Blendon principal part of state task force focused on educating Black students

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Blendon Middle School Principal Kendall Harris is part of a state task force charged with identifying best practices that improve educational outcomes for Ohio’s Black children.

The Task Force on Best Academic Practice Models for Black Students — which hosted its first meeting in May — includes students, educators in K-12 and higher education, representatives from the Ohio Department of Education and the NAACP. The group is focused on multiple tasks, including:

  • Understanding and identifying best academic and non-academic practice models, strategies and actions that are successful in schools and districts that have closed the achievement gap for Black students in Ohio schools.

  • Identifying schools that are demonstrating high-quality change and improvement management.

  • Creating a template and self-assessment tools that schools and districts or others can voluntarily use to gauge the level of implementation of best practice models, and to guide improvement planning and implementation.

  • Defining a system of measurement and monitoring to gauge Ohio’s progress.

  • Clarifying the expectations for academic achievement for each child, including each Black child.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with different districts, different organizations to create standards that we will recommend for best academic models for Black and Brown students, delivering on the promise of Brown v. Board of Education in Ohio,” Harris said. 

Tim Freeman, executive director of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, invited Harris to join the group.