AAREA® Newsletter October 2013

AAREA® Newsletter October 2013

" One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying."

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

American civil rights leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner

Thank you for your continued support of the African American Educational Alliances. Through these periodic newsletters, we will keep you in the know of what is happening in the education world that impacts educators and African American students as well as keep you informed on our programs, initiatives, and events. If you have any resources, events, or news you would like us to consider sharing in the next newsletter, please contact us. Thank you.

AAREA™ wants to officially welcome you to the 2013-2014 academic year. We have been busy preparing for the many exciting growth opportunities coming to AAREA™ this year. Our two major focus areas this year are:

  • AAREA™ Development and Sustainability
  • Assisting educators with integration of the Common Core for the success of African American students
The Board of Directors and Staff have been working diligently to develop and implement a long term sustainability plan to secure funding to support AAREA™'s initiatives. An integral part of this plan is securing key partnerships that allows AAREA™ to further the mission of developing collaborative educational services and professional development opportunities that result in improved academic proficiency and college readiness of African American students. Staff are currently applying for grants and meeting with like minded entities to explore how AAREA™ can support their work with educators and African American families.

As a result of such efforts, AAREA™ is excited to announce a new partnership with San Lorenzo Unified School District. AAREA™ will kick off a workshop series on September 28th at the Empowering Our African American Children and Families conference taking place at the REACH Ashland Youth Center. This conference will be followed by parent workshops aimed to inform and empower African American parents on how the integration of Common Core will impact their child's education.

The 2014 Professional Development Program starts on February 1st at the Professional Development Breakfast with the theme Cutting to the Core: Linking Compelling Common Core Instructional Practices to the Achievement of African American Students. This year's breakfast will feature local educational experts who will discuss the integration of Common Core with culturally relevant instructional practices. This conference will be followed by various workshops and speaker engagements that will encourage educators and the community to dig deeper into understanding and utilizing Common Core to positively impact the academic success of African American students.

Rounding out the academic year is the 10th Anniversary of the African American Student Achievement and Excellence Awards, formerly known as the SACAAAE Cultural Pursuits Awards. AAREA™ will honor the achievements of an estimated 500 African American students graduating from elementary, middle, and high school (Look out for the applications to nominate your students in January 2014). Thanks to a partnership with the Choose College Educational Foundation, this year's awards celebration will be followed by the SuperSATurday College Prep Fair at Chabot College. This fun family event will provide free college going information and resources to the public and feature guest speakers, student performances, contests, and more.

We are looking forward to 2013-2014. It is guaranteed to be a fulfilling year packed with many surprises. If you are aware of any entities, events or programs that could benefit from AAREA™'s support or where AAREA™ should be represented, please contact us at [email protected]


What's on our mind:

News and resources for educators

Following are a few resources we have recently come across that has us talking and thinking about the work we do!

How will the Common Core State Standards affect black colleges, teachers and students?

Washington Post


This article poses the question of how Common Core will impact the achievement gap of African American students. It proposes that more investment in HBCU teacher education programs is needed to produce high quality teachers.

Many Bay Area districts fail to adequately educate low-income and minority students, report finds

Contra Costa Times


This article discusses a report by the Education Trust-West that details each district's report card for how they are performing for reducing achievement gaps of low-income and minority students. Each district was assigned a letter grade based on their performance.

Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Teaching Diversity


This website reviews 7 characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching: 1) Positive perspectives on parents and families; 2) Communication of high expectations; 3) Learning within the context of culture; 4) Student-centered instruction; 5) Culturally mediated instruction; 6) Reshaping the curriculum; and 7) Teacher as facilitator.

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Professional Development Breakfast
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
Oakland, CA
African American Student Achievement & Excellence Awards
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Chabot College Performing Arts Center
Hayward, CA
Choose College SuperSATurday College Resource Fair
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Chabot College Ampitheatre
Hayward, CA
2014 Professional Development Series
More details to come
Oakland, CA


Facts that impact African American students

By 8th grade, just over half, 52%, of all our students can do math at grade level, and only 35% of Black students and 43% of Hispanic students can do the math expected of an average 7th grader. California rates 49th in the nation in mathematics.(Source: STAR Report , US Dept. Of Ed.)

California's graduation rate has been stuck at about 77% for decades. That means that about 1 in 4 students doesn't graduate from high school in four years. African American students in California have a 63% graduation rate and Hispanic students have a 70%. (Source: Data Mapping Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate, All Students: 2010-11

Among high schools with the highest proportions of African American students, 52 percent were considered either "broken pipelines," schools where African Americans graduate and go on to college at lower rates than statewide averages, or "not college bound," schools where African Americans had higher-than-average graduation rates but lower college-going rates. (Source: California Watch; June 29, 2012)

The West Contra Costa and Oakland...Both districts received F's for the wide gaps that separate students of color from white students. (Source: San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times; April 4, 2013)