February 12, 2020
What's New at NCTR?

NCTR is excited to announce that Kelly Riling has joined as Associate Director of Program.  Kelly brings 12 years of experience in urban education, including 5 years in teacher residencies. She is the former creator and Manager of the AppleTree Early Learning Teacher Residency, one of the first teacher residencies to focus solely on developing high quality pre-K teachers. Kelly has dedicated her career to making a difference in the lives of children, including several years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher in DC Public and Charter schools, and as an early childhood principal. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Flagler College and master’s degree in Elementary Education from The George Washington University. Kelly has also served as adjunct faculty for the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design and Relay Graduate School for Education. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Partner Update

Apply now for grants to support SEL in action
The NoVo Foundation SEL in Action Fund offers up to $7,000 for educators and up to $25,000 for districts and charters. Education First, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, seeks applications for educator-led and district-level projects that foster social and emotional learning (SEL) skills in students in grades PK-12. The RFP, application, and details about two informational webinars can be found here. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 10 at 11:59pm PT

Black History Month Focus 

At NCTR, we believe all students benefit when they have the opportunity to be taught by a diverse teaching force.  Teacher residencies hold a high bar for teacher effectiveness, while simultaneously reducing systemic barriers to entry for aspiring Black educators and other educators of color.  Likewise, all educators have a responsibility to provide Black students and students of color with culturally affirming learning spaces that promote not only mastery of college and career ready standards, but also critical consciousness to navigate and influence society.  To this end, as we continue celebrating Black History Month, we’ve culled research and other resources for you to explore in your context.

Research on and for Black Teachers

The Effects of Diverse Teachers on Student Outcomes New Schools Venture Fund
This 2019 research synthesis annotates two dozen previous studies on the matching of Black teachers with students, as well as policy recommendations for diverse teacher pipelines. Many more data, definitions and tools are linked at the New Schools Diverse Leaders Resources page.

Growing and Sustaining Black Teachers: Examining Contemporary Research in the Field Conra D. Gist
This short Urban Review article cites a dozen additional pieces that address specific aspects of the pipeline for welcoming and nurturing Black educators, including via affinity group professional development.

The Black Teacher Project: How Racial Affinity Professional Development Sustains Black Teachers Micia Mosely
Deliberately gathering and grouping Black educators in San Francisco and New York City schools was found to decrease isolation and increase retention among participants in The Black Teacher Project’s cohorts.

Through Our Eyes: Perspectives and Reflections From Black Teachers Ashley Griffin and Hilary Tackie, The Education Trust 
With a sample representative of the Black teaching workforce in the U.S., EdTrust led focus groups of 150 educators in seven states, mostly women and mostly teachers in urban schools. The topics covered connecting with Black students, enforcing versus educating, proving their worth, supporting the whole student, and “othering”/devaluing Black teachers.

Black Teachers’ Retention and Transfer Patterns in North Carolina: How Do Patterns Vary by Teacher Effectiveness, Subject, and School Conditions? Min Sun
Examining the variables affecting the placement and retention of Black educators in North Carolina schools, this research illuminates potential levers for attracting and contributing to the long-term success of teachers of color in the school systems that need them most.

Research and Resources for Teaching Black Students

The Brilliance of Black Boys Brian L. Wright with Shelly L. Counsel
Written from an “asset- and strengths-based view” for educating Black boys in the early grades, this text supports classroom teachers and school leaders in identifying skills and encouraging the social-emotional development of young Black males so that they may enjoy “boyhood” and reach their full potential.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools Monique W. Morris 
Gloria Ladson-Billings writes, “the plight of criminalized Black women and girls is overlooked, underreported, and underanalyzed.” This text uncovers the policies and culturally illiterate practices that perpetuate the under-serving of Black female students, and indicate ways teachers and parents can help to tap their “confined potential.”

We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom Bettina L. Love
Going underneath what she dubs the "the educational survival complex" for students of color (test-taking skills, the emphasis on grit, etc.), lifetime educator and author Bettina L. Love encourages teachers—as well as parents and the whole community supporting Black students—to think and act like abolitionists.

Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice Scott Seider and Daren Graves
Summarizing a four-year longitudinal study of deliberate critical consciousness and cultural competency efforts in five urban high schools (serving 300 students of color), this recent research can be adapted by teachers and school leaders wishing to guide thoughtful, productive discussions on racial injustice.

Teaching for Black Lives Rethinking Schools
As the book's introduction describes, "Teaching for Black lives means that we can’t relegate Black history to certain historical time periods or events and we must include Black lives in all aspects of curriculum including science, math, literature, and the arts." By connecting content to the real lives of their students, teachers can make schools "sites for knowing the hope and beauty in Blackness," as well as demanding racial justice.

Saying “I Don’t See Color” Denies the Racial Identity of Students Larry Ferlazzo
This recent discussion of the risks of educator “colorblindness,” spurred by writer and podcaster Larry Ferlazzo, sources practitioners in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Georgia and Kentucky, who challenge well-intentioned attempts to not see race when serving students.
In the News

How One Los Angeles English Teacher Is Bringing His Own Experiences to His Push for Greater Educator Diversity Across the City
The 74

Venezuelan immigrant Daniel Helena felt a calling to help kids and families in similar situations. In this interview, the middle school teacher discusses motivations for remaining in the profession, the importance of culturally relevant professional development for teachers of color, working with parents, and more.  
Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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