Author Biographies

Aaron M. Johnson is currently the associate superintendent of Farmington Public Schools and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University and Madonna University. He is also the author of, A Walk in Their Kicks: Literacy, Identity, and the Schooling of Young Black Males, published by Teachers College Press. Aaron's professional focus is create schools committed to equity by using literacy as a means to do so.


This article addresses some of the factors that contribute to low achievement observed in African American students. It is common that either schools or school districts are unable to fix the problem or they are unaware about how the beliefs and attitudes about African American students can contribute to their low performance in school. Furthermore, this article encourages school institutions to examine themselves and change school environments to align to the identities of African American students. African American students must be liberated from negative assumptions about them and to do that, individuals and the institution of school as a whole, has to stop assigning blame to students and families and get serious about reconceptualizing school to meet the needs of all learners.

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