Race and Multicultural Education


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Race and Multicultural Education

  1. 1. A Look at Inclusive Racial & Multicultural Education Needs and Risks
  2. 2. ―Let us put our minds together and see what life can make for our children‖. Sitting Bull, Lakota Sioux, 1877 Ginger Huizar, Danielle Malan, Claudia Mitchell CI:581 Issues In Education November 24, 2013
  3. 3. What Is Multicultural Education? In todays emerging society it is important to recognize that it is almost impossible to identify each individual upon appearance only. For instance, the belief that minority students were once Asian or Hispanic, African American, etc. has now transcended to a point where we see Caucasian students that are now identified as multicultural students because they are immigrant born or they come from non-English speaking homes, such as Russian. Identifying these students as they enter the education system is important in helping place their education needs. Our students may be English learners, minorities, mixed races or ethnicities, come from strict religious backgrounds, or have unseen disabilities, all effecting their education situation as they come together in the classroom. Our goal is to enable and empower students and educators to help education better serve all students, challenge all types of prejudices, and endorse the unique cultures of all students. Multicultural education practices are designed to ensure that all students receive equal educational access and opportunities. (2011, Okoye-Johnson).
  4. 4. Is There A Need To Address Multicultural Education? • We are a nation where 44% of students in public education are minorities. • We are a nation where nearly 1 in 5 public school students come from a home that does not speak English (predominant languages are Spanish, Chinese and Russian). • There have been no significant federal funds to address issues of race in the schools since the Reagan Administration eliminated the popular federal desegregation aid program 27 years ago. • That law funded programs that involved training teachers, working on curriculum, helping students address racial divisions within schools, and other related issues. It had demonstrated success in both improving school race relations and raising achievement. Relatively simple techniques such as Student Team Learning had clear, significant, positive effects on both relationships and achievement. • The program's funding helped create many new magnet schools that were both effective and integrated, public schools with autonomy to innovate, and faculties composed of teachers committed to their special mission. These were schools with the obviously necessary Civil Rights provisions, including extensive outreach and recruitment targeting underrepresented groups, clear desegregation standards, free transportation for all students who wanted to attend, and no rejection of students with disabilities or language issues—much better in these respects than many contemporary charter schools, which typically have no Civil Rights provisions and are, on average, even more segregated than public school. • The curriculum presented today is Eurocentric, monocultural, mostly reflecting one race (Nieto, 2001). • African American students experience a loss of selfesteem after a few years of schooling in the ―traditional‖ educational system. The curriculum used in these ―traditional‖ systems simply do not have adequate information about the history and contributions of African Americans and therefore students do not see any reflection of themselves in the curriculum. They have become nameless and faceless in the materials they study (Gay, 2000).
  5. 5. Misconceptions of Multicultural Education: • Multicultural education is not an additional subject to teach. It is embedded throughout every subject (Gordon, 2004). • It is not only the acknowledgment and appreciation of the heroes, holidays, and traditions of different cultures, nationalities, and religions (Mordechai, 2004). • It is not only a history month designated to celebrate one time throughout the year (Nieto, 2000).
  6. 6. What Does Inclusive Multicultural Education Mean? • Teachers must be prepared to effectively facilitate learning for every individual student, no matter how culturally similar or different from one another • Every student must have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential • Every student must be prepared to competently participate in an increasingly intercultural society • Education must become more fully student-centered and inclusive of the voices and experiences of the students
  7. 7. Some Effects of Disproportionate Education • According to the US Education Dept. African American and Latino students make up 70 percent of students referred by school officials to law enforcement in America’s largest school districts. • One study by Indiana University suggests that there's little evidence that African American children exhibit higher rates of deviance than White children. This suggests a cultural causation where a largely White teaching corps may be applying hidden prejudices in discipline. • A study in North Carolina showed that AfricanAmerican students were punished more frequently and more harshly than White students for the same offenses. • Another Indiana University study, meanwhile, showed that schools that meted out fewer suspensions had higher achievement scores for all groups. • A study in Texas last year found that suspension rates were linked to higher rates of incarceration for minority groups.
