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  • Jamila Dugan

Black Students Are Not ‘Marginalized,’ They Are the Center of Our Work

So many headlines these days are about how Black students are “falling behind” during the pandemic. They’re “missing” and “lost.” But the truth is, Black students aren’t lost—the question is, do you see them?

While there are many educators who serve the students in front of them, we cannot dispute facts. Black students are still unseen in school. Our schools are still designed to perpetuate deficit narratives about Black students and ignore their true existence as whole human beings, complex in nature with hopes and dreams.

When I was in 10th grade, I failed out of high school. I had hopes and dreams, but I can’t recall exploring them at school. Some may ask what I did to fail out. I’d say that in many ways, the system failed me—as it does so many other Black students.

In high school, I experienced family trauma, struggled with developing a positive self-image, and felt at times like there was no way for me to move forward. I took honors classes and realized none of my peers, mostly Black students, were in them because they got tracked into other courses. I felt out of place, so I left those classes…read full article

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