All students have an inalienable right to an equitable, enriching, and empowering education. Yet, today's teachers face the challenge of reaching a diverse population of students and striving for a balance between cultural differences and achievement.
In Challenging Mediocrity, author and educator Larthenia Howard explores possible causes for the achievement gaps between subgroups as outlined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act's AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) guidelines. Teachers are encouraged to reflect not only on practices that directly affect a student's success, but also on different instructional tactics that can reach every student. Howard invites educational leaders to take action and covers such pertinent subjects as the following:
Self-discovery exercises to identify biases and instructional practices Strategies to manage the dynamics of diversity in the classroom Culture and evaluation criteria for the school environment Introduction of multicultural content into the existing curriculum Strategies for coping with student achievement gaps Utilizing the SURE Formula as a diversity inclusion model
Educational reform must employ a state of urgency in order to effectively and efficiently address the inequalities and disparities within current educational practices. Challenging Mediocrity will encourage teachers to view this challenge as an opportunity to enrich the experiences of students, ultimately improving student achievement.