The First Steps
Define educate. We all recognize good education, we know when children score high or low, when there is a good teacher or bad teacher, and if children walk out of the classroom with a new topic filling their heads. In order to analyze education, we must first clearly define it. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, educate means--to provide schooling for; to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession; to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction; to persuade or condition to feel, believe or act in a desired way." This puts education into a slightly different light, because if one was to ask a stranger on the street, one would probably just go with the "formal instruction" portion of the definition.
So why must it be important to understand education? One must grasp that educating is not just about subject matter, but also teaching of life skills, behavior and beliefs. One must be prepared to accept the concept that a teacher (or educator) is like a second parent who is going to prepare a child for what one may hope is a bright future. The problem is, each child is not the same and comes from different communities. The teacher also brings prejudices and this combination in the classroom causes rifts. This rift is a part of what educators and civil rights activists like to call the "achievement gap". While we are familiar with this phrase when it comes to the United States; just pick up any educational literature and you can read about how far behind we are in comparison to European countries or the Asian nations. Each state in the United States of America is also competing with each other to create the best schools and give the best results. Obviously we have some stellar schools, and then we have schools that are doing so poorly that they end up being shut down. Within each school we have the ethnic breakdown of students, and from there we also see some discrepancies and this has become known to the everyday person as the "achievement gap."
It might be helpful to gather a better, well rounded definition and for that, one can turn to the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA states on their website "The term 'achievement gap' is often defined as the differences between the test scores of minority and/or low-income students and the test scores of their White and Asian peers. But achievement gaps in test scores affect many different groups ... Differences between the scores of students with different backgrounds (ethnic, racial, gender, disability and income) are evident on large-scale standardized tests." We will take a closer look at this gap through test scores, and a closer look at two schools within the same county of New York State, and take steps in resolving these issues to give all children a fair and equal education in which each child can excel.
The State of New York
The Black American community has been through some very difficult and trying times throughout history, and sadly till today there is still a lot of inequality. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied our country's history. According to the 2011 Census, New York State is roughly 17% Black American, which translates into roughly 3,500,000 people, making New York State one of the most Black American populated states. (2) What better state to dive into issues of equal education, than New York which is a mecca for diverse populations.
The Black American population has drawn closest to New York City and then population declines as New York State moves into more suburban and rural areas. (3) What is also important is to get a clear cut picture of the various jobs that the Black American community participates in, within New York. What is being included are the I 306,463 civilian Black Americans who are over the age of 16. To make the numbers more real, I had taken the liberty to calculate the actual number of people from the percentages. (4)
Industry Percentage Numeral Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, 0.1% 1307 & mining Construction 3.2% 41,807 Manufacturing 3.4% 44.420 Wholesale Trade 1 .2% 15,678 Retail Trade 10.5% 137,179 Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 8.4% 109,742 Information 2.2% 28.742 Finance, insurance, real estate & rental 6.8% 88,839 and leasing Professional, scientific, management, 9.3% 121,501 administrative & waste management services Educational services, health care & 37.1% 484.697 social assistance Arts, entertainment, recreation, & 6.8% 88,839 accommodation and food services Other services (except public 5.0% 65,323 administration) Public Administration 6.1% 79.694
This is helpful for the outsiders looking at where the children have contact and how they develop their views of aspiring positions in their future. Looking at the chart above, one can see that most Black Americans in New York State are at 37.1% or 484,697 people are in the "Educational services, healthcare and social assistance" category. This is interesting because we have a good amount of people working in positions that work towards social change, so one can assume that there is already work towards the bettering of education. What would be interesting is to see at what position or level do we see the Black American population, are they the actual managers or are they secretaries for the companies? What is reassuring is that we have more people in the medical field, but once again, what positions are they occupying? The next category with the highest percentage would be "Retail Trade" at 10.5% or 137,179 Black Americans.
This number worries me, because retail trade is retail at the sales level is in places like department stores, kiosks or malls, and they do not offer many advancement opportunities. The last or lowest category would be "Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining", at 0.1% or 1,307 people, which makes sense for New York State because the large population of this state makes it difficult to find enough space for forestry, hunting and mining. The reason why it is important to look at the general New York State Black American job distribution is because young children learn by observing where other Black American adults can work or the status that they are able to achieve.
