The mission of the National Council on Educating Black Children is to reinstate academic rigor and relevant teaching, improve the assessment of such instruction, and prepare the African-American learner for effective participation in a competitive global society.
We envision a time when our society values all children and presents them with equal opportunities that emanate from a useful education and strong family values.
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, education in the United States focused on the “disadvantaged” and everyone worried about why “Johnny” could not read. From this framework, the idea emerged that urban Black and poor children could not learn and that their schools were in shambles. However, the late Dr. Ron Edmonds, then Professor of Education at Harvard University, found in his urban school visitations that some schools were effectively educating Black and poor children. During these visits, he ascertained that these successful schools shared certain similar characteristics. These characteristics became a set of five correlates that Dr. Edmonds believed to be necessary for a school to effectively educate African-American students. He insisted that these characteristics or principles of successful schools should be adopted and implemented by staff in all schools at all grade levels. Dr. Edmonds’ five correlates require schools to implement the following strategies:
- Have a principal who is a strong instructional leader;
- Provide a safe community-like climate conducive for learning;
- Be staffed with professionals who have high expectations for all students;
- Provide a curriculum that relates to the experiences of the learners; and
- Maintain constant evaluation with remediation for mastery of content.
The National Council on Educating Black Children has based its “Blueprint for Action” on the research pioneered by the late Dr. Ron Edmonds. This “Blueprint for Action” embraces Edmond’s concept that “all children can learn” and provides a framework for collaborative community partnerships with public school districts to solve problems and accelerate achievement for all children, Black children in particular.
Believing that it takes a whole village to raise a child, in 1986, former Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins asked Dr. Faustine Jones-Wilson on the East Coast and Dr. Owen Knox on the West Coast to convene 37 other educational leaders, researchers, African-American organizations, and school leadership groups to discuss and review the Effective Schools Research of Dr. Ron Edmonds and to seek solutions for the school problems being experienced by all too many African American students. A significant cross-section of these leaders, along with parents, other concerned educators and individuals convened to discuss the status of the African-American child.
The strategy was to consolidate ideas and information from all the stakeholders in Black students’ education: students, parents, teachers, administrators, policy makers, as well as business and community leaders. The driving passion was that student failure is not our option: the village will take responsibility for developing a plan to improve the educational achievement of Black students across the nation. Representatives of these stakeholder groups worked together to establish the organization, the National Conference (changed to Council) on Educating Black Children, and to write NCEBC’s flagship document, The Blueprint for Action. Please join us, as we further our focus on preparing African-American children to meet life’s challenges and prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders. Without passion, the vision perishes, for it still “takes a whole village to raise a child.”