  8. 8. Disproportionate Education In Oregon • 2 in 3 African American and Native American Male youth are not completing a standard high school diploma • • • • In Multnomah County the Achievement Gap for students reaching state Reading bench marks in 2010: Oregon is one of 35 states that got an ―F‖ in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new report on the teaching of civil rights history. African American students in Portland Public Schools were 4.1 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than White students last school year • Caucasian – 85% • African American – 55% • Native American 65% • Asian and Pacific Islander – 74% Students of color experience harassment on a routine basis, with a quarter of them identifying racial harassment within the last 30 days either at school or on their way to school at a 23% higher rate than their White peers. • Latino – 58% The Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey data shows that 22% of U.S. children are classified as poor, and Oregon consistently ranks at or near the top in the number of children facing food insecurity. • In Multnomah County the Achievement Gap for students reaching state Math bench marks in 2010: • Caucasian – 70% • African American – 48% In Multnomah county only 2-in-5 Latino students graduate in four years with a standard diploma. • Native American 63% • Asian and Pacific Islander – 66% • Latino – 49% In Oregon, 49 percent of African American children, 35 percent of Latino children, and 41 percent of American Indian children live in poverty. This means they live on less than $430 a week for a family of four, or less than half of Oregon's $48,000 annual median family income. There is a direct link between poverty and poor academic performance.
  9. 9. Disproportionate Education In Oregon As Youth Age The Reading and Literature Achievement Gap in Multinomah County only widens as students age. These numbers represent the percentage meeting state benchmarks.(2008) The Math Achievement Gap in Multinomah County only widens as students age. These numbers represent the percentage meeting state benchmarks.(2008) • Grade 3 – Caucasian: 87% • Grade 3 – Minority: 77% • Grade 3 – Minority: 69% • Grade 5 – Caucasian: 82% • Grade 5 – Minority: 60% • Grade 8 – Caucasian: 75% • Grade 8 – Caucasian: 77% • Grade 8 – Minority: 52% • Grade 8 – Minority: 60% • Grade 10 – Caucasian: 71% • Grade 10 – Caucasian: 59% • Grade 10 – Minority: 45% • Grade 10 – Minority: 38% White students from higher income family homes have seen an increase in graduation rates from 82% to 90% • For minority students the graduation rate remained linear despite family income level, disproving that this is a low income minority problem. • In 2007, college educated minorities experienced 43.8% higher unemployment rates than their equally educated White counterparts. In 2008 this increased to 51%. Grade 5 – Minority: 68% • • Grade 5 – Caucasian: 83% • Affluence does not improve graduation rates for students of color. Oregon, 2009: Grade 3 – Caucasian: 85% • •
  10. 10. Helping Close the Achievement Gap through Multicultural Education – Building a Bridge
  11. 11. The Necessity for Multicultural Education • It helps close the achievement gap. • Improves students racial attitudes. • Produces all students to become productive citizens. • Improves the representation of racially, culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse students in programs serving students with special need or gifted programs. • Helps students to become more culturally aware and to challenge political, social, and educational systems that continue institutional racism and discrimination (Mordecai, 2004).
  12. 12. Teachers As Culturally Responsive Agents of Change Gay (2000) defines cultural responsive teaching as: • Using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them. Culturally responsive teaching as Gay (2000) describes has the following characteristics: • It acknowledges the legitimacy of the cultural heritages of different ethnic groups, both as legacies that affect students’ dispositions, attitudes, and approaches to learning and as worthy content to be taught in the formal curriculum. • It builds bridges of meaningfulness between home and school experiences as well as between academic abstractions and lived socio- cultural realities. • It uses a wide variety of instructional strategies that are connected to different learning styles. • It teaches students to know and praise their own and each others’ cultural heritages. • It incorporates multicultural information, resources, and materials in all the subjects and skills routinely taught in schools. (p. 29)
  13. 13. Culturally Responsive Teaching Key features of culturally responsive teaching include (Kolzelki, 2011): • Acknowledging membership in different groups. • Communicating high expectations. • Learning about the history and experiences of diverse groups. • Understanding the assets and capabilities that student’s families bring to their parenting. • Selecting participation structures for learning that reflect student’s ways of knowing and doing. • Exploring personal and family histories. • Visiting students’ families and communities. • Visiting or reading about successful teachers in diverse settings. • Developing an appreciation of diversity and home language. • Participating in reforming the institution.
  14. 14. Teaching Cultural Responsiveness, 1st Hand Perspective: • Latino teacher discusses his experiences
  15. 15. Multicultural Education Planning Irvine and Armanto (2001) provide examples of incorporating multicultural education into planning multiple subject lessons: • Create learning goals and objectives that incorporate multicultural aspects, such as ‘developing students’ ability to write about social justice concerns. • Use a frequency matrix to ensure that the teacher includes a wide variety of curriculum materials and instructional activities. • Introducing different ethnic groups and their contributions on a rotating basis. • Including several examples from different ethnic experiences to explain subject matter concepts, facts, and skills. • Showing how multicultural content, goals, and activities intersect with subjectspecific curricular standards.