Amanda E. Lewis, author of Race in the Schoulyard, addresses the topic of staff being of a certain racial background and how it affects children. In her book, students recognize that there are limits to positions that they will be able to attain. For example, Lewis illustrates that in a school system in New York City, the teaching staff was mostly White American (roughly 80%), meanwhile the staff that students had most contact with (secretary, custodian etc.) were of various racial backgrounds such as Latino and Black American. (5) Subconsciously, students start to believe that they won't be able to get further in life than a secretary, and therefor will not work harder towards being a doctor, lawyer or professor. Before students walk into a classroom, they already are selling themselves short when it comes to their own futures because society has placed limits.
To see how individual schools stack up to the rest of the area and to help pinpoint improvement, it is most helpful to resort to the New York State Report Card for the entire state first, and then break it down into various districts. For the school year of 2010-2011, New York State had 2,689,969 students enrolled in the public schools K- 12, which is actually 302,680 students less than the 2009-2010 school year. (6) The Black American population makes up 22% of the student population, which puts it as the second largest ethnic group behind the White American.
On each report card there is a section that outlines groups and if they made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), on both Elementary/Middle Level and Secondary Level. The Black American student group was the only category under "Ethnicity" to have not made AYP in Mathematics at the Elementary/Middle Level. (7) This leads to the question, what on Earth is going on that every other Ethnicity passed? So much for a fair and equal start! What gets more startling is that in the Secondary Level, Black Americans did not make AYP in either English/Language Arts and Mathematics.
To add injury, the American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino category also join in ranks beside the Black American in failing to make AYP. The transition between Middle and Secondary Level leaves much to be worked on and to be figured out. This is an obvious example of an achievement gap, because one group is doing better while another is falling behind. Somewhere along the way, from elementary school to high school, students take a fatal turn and progress is stopped. To end this achievement gap, we must find out what is occurring between the vital years of middle school. For ease, I have put together a chart with the information that I will be referencing regarding the overall New York State scores.
Race 2010-2011 2009-2010 (Percentage (Percentage scoring at scoring at levels) Levels 1 2-4 4 1 2-4 4 3rd Grade Black American 20% 80% 1% 23% 77% 9% English/LA White 8% 92% 7% 8% 92% 22% Mathematics Black American 16% 84% 6% 17% 83% 13% White 5% 95% 17% 5% 95% 29% 4Th Grade Black English American 13% 87% 1% 15% 85% 2% White 5% 95% 3% 5% 95% 8% Mathematics Black American 10% 90% 13% 10% 90% 12% White 3% 97% 33% 3% 97% 31% Science Black American 4% 96% 33% 5% 95% 35% White 1% 99% 64% 1% 99% 67% 5th Grade Black American 17% 83% 2% 19% 81% 6% English White 7% 93% 5% 7%, 93% 16% Mathematics Black American 10% 90% 10% 11% 89% 11 % White 3% 97% 29% 391 97% 29% 6th Grade Black American 8% 82% 1% 19% 81% 2% English White 6% 94% 6% 6% 94% 10% Mathematics Black American 15% 85% 11% 15% 85% 12% White 4% 96% 33% 491 96% 34% 7th Grade Black American 15% 85% 1% 18% 82% 4% English White 5% 95% 5% 5% 95% 16% Mathematics Black American 15% 85% 13% 16% 84% 12% White 4% 96% 39% 4% 96% 37% 8th Grade Black American 13% 87% 0% 15% 85% 2% English White 5% 95% 3% 4% 96% 11% Mathematics Black American 17% 83% 6% 18% 82% 7% White 5% 95% 21% 5% 95% 22% Science Black American 13% 87% 6% 14% 86% 9% White 2% 98% 34% 2% 98% 41% High School Black American 25% 75% 16% 28%. 72% 14% Cohort English White 11% 89% 47% 12% 88% 44% Math ematics Black American 23% 77% 6% 25% 75% 8% White 9% 91% 35% 10% 90% 41%
Level 1 means that students do not grasp the content and are below where they are expected to be at the grade level. Levels 2 through 4 range in Basic Standard knowledge up to Exceeds Proficiency Expectations. While majority students fall into the Level 2 through 4 category, the ends of the bell curve lay at Level 1 and Level 4. The above data table gives some examples of where Black American students fall in comparison to their White American counterparts, and also a comparison to the previous year scores.
