African-Centered Schooling in Theory and Practice

By Diane S. Pollard; Cheryl S. Ajirotutu | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in African-Centered Schools: Possibilities for Progressive Educational Reform

Gloria Ladson-Billings

In the early 1990s there were rumblings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about the growing dissatisfaction African American parents and community members were feeling toward the condition of public education for their children. Predictably, solutions from both progressive and reactionary forces were proposed. On what this author terms the progressive side, parents and community members were advocating secession from the system in an attempt to construct a separate school district, free from the antagonism of the central office bureaucrats and beyond the scope of white disinterest. On the reactionary side came a call for public school choice that would support vouchers allowing low-income, urban children to attend private schools. Ultimately, both sides got some, but not all, of what they wanted. The school choice advocates lobbied for and won the only school choice arrangement in the state. The independent district forces won the right to establish two African American Immersion Schools. This chapter focuses on the efforts of the latter and the need to employ a culturally relevant pedagogy ( Ladson-Billings, 1994, 1995b) to ensure the success of these schools and similar efforts.

At the time of this writing, the governor of Wisconsin has made Milwaukee Public Schools one of the foci of his education agenda. At the annual State of the State address, Governor Tommy Thompson demanded that Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) make some dramatic turnarounds or face a state takeover. Briefly, the governor has given MPS two years, until the year 2000, to have at least a 90 percent graduation rate, a 91 percent attendance rate, and a dropout rate no higher than 9 percent. The district's scores on the third-grade reading test also must be at least 90 percent of the statewide average ( Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1998).

The governor's "threat" suggests that Milwaukee Public Schools could do better if someone just made them. However, those of us who have spent considerable time in


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
African-Centered Schooling in Theory and Practice


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 230

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?