The African American Immersion Schools were originally established in response to this urban school district's failure to educate African American children effectively. In 1990, faced with abundant evidence that African American children, particularly those in poverty, were faring poorly, the School Board accepted a number of recommendations from the Task Force on African American Males aimed at reversing this trend. By far, the most controversial of these recommendations was to establish the two African-centered schools that have been the subject of this book. Recognizing the unique nature of this attempt to establish African-centered school models in public school settings, our research study aimed to document their implementation and assess the outcomes for children over the initial five-year period that the schools operated. In this chapter, we discuss these student outcomes and the lessons learned from this study about key issues underlying African-centered schooling in the public setting.
Given that the primary purpose underlying the establishment of these schools was to have a positive impact on African American students' school achievement and behavior, we will begin with a discussion of outcomes for students during the five-year period of the research. In this publication, school-level performance, rather than individual student outcomes, is the focus of analysis. We will begin with a discussion of these outcomes for the elementary school and follow with our findings for the middle school. The data for these discussions were derived from an annual report published by the school district. This report provides school-by- school profiles of student performance on measures of academic achievement