In 8th Grade Science the Black American population scored majority in Levels 2-4, but had twice as many students fall into the Level 1: Below Standard compared to Level 4: Exceeds Proficiency Standards. When we compare 2010-2011 and 2009-2010 in the same 8th Grade Black American category, we find that more students scored at the Level 4 mark, which prompts educators to wonder what was occurring during that year to provide for higher scores in this particular test. Yet, when we look at the 8th Grade Science White American percentages, we see that far more students scored in Level 2-4, with a large amount of students at Level 4.
At the final year of middle school, already there is a large gap between scores of the Black American students and the White American students. What is further interesting is that in majority of the grades, 2009-2010 was more successful than 2010-2011 in regards to percentages of students in Levels 2-4. What may also become startling is that the 3rd Grade Mathematics and English Language Arts percentages of Black American students were at least 10% below that of the White students.
This trend continues for majority of the rest of the grades and by the time the students in both groups reach the High School Cohort the difference in English and Mathematics is 14%. While we don't have necessarily a widening of the gap, it still is a 4% difference and causes enough harm. What is clear in my mind is "The black-white test score gap does not appear to be an inevitable fact of nature ... But despite endless speculation, no one has found genetic evidence indicating that blacks have less innate intellectual ability than whites." (8)
Peekskill, New York
Let's zero on the first community within New York State, located in Westchester County which is known to be a rich county to live in. Peekskill is situated along the Hudson River near Bear Mountain Bridge. It has a population of 23,583, which is said due to a "77% increase in the Hispanic and Latino population and a 27% increase in the Asian population." (9) The town has four elementary schools, one middle school and, one high school with 2,845 student enrolled in the 2010-2011 K-12 program. (10) In 2011 54% or 1526 students were on the Free Lunch Program, as compared to the 2009-2010 school year that saw 43% of students on the program. There is also a 14% of student population on Reduced Price Lunch, which too had gone up as compared to the previous year where it was 11%.
Peekskill's student breakdown shows that there is a heavy Hispanic or Latino population followed by the Black American population. What is interesting to see from the New York State Report Card for Peekskill is that there are zero "Percent lof teachers! with No Valid Teaching Certificate", 2% "Teaching Out of Certification", 2% "Fewer than Three Years of Experience" and finally 66% "With Master's Degree Plus 30 Hours or Doctorate" to make up a total of 208 teachers. This is interesting because it means that Peekskill has a good core staff that has sought out higher education, and has a low amount of new teachers who are inexperienced. Many times we see schools in poorer communities have no certification or do not go onto higher degrees. This large amount of well experienced staff may also be due to staff cutbacks, starting from 2008 where the teaching staff was at 226. (11)
Now where the Black American student population finds trouble is in the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) section of the NYS Report Card, specifically when the AYP was not met in the Elementary/Middle Level. What does save the school, and perhaps it is due to a strong core staff, but at the Secondary Level the Black American student population make the AYP in both Mathematics and Language Arts. This is quite opposite to what was seen for the general state report card, but it is improvement to see that schools are making changes.
Yet, upon closer investigation Peekskill did not make the minimum of students graduating. The Progress Target was at 68% for 2010-2011, with the State Target being 80%, but Peekskill only hit a 60% graduation rate. This is rather abysmal for a school system that is showing improvement specifically in the Secondary Level. Why are these students not graduating? The following chart will be a sampling of a few grades and scores from 3rd Grade up to High School Cohort, as was done for the State level, to show progression.
Ethnicity 2010-2011 2009-2010 (Percentage (Percentage scoring at scoring at levels) levels) 1 2-4 4 1 2-4 4 3rd Grade Black 23% 77% 4% 20% 80% 9% English American White -- -- -- -- -- Mathematics Black 24% 76% 5% 19% 81% 14% American White -- -- -- -- -- -- 8th Grade Black 13% 87% 0% 2% 98% 4% English American White - -- -- -- -- -- Mathematics Black 7% 93% 14% 9% 91% 8% American White -- -- -- -- -- -- Science Black 4% 96% 6% 9% 91% 11% American White -- -- -- -- -- -- High School Black 20% 80% 20% 25% 75% 10% Cohort American English White 10% 90% 36% 20% 80% 34% Mathematics Black 18% 82% 13% 24% 76% 14% American White 10% 90% 28% 14% 86% 29%
Now by looking at this chart, the first that that one should notice is the "--" symbol for a good portion of the White student's scores. According to the NYS Report Card, the symbol indicates that data for a group of students have been suppressed. If a group has fewer than five students, data for that group and the next smallest group(s) are suppressed to protect the privacy of individual students." (12) On one hand it is a practical tool, but in the case of the 3rd grade at Peekskill there are 3 "Asian or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders" and then 26 "White" students. (13) This makes it difficult to put into perspective where students are on the scale of scoring, especially for an analysis such as this one because one of our groups is fully eliminated.
