The Ida B. Wells Community Academy is an independent, public
    educational institution founded by Dr. Edward W. Crosby and
    Mrs. Emma Jean Calhoun and a consortium of community organizations
    based in Akron, Ohio. The Academy is chartered and funded by the
    Ohio State Department of Education.

    semper novi quid ex Afrika!
       "Everything new always comes out of Africa!"  — Pliny

“Building Young Scholars for Their Future”
Part II

Fourth-Grade Proficiency Outcomes:


Each activity direction will be constructed to elicit two of the following different purposes (modes) for writing: a long piece such as a fictional or personal experience narrative, or an informational piece (report), and a shorter piece such as a communication (friendly letter, invitation, thank-you note, letter to the editor, directions, or journal), a summary, or a retelling.

Given an assigned activity direction intended to elicit two of the above modes of writing, the learner will use the writing process to make the intended message clear, as evidenced by . . .

          a.  a response that stays on topic;
          b.  the use of details to support the topic;
          c.  an organized and logical response that flows naturally and has a beginning, middle and end;
          d.  the use of a variety of words;
          e.  the use of a variety of sentence patterns;
          f.   a response that shows an awareness of word usage (vocabulary, homonyms, and words in context);
          g.  a response that shows an awareness of spelling patterns for commonly used words;
          h.  legible writing in print or cursive; and
          i.   the correct use of capital letters (beginning of sentences and for proper nouns) and end punctuation.


Given a fiction/poetry text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of language and elements of fiction/poetry by responding to items in which they:

          1.   summarize the text;
          2.   use graphic aids (for example, a table or graph) or illustrations to locate or interpret information;
          3.   demonstrate an understanding of text by retelling the story or poem, in writing, in own words;
          4.   identify and interpret vocabulary (words, phrases, or expressions) critical to the meaning of the text.

Given a fiction/poetry text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of language and elements of fiction/poetry by responding to items in which they:

          5.   analyze the text, examining, for example, actions of characters, problem/ solution, plot, or point of view;
          6.   infer from the text;
          7.   compare and/or contrast elements such as characters, settings, or events;
          8.   respond to the text;
          9.   choose materials related to purposes, as evidenced in part by the capacity to

                a.  choose or identify library resources to locate specific information;
                b.  select fiction and nonfiction materials in response to a topic or theme;
                c.  choose appropriate resources and materials to solve problems and make decisions; and

         10.   demonstrate an understanding of text by predicting outcomes and actions.

Given a nonfiction text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of language and elements of nonfiction by responding to items in which they:

         11.   summarize the text;
         12.   use graphic aids (for example, a table or graph) or illustrations to locate or interpret information;
         13.   demonstrate an understanding of text by retelling the information, in writing, in own words;
         14.   identify and interpret vocabulary (words, phrases, or expressions) critical to the meaning of the text.

Given a nonfiction text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of language and elements of nonfiction by responding to items in which they:

         15.   discern major ideas and supporting ideas;
         16.   analyze the text, examining, for example, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, or fact and Opinion;
         17.   infer from the text;
         18.   respond to the text.
         19.   choose materials related to purposes, as evidenced in part by the capacity to

                 a.  choose or identify library resources to locate specific information;
                 b.  select fiction and nonfiction materials in response to a topic or theme;
                 c.  choose appropriate resources and materials to solve problems and make decisions;

         20.   demonstrate an understanding of text by predicting outcomes and actions.


           1.   Sort or identify objects on multiple attributes (e.g., size, shape, and shading).
           2.   Use patterns to make generalizations and predictions by

                 a.  determining a rule and identifying missing numbers in a sequence;
                 b.  determining a rule and identifying missing numbers in a table of number pairs;
                 c.  identifying missing elements in a pattern and justifying their inclusion; and
                 d.  determining a rule and identifying missing numbers in a sequence of numbers or a table of number pairs related by a combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

          3.   Select appropriate notation and methods for symbolizing a problem situation, translate real-life situations into conventional symbols of mathematics, and represent operations using models, conventional symbols, and words;
          4.   Identify needed information to solve a problem;
          5.   Explain or illustrate whether a solution is correct;
          6.   Decompose, combine, order, and compare numbers;
          7.   Illustrate or identify fractional parts of whole objects or set of objects and like fractions greater than one, and add and subtract like fractions with illustrations and symbols;
          8.   Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers and explain, illustrate, or select thinking strategies for making computations;
          9.   Order fractions using symbols as well as the terms "at least" and "at most";
        10.   Represent whole number value by

                a.  applying place value ideas;
                b.  translating between words and symbols in naming whole numbers;