  16. 16. Teachers Are Not Our Only Agents of Change…
  17. 17. Teaching Diversity and Tolerance Education In Schools • Teaching tolerance in elementary schools reduces the incidence of hate crimes, racism, discrimination, and bigotry. • Children are aware of racial and gender differences at a very young age, and by age twelve they have formed stereotypes. In fact, recent studies show that tolerance education is most effective between the ages of four and nine years. • Educating students about other cultures, races, religions, and gender helps them understand people different from themselves. Understanding ultimately leads to greater tolerance. Instilling critical thinking skills, role-playing, and cooperative learning have proven effective teaching tools.
  18. 18. Successful Multicultural Education Outcomes • Hale (1990) described cognitive gains achieved by children in a multicultural pre-school program was the result of integrating materials on African American culture throughout the curriculum. • Zaslavsky (1988) demonstrated how elements of African and other cultural traditions could be used to teach complex mathematics concepts to inner city students (Howard, 1989). • An early childhood education program, the Visions Program, aimed to facilitate the intellectual development and academic achievement of African American preschool children while strengthening their self-esteem and identity as African Americans. Children in the control group attended a high quality day care center with a highly trained staff. In addition, program participants in the two cohorts of the Visions group scored higher than control subjects on subtests of the Metropolitan Readiness Test, taken before Kindergarten entry, and the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT), taken before entrance into the first grade. Visions Program participants scored significantly higher on the visual recognition and vocabulary subtests of the SAT. (See Visions for Children: African American Early Childhood Education Program. Phase Three Evaluation by Janice E. Hale in 1990.) • Gollnick’s and Chinn’s (1994) study supports Brown’s premise because they have found that infusing a curriculum with the broad cultural perspective of each child accompanied with raised expectations and new teaching strategies resulted in economically disadvantaged African American and Latino students outperforming students from other social economic groups in Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, and other subjects. • A Phi Delta Kappan research study (1988-1994) of nearly 22,000 elementary, middle, and high school students of various ethnicities, also found students reaped positive personal academic benefits from the use of multicultural teaching. • A study (Fulton-Scott, 1983) using three elementary programs for Latino children not English-proficient revealed that the math, reading, and language scores of students in bilingual and multiculturallyintegrated English as a Second Language programs were significantly superior to scores of students enrolled in bilingual ESL without the multicultural integration.
  19. 19. Successful Multicultural Education Outcomes continued • The Paul Robeson Academy in Detroit, Michigan, a highly regarded school with a multicultural and African-centered curriculum, showed concrete evidence of African American student achievement in an environment that applies the seven (7) principles of Kwaanza each day as a part of a broad curriculum infusion of African American history, culture, and contributions. The academy has utilized an Afrocentric focus in an integrated curriculum that included teaching about Ancient African History, the Diaspora, and African American History. The curriculum integrated African American contributions in all subject areas. The results include the fact that while 92% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch, 75% live in a single person head of households, and 92% live in poverty, the academic achievement showed these students exceeding the national and state averages in Math and Language Arts, including Reading and Writing. The majority of students have scored in the 75th percentile each year with over 20 per cent in the 90th percentile. Johnson, the principal, presented his results to the attendees of the African American History Summer Institute in Palm Beach in the summer of 1999. (Johnson, 1999). • In 1992, the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division (YLD) launched four Tolerance Education pilot projects in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the country. The programs featured education about the law, open discussions, and mock trials. The South Carolina Bar YLD operates a tolerance education program for third and fourth graders in which attorneys go into the classroom and teach the students. According to one participating lawyer, both the students and the teachers loved the program, and the school invites the program back year after year. In fact, the YLD is currently working to implement the program in more South Carolina schools. At the conclusion of the program, it is evident that the students have a greater understanding of discrimination and prejudice. In fact, one of the third-grade students confronted his parents about their bias toward people unlike themselves. Other states are beginning to adopt the program as well.