There should be the ability to view scores of all ethnic groups, because it is by seeing everyone that progress can occur. I had chosen the 8th grade from Peekskill because that is the grade that I had a chance to observe once a week in the classroom. When we look at the Math and Science percentages we see an increase from the previous year in the general Level 2-4 category, with an increase in the Level 4 of Mathematics, but a decrease in the Level 4 in Science. In comparison to the New York Statewide Report Card, the Black American population of students in the 8th grade scored higher. It is not until we look at the High School Cohort that we get a better stance of the gap between the Black Americans and White Americans. Here we see, similar as to the State Report Card, where the Black Americans are scoring at least 10% lower in the general Level 2-4 category. But when we look at the previous year, 2009-2010, the achievement gap is at most 10%. So the question here is, why did we do better at starting to close the gap in 2009-2010 than this year? It is also valid to point out that the High School Cohorts in both the State and Peekskill did increase the percentage of students in the Level 2-4 category, which means that New York State is heading into the right direction of getting students to meet "Basic Standard", and eventually "Proficient."
The community itself is a rather good reflection of the school, which is heavily based in the Hispanic or Latino community. There are three main categories of people who live in the city of Peekskill: Affluent Immigrants (high-income immigrants living in suburban areas; these highly educated immigrants earn high salaries, many are homeowners), Stretching Couples (high-income, high-expense suburban couples who have no children. Most own their homes) and finally Multilingual Suburbanites (Middle-class, suburban individuals who speak a foreign language. Education varies from high school to college graduate degrees). The school echoes the community with those who "have" the newest gadgets and can afford private tutors to help with homework, and then those who "have not" and typically wait at home for parents to come home from long days at work.
For example, when I was observing the 8th grade classroom a student, Monal4 was known as the smart girl. Upon careful observation she was clearly a student whose parents cared about her education, but also had her in private extracurricular activities such as swimming. Students have access to the teachers through after school programs, so it is not a question of finding available time for the teacher to sit down and help, but seems to be the motivation of the students. There was one particular vocabulary quiz where most of the class earned 55% or 60%.
What caused me to stop and pause was the reactions of the students, especially those who had not scored as high and the reaction of the teacher. The quiz was verbatim from the textbook, and the class had spent almost 3 weeks on the lesson, the Wild West. Most students did not seem upset by their failing grade, which was for many the third or fourth failed quiz. The teacher then went over the quiz, and scolded the students for not doing well. There seems to have been a disconnect between the teacher and the students and their motivation. But could that be the key to unlocking this achievement gap issue?
The staff that the students were surrounded by was a majority of White teaching staff who had gone to good universities to receive their teaching degrees. Many of the teachers had gone to the local university white strongly promotes student focused education and creating an environment where all students are able to excel. The highest concentration of Black American adults that students would regularly see was actually the security department, which was planted right in front of the main doors.
The friendly staff was in charge of roaming the halls to ensure everyone was in class, and that no fist fights broke out in the cafeteria. So to bring Amanda Lewis back into the picture, students start to associate that the jobs that they can get because of their ethnicity. The students see the rare Black American teacher, but already recognize that it would take a lot of hard work and effort to get there, that is where we see that aspect of motivation again. As Donna Ford, a professor of education at the Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, mentioned there are two believed parts to the achievement gap between Black Americans and White Americans, the first is what takes place at home and the second is what takes place at school. But in respect to motivation, it is an aspect that needs to be worked on from sides, home and school (15)
Valhalla, New York
Not even a full 30 miles from Peekskill, we move onto the next school system also within the Westchester County of New York State. The population of the town itself is at 3,162, but the school system does bus students in from other local towns such at Mt. Pleasant, White Plains, and Kensico. Valhalla is a traditional small town, predominantly white, with many families staying in the area throughout the generations and growing up together.
The Valhalla Middle School and High School are attached at the gymnasium with each middle school grade having its own wing. The student population had 1573 students grades K-12, with the following Ethnic makeup: (16) The primary ethnicity is White American, closely followed by Hispanic or Latino and then Black American. This seems to be a swap between the White and Black American categories when we compare them to Peekskill.