        11.   Add and subtract decimals.
        12.   Apply congruence, symmetry, paths, simple closed curves, and the ideas of interior and exterior;
        13.   Recognize parallel, intersecting, and perpendicular lines, and right angles in geometric figures;
        14.   Determine properties of two-dimensional figures and compare shapes according to their characterizing properties, identify two-dimensional shapes on a picture of a three-dimensional object, and compare three-dimensional objects describing similarities and differences using appropriate standard and non-standard language;
        15.   Symbolize a keying sequence on a calculator and predict the display;
        16.   Model a problem situation using a number phrase/sentence and/or letters, understand the use of letters and symbols in statements such as 4b=12 or 3c=15 and find the value for a letter or symbol if the value for the other letter or symbol is given, and recognize the use of variables to generalize arithmetic statements applying the concept of odd and even numbers;
        17.   Apply the use of tools to measure lengths, using centimeter and inches including recognizing the positions of whole numbers and fractions on a number line;
        18.   Apply the counting of collections of coins and bills (which could include one, five, and ten dollar bills) in a buying situation;
        19.   Illustrate the approximate size of units of length, capacity, and weight; choose an appropriate unit to measure lengths, capacities and weights in U.S. standard and metric units; and relate the number of units that measure an object to the size of the unit as well as to the size of the object;
        20.   Determine perimeters and areas of simple straight line figures and regions without using formulas;
        21.   Use mental, paper-and-pencil, and physical strategies to determine time elapsed;
        22.   Apply concept of place value in making estimates in addition and subtraction using front-end digits;
        23.   Round numbers and use multiples of ten to estimate sums, differences, and products and discuss whether estimates are greater than or less than an exact sum or difference.
        24.   Make or use a table to record and sort information (in a problem-solving setting using simple and complex patterns in nature, art,. or poetry as setting) and make identifications, comparisons, and predictions from tables, picture graphs, bar graphs, and labeled picture maps; and
        25.   Find simple experimental probabilities and identify events that are sure to happen, events sure not to happen, and those we cannot be sure about.


          1.   Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to think about the relationship among events by:

                a.   identifying sequence of events in history;
                b.   grouping events by broad historical eras on a time line;
                c.   recognizing that change occurs in history; or
                d. identifying cause-and-effect relationships;

          2.   Identify and use sources of information about a given topic in the history of Ohio and the United States;
          3.   Relate major events and individuals in state history to time periods in the history of the nation and the world;
          4.   Identify the various kinds of cultural groups* that have lived or live in Ohio;
          5.   Identify or explain how various cultural groups* have participated in the state's development;

      *NOTE: The phrase "cultural groups" refers to a number of individuals sharing unique characteristics (e.g., race,
      ethnicity, national origin, and religion).
          6.   Identify or compare the customs, traditions, and needs of Ohio's various cultural groups;
          7.   Demonstrate map skills by:

                a.  identifying various major reference points on the earth;
                b.  locating major land forms and bodies of water; or
                c.  using a number/letter grid system to locate places on a map, a map key to understand map symbols, a linear scale to measure distances on a map, and a direction indicator.

          8.   Use maps and diagrams as a source of information to:

               a.   recognize continents by their outlines and major physical features;
               b.   recognize characteristics of major land forms and bodies of water;
               c.   describe physical differences between places; or
               d.   explain the influence of the natural environment on the settlement of Ohio and on changes in population patterns, transportation, and land use;

          9.   Identify or describe the location of Ohio in relation to other states, to regions of the United States, and to major physical features of North America;
        10.   Identify the factors of production (land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship) needed to produce various goods and services;
        11.   Name the resources needed to produce various goods and services, classify each resource by the factors of production, or suggest alternative uses for those factors;
        12.   Classify various economic activities as examples of production or consumption;
        13.   Identify the function of each branch of state government;
        14.   Identify the purposes of state government (state government refers to the government of a state of the United States of America);
        15.   Identify or explain the purposes of local government;
        16.   Differentiate between statements of fact and opinion found in information about public issues and policies;
        17.   Identify and assess the possibilities of group decision making, cooperative activity, and personal involvement in the community; and
        18.  Identify the elements of rules relating to fair play.

