Tuesday, January 22, 2013

School Board proclaims February 2013 as African American History Month

The BUSD school board will be meeting again this week, Wednesday, January 23. The public session begins at 7:30 PM at 2134 MLK, Jr Way. The full agenda and accompanying packet can be found on the board information page of the district website.

One item before the board is to proclaim February 2013 as African American History Month, which takes place nationally.  Below is the proclamation (found on page 16 of the packet), sharing the rationale for why it's so important for all students to learn about the rich cultural heritage and challenges of the African American community.

Additional information and Resources can be found on the national African American History Month website. If you have additional ideas for how to celebrate this important month, please share comments below, on Facebook, Twitter or via email.

Friday, January 18, 2013

School Board discusses plan to Accelerate the Achievement of African American Students

As mentioned in a previous post, the Berkeley School Board has approved a working group to accelerate the learning of African American Students in BUSD, starting this month with data analysis and culminating in April with a proposal.

The board discussed the working group at the January 9 meeting. You can watch the 15 minute segment here. The link to this and all other portions of the meeting are in the update document for each school board meeting, found here.

The board discussed the importance of basing a plan on concrete data from the district. The working group will be working closely with Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Department (BEA) to pull comprehensive data. They will be disaggregating the data in a variety of ways, such by gender and grade level to identify where strengths and hold-backs are occurring.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Berkeley Public School Desegregation Video Series

Did you know that Berkeley was one of the first cities in the country to voluntarily desegregate its schools? (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley,_California) Here is a link to a series of short videos illustrating first-hand accounts of this experience through the Berkeley Public Library with the Center for Digital Storytelling and was made possible by a grant from the California State Library.

This 5 minute video gives a general overview of the history of Berkeley's voluntary school desegregation in 1968:

Monday, January 7, 2013

School Board Approves Working Group to Accelerate Learning of African American Students

Here is the agenda for the January 9 School Board meeting. I'm thrilled to see that the board has approved the recommendation to create a working group to accelerate the learning of African American Students.

As mentioned in a previous post, the board discussed this working group at the December 12, 2012 meeting. Here are relevant video excerpts:

I'm particularly excited that the working group will:
  • Look closely at disaggregated data to see how African American students are doing based on gender, socio-economic status, students with disabilities and other sub-groups
  • Examine how the programs that are already in place are working (such as Alive, Free and Educated and Cal Scholars) as well as looking at successful initiatives in other districts and states to see how these can be replicated (as discussed in my previous post about Bright Spots)
  • Talk with students and families to gain their insights and perspectives 
 This is a very positive step in the right direction!