Administrator to Study Black Students' Success

Article excerpt

Byline: Shruti Date

Ronaye Bush, Schaumburg High School assistant principal, sees her doctoral dissertation as a labor of love.

She is working toward a doctorate in education administration and leadership at Roosevelt University.

Through her dissertation, she wants to find out which factors contribute to the success of African-American students in suburban high schools.

She wants her dissertation to paint a picture of how they define success.

She also wants to know what educators are doing right and wrong in the eyes of African-American students.

Her curiosity about their views began when she first entered the Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211 as a social worker at Hoffman Estates High School. She served at Hoffman Estates until 1998, when she shifted to Schaumburg.

Bush said she immediately saw a contrast between suburban District 211 schools and public schools she attended as an African- American student in Chicago.

"(Hoffman Estates) had carpeting and air conditioning. We did not have that ... I wondered why these kids had these things while others did not," she said.

The saying "if these walls could talk" applied in Bush's case. The walls of Hoffman Estates, decked with pictures of white and Asian student achievers, told her some students were missing.

She acknowledged African-Americans comprise only around 5 percent of the district's populations. But she still wondered where were the achievers in this group of students?

"Everyone's assumption is you are getting an equal opportunity and it's all inclusive. Well, then why aren't African American kids up there?" she asked. "Are they rejecting what middle class society has to offer and as a school system what can we do?"

Bush has sent out 275 surveys to African-American students, who graduated from District 211 between 1996 and 1998. …