            Science Learning Outcomes

          1.   Create and use categories to organize a set of objects, organisms or phenomena;
          2.   Select instruments to make observations and/or organize observations of an event, object, or organism;
          3.   Identify and/or compare the mass, dimensions, and volume of familiar objects in standard and/or nonstandard units;
          4.   Use a simple key to distinguish between objects;
          5.   Analyze a series of events and/or simple daily or seasonal cycles and predict the next likely occurrence in the sequence;
          6.   Evaluate a simple procedure to carry out an exploration;
          7.   Identify and/or discuss the selection of resources and tools used for exploring scientific phenomena;
          8.   Evaluate observations and measurements made by other persons;
          9.   Demonstrate an understanding of safe use of materials and/or devices in science activities;
        10.   Explain the operation of a simple mechanical device;
        11.   Identify characteristics of a simple physical change;
        12.   Explain and/or predict the motion of objects and/or describe the effects of some objects on other objects;
        13.   Make predictions about the weather from observed conditions and weather maps;
        14.   Identify and/or describe the relationship between human activity and the environment;
        15.   Identify evidence and show examples of changes in the earth's surface;
        16.   Demonstrate an understanding of the basic needs of living things;
        17.   Identify ways in which organisms react to changing environments;
        18.   Distinguish between living and nonliving things and provide justification for these distinctions; and
        19.   Analyze and/or evaluate various nutritional plans for humans.

Sixth Grade Proficiency Outcomes:


The student will be given one prompt or topic which will direct two writing activities, each in a different mode (purpose for writing). The student will be given the two modes which will be selected from the following: fictional or personal experience narrative, a persuasive piece, informational writing, a communication (letter, invitation, memo, thank-you note, letter to the editor, directions), a journal entry, or a summary.

The student will use the writing process to make the writing activities clear for the intended audience, as evidenced by the capacity to . . .

          1.   focus on the topic with adequate supporting ideas or examples;
          2.   exhibit a logical organizational pattern that demonstrates a sense of flow and conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness;
          3.   exhibit word choice appropriate to the subject, the purpose and the intended audience;
          4.   communicate clarity of thought;
          5.   use complete sentences except where purposeful phrases or clauses are desirable;
          6.   write legibly using cursive or manuscript;
          7.   demonstrate correct usage, correct spelling of frequently used words, and correct punctuation and capitalization;
          8.   include sentences of varied length and structure.

          Reading Learning Outcomes

              Fiction or Poetry Selections:

Given a fiction or poetry text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of text and elements of fiction or poetry by responding to items in which they should be able to . . .

          1.   analyze aspects of the text, examining, for example, characters, setting, plot, problem/solution, point of view, or theme;
          2.   summarize the text;
          3.   infer from the text; and/or
          4.   respond to the text.

Given a fiction or poetry text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of text and elements of fiction or poetry by responding to items in which they should be able . . .

          5.   to compare and contrast aspects of the text, for example, characters or settings;
          6.   to critique and evaluate the text;
          7.   to select information for a variety of purposes, including enjoyment;
          8.   to express reasons for recommending or not recommending the text for a particular audience or purpose; and/or
          9.   to explain how an author uses contents of a text to support his/her purpose for writing.

               Nonfiction Selections:

Given a nonfiction text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of text and elements of nonfiction by responding to items in which they should have the capacity . . .

        10.   to analyze the text, examining, for example, author's use of comparison and contrast, cause and effect, or fact and opinion;
        11.   to summarize the text;
        12.   to infer from the text; and/or
        13.   to respond to the text.

Given a nonfiction text to read silently, learners will demonstrate an understanding of text and elements of nonfiction by responding to items in which they should have the capacity . . .

        14.   to compare and/or contrast aspects of the text;
        15.   to critique and evaluate the text for such elements as organizational structure and logical reasoning;
        16.   to select information from a variety of resources to support ideas, concepts, and interpretations;
        17.   to express reasons for recommending or not recommending the text for a particular audience or purpose; and/or
        18.   to explain how an author uses contents of a text to support his/her purpose for writing.

 In Mathematics a Student Should be Able to . . .

