In January 2017, Spaceship Media partnered with AL.com to examine the achievement gap that exists between white and black students in Alabama and nationwide. The project brought together more than 60 Alabama teachers of different races and from different grade levels to discuss the causes of this inequity, and to strategize on the best ways to respond in their classrooms. Teachers in the moderated conversation explored aspects of the achievement gap including differences in resources, school discipline practices, and access to advanced coursework. The discussion, which took place over two months in a closed Facebook group, led some participants to become more active in local government and education policy, while the debates and solutions proposed within the discussion offered insight into the inner workings of modern school segregation for teachers, education experts, and policymakers. Al.com’s education reporter Trish Crain is continuing to report stories that grow from this discussion.
“As a teacher, participating in this group is one of the best avenues of professional development I have taken. The discussions have been respectful in the midst of addressing a sensitive issue: race in education.” –Katrina Thomas, teacher, Randolph County High School
“While test scores in Alabama schools generally mirror poverty levels, poverty is only one factor, research has shown.
The Alabama state department of education’s chief academic officer Dr. Barbara Cooper is charged with improving achievement for the 730,000 students in Alabama’s public schools…”
“African-American students in Alabama tend not to perform as well on standardized tests as their white counterparts. That’s part of the so-called “achievement gap,” one of the most persistent and touchiest issues in education. But a new data-driven series by Al.com, journalism nonprofits Spaceship Media and Solutions Journalism Network, and teachers from across Alabama aims to address those disparities…”
“Classroom teachers have a front-row seat in the efforts to educate Alabama’s children, so AL.com decided to ask them about the difficulties behind the achievement gap and what the state could do to close the divide.Chances are good that you’ve heard of the achievement gap. It’s the long-running difference in average test scores between groups of children..”
“One of the ways I have spent mine is using Facebook for good!
Back in the spring, I was invited to join a group of teachers throughout the state of Alabama called, Tackling the Gap: A Teacher’s Conversation.
This is a Facebook group created by a partnership between Spaceship Media and AL.com to look at the achievement gap…”