DISSERTATION PROPOSAL ANNOUNCEMENT Ed.D. Program Todtanisha Waters: “THE VOICES OF BLACK ALUMNI AND TEACHERS FROM A NON-EXCUSES CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL”
The no-excuses charter school model is a recent attempt to reform elementary and secondary education in low-income communities in the United States. The model seeks to address the racial and economic achievement gap and secure upward mobility for the students it serves by implementing rigid and punitive academic and social expectations among students of color (Carter, 2001). There is ongoing controversy regarding the validity of the model and its impact on Black and Brown students. This dissertation draws upon that controversy as a medium to gain an understanding of the impact of the no-excuses paradigm on shaping Black students’ experiences. It does so by focusing on Black alumni of the charter school model and aims to ascertain their understanding of Blackness and academic, social, and emotional success. Qualitative research methods will be employed to explore the perspectives of 10 Black alumni and 6 teachers from a no-excuses charter high school in Newark, New Jersey. Data will be collected through 1-1 semi-structured interviews and focus groups interviews. Critical Race Theory (CRT) will serve as a theoretical lens for the study to explore the potential relationship between the no-excuses paradigm and educational racism. The findings of the study will encourage policymakers and practitioners of no-excuses charter schools to reflect and improve the no-excuses school model.
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