          1.   Apply the relation between doubling the side of a regular figure and the corresponding increase in area;
          2.   Determine the rule, identify missing numbers, and/or find the nth term in a sequence of numbers or a table of numbers involving one operation or power;
          3.   Apply appropriate notations and methods for symbolizing the problem statement and solution process;
          4.   Identify needed and given information in a problem situation, as well as irrelevant information;
          5.   Validate and/or generalize solutions and problem-solving strategies;
          6.   Compute with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals;
          7.   Find equivalent fractions;
          8.   Change freely between fractions and decimals;
          9.   Order combinations of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals by using the symbols <, <, >, >, and = and/or by placing them on a number line;
        10.   Use ratios and proportions in a wide variety of applications;
        11.   Visualize and show the results of rotation, translation, reflection, or stretching of geometric figures;
        12.   Recognize, classify, and/or use characteristics of lines and simple two-dimensional figures including circles; and apply models and properties to characterize and/or contrast different classes of figures including three-dimensional figures;
        13.   Use the distributive property in arithmetic computations;
        14.   Explain and reflect differences between calculators with arithmetic logic and calculators with algebraic logic when symbolizing a keying sequence and identifying the display as each key is pressed;
        15.   Use variables to describe arithmetic processes, to generalize arithmetic statements, and to generalize a problem situation;
        16.   Determine perimeters, areas, and volumes of common polygons, circles, and solids using counting techniques or formulas;
        17.   Convert, compare, and compute with common units of measure within the same measurement system;
        18.   Measure angles with a protractor;
        19.   Apply appropriate strategies to find estimates of sums, differences, products, and quotients of whole numbers (and determine whether the estimate is greater than or less than the exact result);
        20.   Estimate the sum, difference, product, or quotient of decimal numbers by rounding, and the sum, difference, or product of fractions and/or mixed numbers by rounding the fractions to 0, 1/2, or 1;
        21.   Collect data, create a table, picture graph, bar graph, circle graph, or line graph, and use them to solve application problems;
        22.   Read, interpret, and use tables, charts, maps, and graphs to identify patterns, note trends, and draw conclusions;
        23.   Apply the concept of average and calculate the arithmetic mean and mode of a given set of numbers; and
        24.   Make predictions of outcomes of experiments based upon theoretical probabilities and explain actual outcomes.

 In Citizenship the Student Should Have the Capacity to . . .

          1.   Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to think about the relationship among events:

                a.  group significant individuals by broadly defined historical eras;
                b.  utilize multiple-tier time lines;

          2.  Utilize a variety of resources to consider information from different perspectives about North America:

                a.  identify the central idea an historical narrative attempts to address;
                b.  inquire into the relative credibility of sources;

          3.   Identify significant individuals from the past in North America and explain their contributions to the cultural heritage of the United States;.
          4.   Identify a significant individual from a region of the world other than North America and discuss cause-and-effect relationships surrounding a major event in the individual's life;
          5.   Compare the gender roles, religious ideas, or class structures in two societies;
          6.   Draw inferences about the experiences, problems, and opportunities that cultural groups* encountered in the past;

     *NOTE: The expression "cultural groups" refers to a number of individuals sharing unique characteristics (e.g.,
     race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion).
           7.   Describe how the customs and traditions of immigrant and other groups have shaped American life;
           8.   Utilize map skills:

                 a.  to apply latitude and longitude to locate points on maps and globes;
                 b.  to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information on a map for a specific task such as interpret and analyze maps, charts, or graphs to formulate geographic ideas.

           9.   Utilize time zones to compute differences in time and to describe their impact on human activities and to determine and explain relationships among resources, economic activities, and population distribution;
         10.   Use maps of North America or the world to identify physical and cultural regions and to show relationships among regions;
         11.   Examine instances of contact between people of different regions of the world and determine the reasons for these contacts.
         12.   Describe the role of each factor of production in producing a specific good or service and suggest alternative uses for the resources involved.
         13.   Identify the factors that influence: a. consumer decisions to demand goods or services b. producer decisions to supply goods or services
         14.   Identify the factors that determine the degree of competition in a market and describe the impact of competition on a market:

                 a.  identify advantages and disadvantages of competition in the marketplace;
                 b.  explain the general relationship between supply, demand, and price in a competitive market;

         15.   Use information about global resource distribution to make generalizations about why nations engage in international trade;
         16.   Identify the main functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the United States national government and cite activities related to these functions;
         17.   Interpret how examples of political activity illustrate characteristics of American democracy;
         18.   Classify characteristics of government that are typical of a monarchal, democratic, or dictatorial type of government;
         19.   Analyze information on civic issues by organizing key ideas with their supporting facts;
         20.   Identify and analyze alternatives through which civic goals can be achieved and select an appropriate alternative based upon a set of criteria;
         21.   Identify ways to resolve private and public conflicts based on principles of fairness and justice; and
         22.   Identify examples of citizen participation in political systems around the world.