According to the Valhalla Union Free District Report Card, students who receive free lunch is 7% or 113 students and then the reduced lunch category has 2% or 38 students. (17) The school seems to have a strong staff too, and compared to the 2009-2010 school year, Valhalla remained at 150 teachers. Now it cannot be determined if the school lost some teachers and then hired on new ones, or if everyone just remained at Valhalla this year.
To break down the teachers, we have 0% of teachers "with No Valid Teaching Certification ", 0% "Teaching Out of Certification" and 70% "With Master's Degree Plus 30 Hours or Doctorate". (18) This tells us that Valhalla is careful about who they hire and encourage their staff to go above a Master's Degree. This is the first key to motivation, the staff is motivated to continue learning.
Upon review of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) the Black American population in Elementary/Middle School have passed, which is different from Peekskill, where we saw Mathematics not being passed. What becomes frustrating is once again, for the Secondary Level of education, there is the dreaded "-" symbol. As mentioned previously, the "--" means that there are not enough students in a particular category to report their AYP without revealing too much student information.
In the Secondary level, there are three categories of "--" data, for the Black Americans, Hispanic or Latino and the Asian/Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. What we do know is that the White American category made both AYP in the Elementary/Middle Level and the Secondary Level. (19) In essence, we are out of luck for this data grouping. A lot of the data in Valhalla has been "--" out because there are not high enough populations of various student groups.
I reiterate that it is important for parents, schools and the public to understand where the various groups stand in comparison to the other ethnic groups. This is usually the first indicator about inequality and achievement gaps. What is extremely encouraging is to see the graduation rate in Valhalla, which stands at 97% and surpasses the 80% State Standard. (20) Compared to Peekskill District, Valhalla has a 37% higher graduation rate. What a difference! The following chart compares the 3rd, 8th, and High School Cohort scores in comparison to the previous year, and focuses upon the Black American and White categories.
Ethnicity 2010-2011 (% 2009-2010 (% scoring at scoring at levels) levels) 1 2-4 4 1 2-4 4 3rd Grade Black -- -- -- -- -- -- English White 4% 96% 11% 3% 97% 28% Math Black -- -- -- -- -- -- White 5% 95% 8% 3% 97% 34% 8th Grade Black 0% 100% 0% -- -- -- English While 3% 97% 8% 0% 100% 17% Math Black 0% 100% 40% -- -- -- White 3% 97% 49% 3% 100% 17% Science Black 0% 100% 33% -- -- -- White 10% 100% 73% 0% 100% 74% High School Black 6% 94% 25% 0% 100% 43% Cohort English White 6% 94% 60% 5% 94% 65% Math Black 0% 100% 6% 0% 100% 36% White 5% 95 % 46% 6% 54% 57%
One important factor when it comes to this chart especially is to note that there is a significant difference in population between the Black American category and the White category. Most grades had between 6 Black American students to 16, which thus can be a contributing factor to why we see such high scores in the Black American category. That said, within this school system, we see this gap between the Black American students and White American students closing. If we look at this chart as a whole, there is at most a 3% difference between the general Level 2-4 category. What is something we should look carefully at though, which does cause general worry, is the comparison between the 20092010 and 2010-2011 test scores in both Black Americans and White.
In 2009-2010, Valhalla seems to have had more students score in the Level 4 category compared to 2010-2011. In further inspection, there are more students scoring below a Level 2 in 2010-2011. This raises the question, why are overall students doing worse in 2010-2011 compared to 20092010? Students and teachers have great relationships, and there is an energy of motivation and high interest, which can be attributed to the great classroom management skills of each individual teacher. As Amanda Lewis indicates, the Black American staff population is still very small, which majority being in the custodial department, but there is a Black American woman as a guidance counselor. As mentioned before, there is not a large Black American population in the town, and this does reflect back onto the staff.
The Valhalla community, like Peekskill, is very much a reflection of the school with a majority of residents being White Americans. What makes this community different than Peekskill is the involvement of parents. While yes, it seems that both parents work, they take time off to have conferences with teachers regarding progress and any issues. What is also a common thread with these parents is their own motivation and insistence on their children becoming their own advocates. For example, one of our students Jake (21) had modifications for testing, required instructions repeated, needed copies of class notes, and at times needed information reworded. His mother was insistent at the 6th grade team meeting that he should advocate for himself, not the teachers and that he should not have teachers reminding him. The rest of my time in the classroom, Jake would come up to the teacher's desk for copies right after each lesson, asked questions, and understood what he needed to be successful in the classroom.