  20. 20. Successful Multicultural Education Outcomes continued • An example of a more comprehensive multicultural program is Project REACH (Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage) which has gained prominence as an academic discipline-based program for middle school social studies and which now includes over 60,000 students and hundreds of teachers in twelve states. REACH infuses information on the history and culture of various groups into the regular curriculum. It is a multicultural curriculum and teacher training process, managed on a school or district wide basis, organized around four phases: 1.) Human Relations Skills: Students participate in activities on self-awareness, self-esteem, interpersonal communication, and understanding group dynamics. 2.) Cultural Self-Awareness: Students conduct research on their personal culture, family history, or community. 3.) Multicultural Awareness: Students study from booklets on American History from diverse points of views. 4.) Cross Cultural Experience: Historical and cultural information in the booklets is made personal through dialogue and exchange with students and adults from different ethnic groups. (Howard, 1989)
  21. 21. What Is Oregon Doing? • Multnomah Youth Commissioners Against Violence is currently focused on Anti-Gay and Gender, Cyberbullying, Gang Violence, Police Violence, Home Violence, School and Bullying Violence, and Sexual and Dating Violence. • Last year was the first Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence to try and change the way violence was talked about and dealt with in our community. This year, with the generous support of State Farm's Youth Advisory Board grant, YAV hosted their second annual summit on March 16, 2013. This allday event brought 400 youth and adults together to talk about different forms of violence and possible action plans. Youth and adults worked in partnership to come up with action steps and commitments that built on the policy recommendations from last year’s summit. Currently, YAV is working in conjunction with two Portland State University capstone groups to evaluate the data collected at the summit, and to support our servicelearning projects throughout Multnomah County schools. These projects will create a lasting change in schools and the larger community, while building capacity and leadership among students that the MYC hosted.
  22. 22. Oregon’s Solution: The Principal’s Story The Principal's Story
  23. 23. Lead for Literacy • Harvard University has studied and developed a language diversity and literacy development program. The importance of this is that they are targeting non-English speaking youth. Teachers are not trained to teach non English speaking students, yet 1 in 5 Americans do not speak English in the home, age 14 and older. • These languages are most prevalent amongst Spanish, Chinese, and fast rising Russian speakers. • The Lead for Literacy study investigated the development of Spanish-speaking English language learners’ reading comprehension skills from elementary through middle school. They looked specifically at the contributions of Spanish and English componential skills (e.g., vocabulary, word reading) to English reading comprehension. • Design: 87 native Spanish-speakers (majority U.S.-born children of Mexican-American immigrants) were followed from 4th through 8th grade. Each year, measures of English and Spanish language and reading. The participating children were enrolled in biliteracy classes, from kindergarten through 5th grade; they were instructed in both Spanish and English for a portion of each day. • Findings: The data from all years and with Spanish and English measures demonstrate a striking dissociation between word-level reading skills, which were in the average range, and comprehension, in the below average range and influenced by low oral language skills. They found that oral language skills, especially morphological awareness skills and understanding connective words, are especially important for effective reading comprehension for this population, yet for many students these skills are underdeveloped. • Implications: The results underscore the profound need to enrich oral language competencies, whether in Spanish or in English, to improve Spanishspeaking students’ reading comprehension outcomes. This instruction must focus on promoting the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge, with attention to the interrelatedness of content-area knowledge and academic language, understanding and acquiring new knowledge from text, and the need for students to be equipped with strategies to learn words independently while reading text.
  24. 24. Lead for Literacy • Harvard University has designed a step by step 16 ―Memo‖ comprehensive outcome designed to address language and literacy in one program. This is becoming a growing problem in our country as non English speaking homes have jumped 10% in less than 10 year, and schools continue to face declining budgets that cut English language programs, further targeting these students, from achieving education equality to their English speaking peers. • Their website and program: Language Diversity and Literacy Development
  25. 25. We recognize that teachers and teacher educators have the potential to function as agents of change in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Through critical, self-reflexive practices embedded in our research and our teaching, we can work against racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic inequalities by creating humane classrooms where students and teachers learn to use language and literacy in critical and empowering ways.