 In Science a Student Should Be Able to . . .

          1.   Use a simple key to classify objects, organisms, and/or phenomena.
          2.   Identify the potential hazards and/or precautions involved in scientific investigations.
          3.   Make inferences from observations of phenomena and/or events.
          4.   Identify the positive and/or negative impact of technology on human activity.
          5.   Evaluate conclusions based on scientific data.
          6.   Recognize the advantages and/or disadvantages to the user in the operation of simple technological devices.
          7.   Predict the influences of the motion of some objects on other objects.
          8.   Propose and/or evaluate an investigation of simple physical and/or chemical changes.
          9.   Provide examples of transformation and/or conservation of matter and energy in simple physical systems.
        10.   Identify simple patterns in physical phenomena.
        11.   Describe simple cycles of the earth and moon.
        12.   Identify characteristics and/or patterns in rocks and soil.
        13.   Demonstrate an understanding of the cycling of resources on earth, such as carbon, nitrogen, and/or water.
        14.   Trace the transmission of energy in a small, simple ecosystem and/or identify the roles of organisms in the energy movement in an ecosystem.
        15.   Compare and/or contrast the diversity of ways in which living things meet their needs.
        16.   Analyze behaviors and/or activities that positively or negatively influence human health.
        17.   Analyze the impacts of human activity on the ecosystems of the earth.

The expected performance indicators enumerated above show:

         1.   the focus of the Academy's curriculum follows the basics of standard public school curricula with one noteworthy and vital exception (see "Curricular Infusion" below); and
         2.   the Academy has developed an educational perspective that embraces high and comprehensive learning
and behavioral standards.

Furthermore, the Academy provides its enrollees at all levels a well thought out physical education program designed around various physical activities -- manipulative, locomotor and non-locomotor -- such as modern and African dance, running, jumping, sprinting, acrobatics (tumbling, headstands, throwing, catching, somersaults, leapfrogging, etc.), martial arts, e.g., karate and capoeira (a traditional Brazilian martial art), volley ball, baseball and basketball.

           The Academy's Instructional Design and Educational Philosophy

Students are taught a basic skills program with an interdisciplinary (holistic) learning focus. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy is committed to engendering in its students intellectual curiosity and stresses high academic standards and rigorous performance expectations. To accomplish this aim, the Academy has an educational  philosophy that emphasizes in its program structure and instructional design the following essential curricular and    procedural ingredients:

         1.   Small classes that are holistic and culturally integrative, and designed to enhance at all levels the students' proficiency in the basic skills and mastery of standards adopted by teachers, parents and students;
         2.    Team-teaching emphasis stressed where appropriate (on occasion students may be assigned to a team of teachers); using parents, community residents, retired professionals and businessmen or -women as part-time teachers, teaching assistants or educational consultants;
         3.    Small student to teacher ratio (15:1) to respond (a) to the “at-risk” character of the student body and (b) to facilitate individualized instruction based on interests and needs; this ratio also supports the institution of a "learning-through-doing" (active vs. passive) instructional design;
         4.    Meeting students where they are socially, culturally and academically and then moving them to higher and different academic levels supported by incorporating instructional emphases such as the avoidance of threat, meaningful and relevant content, learning style choices, sufficient time to assimilate content, enriched learning
environment, student-to-student collaboration, and immediate feedback; of especial importance in this context is the programmatic notion that all children can learn. It is incumbent on educators to devise means to design appropriate strategies to "lead that learning out," i.e., make it happen;
          5.    Self learning projects that are student or teacher initiated, conducted first in-school and later, based on student maturity, conducted out-of-school;
          6.    The unidisciplinary (holistic) model that allows students to experience how one set of basic skills directly relates to other basic skills, i.e., reading to mathematics, geography to social sciences, mathematics to science, culture to history; and how all these relate to being truly educated and to life in general (see Alfred North Whitehead's The Aims of Education and Other Essays, 1967, pp. 6-7); and
         7.    An extended year-round academic year of up to 210 days – with 180 regular days – August to June and an additional 30 days or 6 weeks during the summer months – July to August.

