Barr Foundation Knowledge Center

This collection includes publications and resources from our partners and in our program areas, both current and legacy. These resources are completely free to access and download. Most of these works were funded by the Barr Foundation. We may occasionally feature items relevant to our program areas which were not funded by Barr. Please be aware that views expressed are not necessarily those of the Barr Foundation. We encourage you to search our collection and suggest potential content to include (use "Suggest an Addition"). For questions or assistance, please contact
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Promising Practices and Unfinished Business: Fostering Equity and Excellence for Black and Latino Males

April 1, 2015

Boston Public Schools (BPS) commissioned companion studies as part of its efforts to address achievement gaps for Black and Latino males. The first study revealed the increasing diversity of Black and Latino males and stark opportunity gaps throughout the system that contribute in large part to wide attainment gaps for these students. We hypothesized that in schools doing comparatively better with Black or Latino males than their counterparts, educators would be strategically and comprehensively implementing evidence-based cultural, structural, and instructional practices tailored to meet their the needs and aspirations of these students. Through qualitative case studies of four schools, we identified several cross-cutting themes that provide the district and school leaders with some positive news about effective practices found in all good schools: strong school cultures, professional collaboration, differentiated instruction, and, in the elementary schools, family engagement. While we observed pockets of best practices specific to Black and Latino male education, we also brought to light unfinished business, in that none of the four case study schools had an intentional and comprehensive schoolwide approach to educating Black and Latino males. This lack of intentionality resulted in a paucity of evidence that the school administration and faculty as a whole: (a) know and value students' cultural and linguistic backgrounds; (b) adopt explicit and responsive approaches to race and gender; and (c) develop and implement a comprehensive approach to culturally responsive curriculum and instruction. We posit that lack of knowledge, intentionality, and coherence impedes further progress in educating Black and Latino males, and has implications for educators in schools, for staff members in community partner organizations, and for family members of BPS students.

Opportunity and Equity: Enrollment and Outcomes of Black and Latino Males in Boston Public Schools

November 13, 2014

Boston Public School (BPS) leaders commissioned this study to examine patterns of enrollment, access, engagement, and performance of Black and Latino males from School Year 2009 to School Year 2012. This quantitative analysis constitutes Phase I of a larger study that will ultimately include qualitative case studies examining promising practices in BPS schools in which Black and Latino males perform well.

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