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African American Parents Gather To Address Student Performance Gap

02 Apr

Monday night meeting with the Newark Unified School District is similar to prior efforts to enlist parents of Latino and special education students in raising their test scores.

  

Parents of African American students met with officials of the Newark Unified School District Monday night in the first of what will likely be a series of meetings to get parents involved in efforts to raise their kids’ student test scores.

School Superintendent Dave Marken told Patch that Monday’s meeting was similar to gatherings that the district has already conducted with parents of Latino and special education students.

Marken said each of these three categories of students have been identified by state authorities as “significant groups” whose performance in standardized tests and other measures needs to be improved.

“The only way to find out their specific needs is by asking them,” Marken said of the parents invited to Monday’s meeting.

Marken said the District has been holding such conclaves with Latino parents for a couple of years. The parents of special needs students tend to get together at the school level when issues arise, he said.

Monday’s meeting was the District’s first effort to get African American parents into the process of figuring out how to help their children close a performance gap. Marken said about two dozen parents attended the 90-minute meeting.

“It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child,” Marken said, characterizing Monday’s meeting as an effort to connect with parents who may feel “disenfranchised” by the school system.

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