               Curricular Infusion

The Academy's instructional philosophy and program structure are open-ended so that it can maintain curricular and operational flexibility, recognizing that over time it may have to incorporate revised or different learning and operational strategies. The Academy is intent on infusing into its curriculum a diversity element with the emphasis on African America, Africa, Native America, Latin America and the world. This element is not standard in public or private school education but is, from our perspective, vital given our anticipated student population, not because they will be children of color but rather because most children (and most educated Americans regardless of race) have not been exposed to the history, culture and aspirations of the African and other persons of color in America.
A careful review of the Academy's educational philosophy and curricular plan reveals that we approach education from a quality perspective that agrees with Edward Wilmot Blyden's description of our educational needs as a people. Dr. Blyden (read a brief biography at, during the period 1877-1878, wrote, while serving as Minister Plenipotentiary for the Republic of Liberia, wrote the following to the Court of St. James in London:

". . . Great stress is being laid and not without reason upon the facilities of education now within reach of our people in the United States and the book learning which many of them are now receiving. This is certainly a matter for congratulation. But we must not lose sight of the important fact to be gathered from the very etymology of the word education, viz; that book learning is not the most essential part of our educational  needs as a people. You do not educate a man when you merely fill his mind; but you do educate him when you lead out his powers. You do not educate a man when you merely tell him what he knew not; but you do educate him when you make him feel what he ought to feel; the one is mental, the other affectional. The one teaches him to lean upon others, the other teaches him to "retire upon himself." All this latter lesson is what the Negroes of America need more than all the literature of the schools.”

"And this view of their education becomes more important when we look upon the work which a large portion of them are destined to do . . .  they will not be able to succeed as mere imitators of the European. And yet this is what, for the most part, they are becoming, by the very condition of their training, in America. The effect of the instruction received by our people directly from their . . . teachers, and indirectly from their surroundings, is to induce an accretive growth, and not a development from within to impress upon them a mould and not to give them inward vigor. But, in the work to be done in [African America], they will need a great deal more than the thin veneering. which answers all their practical needs, while they remain  in America, and are not forced by the exigencies of their circumstances to "retire upon themselves."

Carter  G. Woodson's admonition in his The Mis-education of the Negro (1933) is very instructive with regard to serving the educational needs of the people:
"The element of race does not enter here. It is merely a matter of exercising common sense in approaching people through their environment in order to deal with conditions as they are rather than as you would like to see them or imagine that they are. There may be a difference in method of attack, but the principle remains the same. . . . History does not furnish a case of the elevation of a people by ignoring the thought and aspirations of the people thus served."
W.E.B. DuBois continues this educational argument with the following comments excerpted from his The Education of Black Folk: Ten Critiques, 1906-1960:
"First of all, we must note among American Negroes certain persistent culture patterns: the determination to educate their children; . . . the refusal, despite overwhelming temptation, to adopt entirely white American standards as to the good, the beautiful and the true" (1948). . . . "Take for instance the current problem of the education of our children. By the law of the land today [1960] they should be admitted to the public schools. If and when they are admitted to these schools, . . . Negro teachers will become rarer and in many cases will disappear. Negro children will be . . . taught under unpleasant, if not discouraging, circumstances. Even more largely than today they will fall out of school, cease to enter high school, and fewer and fewer will go to college. Theoretically Negro universities will disappear. Negro history will be taught less or not at all and . . . Negroes will remember their white or Indian ancestors and quite forget their Negro forebearers. . . . long before the year 2000, there will be no school desegregation on the basis of race. The deficiency in knowledge of Negro history and culture, however, will remain and this danger must be met or else American Negroes will disappear. . . ."
Blyden, Woodson and DuBois penned these words many years ago and their words are still on point. Very few educators, most of them persons of color, have tried to adapt their contemporary educational strategies to these critical "common sense" principles. Those educators and the retrogressive general public who believe that, if  they were to do so, they would have to admit that pluralistic educational strategies are required. Or, if they were to embrace educational pluralism, they would also have to renounce their cultural, racial, geopolitical and educational hegemony over what people of color should learn. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy, however, feels the time has come for it to offer a modest answer to an educational problem that has been dogging people of color in this country – Africans in America, Native Americans, and Latino Americans – for a long, long time.

