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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.

 

BERC COVID Study

Research Study: Black Education in the Wake of COVID & Systemic Racism

BERC would like to thank all who participated in our Black Education in the Wake of COVID & Systemic Racism survey. The survey is now CLOSED.

 

SURVEY NOW CLOSED

 

 

Project Title: Black Education in the Wake of COVID: Toward a Theory of Change and Action
Principal Investigators: Sonya Douglass Horsford, Ed.D., Erica N. Walker, Ph.D., and Mark A. Gooden, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Funders: Spencer Foundation

Project Description
The purpose of this project is to document and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the education of Black children and youth in the U.S. from the perspectives of Black students, family members, teachers, school and community leaders, and policymakers. Two research questions guide the inquiry: (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? Informed by the latest news and publicly available reports on COVID’s impact on Black communities and the state of Black education before the outbreak, this study draws from Sharpe’s (2016) conception of Blackness as life “in the wake” and uses historical trauma theory (Sotero, 2006) to contextualize Black education in the COVID moment. The study will use a mixed-methods research design, collecting data through documents, online surveys, and virtual interviews (focus group and individual) with students, parents, teachers, education and community leaders, and policymakers across the U.S. 

 

Project Title: A History of the Education of Peoples of African Descent in the Americas, 1920-2020
Editors: Sonya Douglass Horsford, Ed.D. and Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University
Funders: William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Project Description

The proposed project will serve as a compendium of chapters penned by leading education scholars in collaboration with junior and emerging scholars in the field, to create the definitive history of U.S. education through the eyes of African Americans. Engaging a reflective and reflexive approach to revisiting and reexamining what is known about the education of peoples of African descent and how it might inform Black educational struggles, agendas, and futures, this book will be foundational to the development and dissemination of learning materials and curriculums related to issues of racial inequality, systemic racism, and injustice in schools and society.

Guided by the scholarship of Edmund W. Gordon, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education and Founder of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, whose work has informed education research, policy, and practice over much of the period covered in this collection; this book will convene scholars across discipline, generation, and field of study to produce the essential text for both the historical and contemporary examination of Black education and its implications for racial segregation, systemic racism, and the struggle for racial justice as experienced in schools today.

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