtained show that the problem posed for research in this article exists. It is also worth noting that the worst school performance indicators were found among African Americans and Hispanics.
Description of Results
When African American children accept negative thoughts, they are at risk of becoming stigmatized. This is the possibility of being perceived through the lens of a negative stereotype or the worry of unintentionally reinforcing that assumption. Acceptance of racial stereotypes can have a negative impact on grades, test scores, and academic identity (Smith, 2005). When talented African American college students fail to perform as well as their White peers, it is typically due to the danger of preconceptions about African Americans’ ability to achieve rather than a lack of preparation or aptitude. People of the majority White culture believe that their accomplishments in life are based on merit and character (Smith, 2005). This sense of entitlement or privilege leads to a misunderstanding that not all Americans have the same chance to enjoy their inherent rights, and many “privileged” individuals believe that everyone has the potential to succeed.
People from the dominant culture may not see the need to reconsider how others are treated, especially if it affects their entitlements or advantages. One of the most challenging issues that schools confront is dealing with White privilege and systemic racism (Smith, 2005). Such concerns and the obstacles that occur in a culturally diverse setting require educational leaders to have the knowledge, skills, motivation, and capacity to handle them. Many institutions have discovered that bringing in an outside expert to discuss these concerns with members of the organization lays the groundwork for open communication and problem-solving.
Implication for Organizational Leaders
By offering diversity training and implementing that information into the school organization, competent leaders institutionalize cultural understanding. They ensure that diversity training is included in the school’s professional development program, which will help employees evaluate their preconceptions and comprehend how institutionalized knowledge has perpetuated prejudices about racial and ethnic groups (Smith, 2005). Teachers should receive professional development that equips them with the information and skills they need to engage successfully in cross-cultural contexts and offer teaching that guarantees that all students have equal access to academic and social success.
Synthesis of Two Key Points
A common characteristic of the three articles is the promotion of the idea of effectively developing the field of education to improve the situation of students of color and the improvement of a race-neutral policy for schools. The first key point is to investigate the multicultural administrator’s experiences and the value they place on their role as a diversity leader and the challenges in attaining these objectives while being racially neutral. The second important point is that the leaders of the organization should include various training on the development of teachers’ knowledge in this policy field. This will also consider how carefully various programs are being promoted to improve the situation of students. Observing these conditions, it will be possible to determine the degree of improvement in academic performance and the general level of education of the groups most susceptible to racial stereotypes.
Smith, C. A. (2005). School factors that contribute to the underachievement of students of color and what culturally competent school leaders can do. Educational Leadership and Administration, 17, 21–32.