Multicultural Curriculum and
Academic Performance: African
American Women Leaders Negotiating
Urban School Accountability Policies
If we lived in a democratic state our language would have to hurtle, fly,
curse, and sing, in all the common American names, all the undeniable and
representative participating voices of everybody here. We would not toler-
ate the language of the powerful and, thereby, lose all respect for words,
per se. We would make our language lead us into the equality of power that
a democratic state must represent.
—June Jordan, On Call
In a multicultural society that is classist and racist, June Jordan's invocation of power, language, and representation as the substance of democracy speaks to a concern for the diverse voices of all peoples, but especially those seldom heard—children, those who live in poverty, minorities—to make known their anger, pain, joys, and passions. From the largest U.S. city districts—Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Houston—to the smaller city corporations, differing linguistic, ethnic, religious, and class groups settle on city public schools and thereby rupture ideals of wholeness and homogeneity in community. Instead, cultural differences create a wide variance in educational curriculum programming, educator/student/parent relationships, and a range of contending social, ethical, and political values.
Leaders in urban schools cannot afford to be indifferent to diversity nor can they ignore the complexity of responding to calls for equality. African American, Asian American, and Latino "minorities" represent a majority in 51 U.S.