  26. 26. Special Thanks to Danel Malan’s Class Who Wrote and Composed This Piece: • Fool Stay in School
  27. 27. In my humble opinion… When I was much younger, I quickly learned that the educational system’s ultimate goal was to assimilate students like me. Back then diversity was not acknowledged nor celebrated, but perceived as a challenge and nuisance since my native language was different than the rest. I specifically remember my PE teacher who despised his students for speaking Spanish as we played sports. He reprimanded my friends and I by forcing us to run additional laps. He reminded us that we were in the United States and we needed to speak English only. Aside from him being discriminatory and racist, I attributed his actions to his own ―fear.‖ Experiencing an influx of children like me changing his classroom, school, and world was frightening. I believe students should learn English, but student’s native language should not be ignored as it has been proven high gains in their learning. I am relieved that I was able to hold on firmly to my native language and cultural identity, as my parents only spoke Spanish at home and taught us the value of being different. If we want students to be reflective and analytical we need to teach them an array of realities. It upsets me that I truly did not get an education until I was in college. What was presented in the textbooks, about the ―New America,―our Spanish Conquistadores, Mexico, and the United States (etc.) in essence was partial or even false at times. I would like to remain positive and believe that times have changed and improved. But there is still much to do as misconceptions need to be demystified and stereotypes need to cease. A few years ago, I mentioned to one of the Preschool teachers I worked with that I was going back to school. She hugged me as she was genuinely excited for me and said, ― I am so happy your are going to get your GED.‖ I smiled; I already had my bachelors in education with Bilingual, Spanish, and ESOL endorsements. - Claudia Mitchell
  28. 28. Humble opinions continued… In the last thirty years of having changed from being the only Mexican family in our neighborhood to being 10% of the city population, I guess I have to feel somewhat a sense of relief that people’s ears don’t spike up so much when they hear the name Gonzalez. My daughters had a rough go of it growing up in Portland and always were somewhat embarrassed for getting pointed out as being different, in more ways than one. My daughters are biracial and as such, grew up feeling neither accepted by the Latinos or the Anglos. My oldest dropped out of high school, since she didn’t feel like she belonged. She eventually found that sense of belonging in a small alternative school with a mixed racial class. My girls eventually gravitated towards other kids in the classes who were also biracial, the 20th century minority group if you will, created out of liberal beliefs that are still years away from general acceptance. As a founder and manager of the only Latino Cultural Center in the Northwest I am able to win many battles for the greater good, but struggle with always providing my daughters with safe passage for their future. I am so proud of them for the pioneers that they have become. • Dañel Malan
  29. 29. Closing thoughts… I grew up in rural Oregon (Lane county) before Mexicans had really started to move into this state. I am mixed races – my mom is White and Sioux Indian and my dad is Mexican. My parents were both military so I spent a good deal of my childhood with my great grandparents here in Oregon. I am only 30, even so I spent most of my childhood defending my place as an American when children told me to ―go back to Mexico‖ because of my darker complexion, and teachers just observed the behavior. While my parents served for this country, it left a nasty taste in my mouth to say the least. Growing up with my White grandparents I did not learn to speak Spanish, I did not learn much about my cultures, or where I came from. I felt very displaced, so when I was a teenager I decided to leave home early. I dropped out of school at 15 even though I was a straight A student. I had family in California and when I moved with them I was immersed into an entirely new perspective of who I was as a young woman and what that meant. As I found myself I eventually found my way back to Oregon. Five years ago I decided to go back to school and get my GED. Here I am hoping to complete my graduate program and turn some of our failing minority schools around as a future principal in a few more years. I think these statistics and studies speak of my own story. I was one of these students, and I know how many students started out the same way, and never find their way back. It is not an issue of not being capable, it is an issue of not feeling motivated and important enough and knowing it. In the years since I moved to Portland and have been happy to start my own family here and finally see that minorities are beginning to make their way here. It is a beautiful state, but children should never have to feel like they need to hide because nobody looks like them, understands them, or stands up for them. My children are multiracial as well, half African American. I raise them to be aware of all sides of their family history, so that they do not feel the way I did as a child. We have chosen a good school and neighborhood in NE Portland to reside. It is one that has embraced us, our children, has mixed families of different cultures and religions, and has been able to help my children be better individuals as well as be better supported. But, I know not all areas are this lucky. Here is a picture of my middle daughter for Halloween in full Dia de Los Muertos costume. Even with the positive there is still adversity that is faced. My first day at PSU I sat at a table and listened as two girls sat across from me complaining how you can not get a scholarship if you are White, as they cut their eyes down at me. Last year at Christmas as we walked out of the store a man bumped into my husband and called him a ―Nigger‖. Before either of us responded my son who is nine asked what that meant and why he said that so angrily. My daughter is six and has been teased at the park for having ―dirty‖ skin. • Ginger Huizar
  30. 30. Thank you for sharing in our experience and thoughts. Claudia, Danel, and Ginger
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