The African American currently represents the largest nonwhite racial group in the United States; unfortunately it also represents the group whose history, culture, languages, traditions and contributions to American and world civilization have been most neglected in school curricula from Kindergarten to the PhD. The Academy will, therefore, strive to correct this oversight by the infusion of curricular diversity. We are not so bold that we profess to accomplish this overnight, as it were. We do profess, however, to start our version of an historical/cultural reclamation process. The Academy will not resort to the exclusion of instruction concerning other ethnic and racial groups. The fact is that Americans regardless of ethnicity or race must learn to live and work with each other. This need has been evident, although ignored, since the inception of the nation. It is now incumbent on the nation's educational system to reflect in its curricula this necessary national emphasis. The Academy, then, offers public school children in the city of Akron a well-balanced education where academic skills are taught in combination with mutual respect and cooperation among those diverse Americans who are destined to maintain the American experiment. It is high time that the Academy joins with parents and the general community to take matters into our own hands and stop wondering about whether to call our schools African-centered or European-centered and get to work delivering to our youth and their parents and the Akron public school district what their taxes should have delivered a long time ago: A QUALITY EDUCATION DESIGNED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY!

The Academy relies in part on the research and scholarship of educators such as Richard Long, Asa Hilliard, Janice Hale and Wade Nobles who, for example, writes:

"The importance of culture is reflected in the curriculum by its [the curriculum’s] being sensitive to the heroes and holidays and aware of various other peoples color’s songs and dance. Culture is not, however, simply a compilation of ethnic heroes and holidays nor is it only an awareness of other people's music and dance. . . . Curricula are tools of education and part of the problem has been in the way culture in general and the . . . African American culture in particular, has been defined and applied to the educational experience. . . . Culture is therefore the invisible dimension of all curricula. Hence, just as the nature of water (i.e., salt vs. fresh vs. polluted), influences the reality (i.e., survivability) of particular types of fish, so too do different cultural systems influence the reality of particular groups of people."
Dr. Nobles goes on to say: “The fact of the matter is that when we look at the notion of culture and raise the question of accessing children to a core curriculum, we should be very clear that the core curriculum itself is cultural; and that the teaching methodology that we utilize in teaching the core curriculum is also cultural; and that the site leadership style is cultural, and that the guidance and counsel techniques are cultural, and that the instructional strategies are cultural, and that the school climate is cultural, and that ultimately the aim and purpose of education itself is cultural."

The Academy finds ample support for its decision to infuse African and African American history, culture, languages, traditions and contributions to American civilization into its curriculum from kindergarten to the 6th grade. In terms of consistency, the Academy will also, as stated above, infuse the cultures of other underrepresented Americans, namely Native Americans and Latinos.

“A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, A Report to the Nation and the Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education” written by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, April 1983, offers very disturbing on-point testimony as to why the Ida B. Wells Community Academy has decided to enter the educational reform struggle and has designed their educational delivery system and support services as they have. As stated the educational dimensions of the risk have been well documented in testimony taken by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. We list here some of the risks the NCEE noted that the entire American student body faces on national, state and local levels.

These deficiencies and a host of others came at a time when African American, Native American and Latino youth were most at risk. When the Academy was established their educational statistics are undoubtedly even more depressed (see the latest “Akron Public Schools Audit” for a case in point. This audit was published in August 1998. (A copy of this audit is in the Academy’s Program Management Consultant’s personal library and may also be found in the Akron Summit County Public Libraries).

This discussion illustrates demonstrably that you do not have to be African American, poor or a person of color to be at risk. All young people attending the nation's schools are in similar circumstances and, if change does not come, will continue to be at risk well into the current century. The Academy commits itself to do its part to prepare and educate its student body, parents, faculty, administrators and the community at large to make certain they avoid this pitfall.

End of Part II

Navigation Links

  Back to Top of this Page
  Return to Building Young Scholars: Part I
  Return to Academy's Home Page   Go to Building Young Scholars: Part III
  Return to HieroGraphics Online   Go to Uumbaji Art Gallery and AfriLinks

Click here to contact the Webmaster.

Click here to read The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Biography

For More Information Call

Ms. Angela M. Anderson, MBA
Chief Administrative Officer
Mrs. Michelle C. Rumrill, MEd

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
1180 Slosson Street
Akron, Ohio   44320-2730

Office 330.867.1085    FAX:  330.867.1074


For a Comprehensive Overview of the Academy, visit

Click on the World
to sign the Academy's Guestbook


We Are A Quality and Equal Education and Employment Opportunity Institution!