BERC Report: Black Education in the Wake of COVID-19 & Systemic Racism

BERC is pleased to announce the publication of its report Black Education in the Wake of COVID-19 & Systemic Racism: Toward a Theory of Change and Action. 

This report presents findings from a research study conducted to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism have impacted Black education from the perspectives of Black parents, teachers, students, education and community leaders. Two questions guided the study: (1) What is the impact of COVID-19 on the education of Black children and youth in the United States? (2) How should educators and community leaders respond to calls for change and action? Data was collected between January-May 2021 using a national online survey and virtual focus group interviews with Black high school students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders in Atlanta, GA, Washington, DC, Boston, MA, Detroit, MI, Las Vegas, NV, and New York, NY. Participants ranged from 14 to more than 70 years of age. The majority of survey and focus group respondents were college-educated women who identified as parents, educators, or both.

Findings underscored the historical and systemic nature of trauma in Black communities as a result of racism in U.S. institutions, including schools and school systems. Participants expressed concern over the fact that schools are ill-equipped to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of their children and that COVID-19 and increasing racial violence have revealed further their lack of capacity or willingness to meet the educational needs of Black students or expectations of Black parents.


To learn more about the study's findings and recommendations, click the Download button below.

About This Report
This is the first in a series of briefs, reports, and publications examining the impact of the deadly viruses of COVID-19 and racism within the context of educational systems and their implications for the education of Black children and youth in the United States.


Black Education in the Wake of COVID-19 & Systemic Racism Metro Reports

A Look at the Nation's Capital One Year After the Insurrection

A Framework for Atlanta's Future

Advancing an Emancipatory Vision of Education in New York City

BERC Opinion Poll

The Black Studies Curriculum: An Educational Necessity for New York City Public Schools

A majority of Black voters in New York City say the new Black Studies Curriculum is an essential way to improve education for all students in NYC

Equity Indicators

Mapping 16 Equity Indicators to the New York City Schools Public Datasets: Access, Opportunity, and Outcomes

Despite significant progress, educational inequities remain one of the most pressing issues in New York City schools.

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