The parents are typically successful, hardworking people who have a high value for good education. The industry most Valhalla adults are a part of is "Professional, Scientific and Technical Services" with 19%. This indicates that children of these parents see that hard work and academics provide for a good lifestyle, and therefor are motivated to get good paying jobs. The next category for Valhalla adults is -Information" at 11%, also another field that requires a strong basis in good education. The final category is "Construction" at 10%, which emphasizes that people must work hard and get their hands dirty for provide for a safe, secure and stable life. (22)
Are You A Part of the Problem or the Solution?
This analysis was not done to bombard a person with facts, and make someone think that the next generation is doomed. This is about making sure that in an ever globalizing world, our children--no matter what race they are--have a high quality education so that they can compete worldwide for good, stable jobs, which lead to stable homes. In order for future Black American children to see a brighter future, we need more Black American teachers or people of higher positions. Valhalla children have the lead in this area, because children see their parents working hard and motivated to continue learning, and this rubs off on them. Students understand that they can become lawyers, doctors, scientists etc, because they see that as an attainable goal.
One solution for Peekskill in this respect is to bring in more mentors, especially Black American men and women, to show and work with students to motivate and create an understanding that education is integral for good jobs. The students need to understand that education opens a lot of doors for them, and by working hard, and having strong mentors, they can close this achievement gap. The relationship between students and teachers also needs to be tweaked. In Valhalla, all students are ready and willing to learn because there is motivation, respect, and expectations that all students will succeed.
To go back to the low vocabulary test scores in Peekskill, there was no motivation to really score higher, or expectations set up by the teacher for his or her students. In Valhalla, teachers work hard to ensure each student scores the best they can, even if it isn't a perfect 100% score. There is an expectation set up by the school that the students will achieve on a higher level, and this type of motivation needs to be seen in Peekskill.
Then there is the question of teacher education. Perhaps it is time for universities to also step in and have their student teachers do some community service in more diverse areas. While it is great to learn how to teach a perfect class, with students who do their homework, come from more or less stable homes, and do not need much prodding to get work done, we must recognize that this isn't what most schools are like.
I, myself, spent one semester in a Bronx School, and yet found myself unable to connect with students, because I did not have any real connection to their lives or lifestyle. As teachers we must connect with our students, but if we enclose ourselves in bubbles, how can we put aside our biases and teach for all students to achieve. By not making a change, we become a part of the problem. It is only when we accept and make the formal choice to make changes that we can close the achievement gap, and become a part of the solution.
(1.) Emily Tchir is a certified Adolescent History Education student teacher in Valhalla and Peekskill and history student at Pace University.
(2.) "African American Population Demographics." African American Population Demographics. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
(4.) "Black New York State Detailed ACS Census Report for 2011." (n.d.). African American Population Demographics. Retrieved November 14,2012, from http://www.blackdemographics.com/newyorkstateblackdemographics.html
(5.) Amanda E. Lewis (2003). Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities. (New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press), pg 40.
(6.) New York State 2011 Statewide Report: Accountability and Overview Report. (n.d.). New York State Report Cards. Retrieved November 10,2012, from https://reportcards.nysed.gov/statewide/2011statewideAOR.pdf, page 2.
(7.) Ibid., page 8.
(8.) Jencks, Christopher, and Meredith Phillips. "The Black-White Test Score Gap." The New York Times--Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
(9.) " Population I City of Peekskill New York ."
Welcome to Peekskill, New York I City of Peekskill New York . N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
(10.) "Peekskill City School District: Accountability and Overview." New York State District Report Cards 2011. The State of New York, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 20
(11.) Ibid., page 4.
(12.) Ibid., page 33.
(13.) Ibid., page 18.
(14.) Name was changed to protect privacy of student
(15.) Closing the Achievement Gap. Youtube.com. 15 Oct. 2008. Television. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adMFCNdbIsA
(16.) "Valhalla Union Free School District: Accountability & Overview." New York State Report Cards. The State of New York, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
(18.) Ibid., page 4.
(19.) Ibid., page 9.
(20.) Ibid., page 15.
(21.) Name changed to protect identity of student
(22.) "Valhalla City Data." Stats about all US cities--real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
Emily C. Tchir (1)…