American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence
It goes without saying that pop-culture has a dramatic impact on our youth and their studies. When LA Law became a hit show in the 80’s, the number of people entering law school sky-rocketed. It was closely followed by ER which created a rush to get into med school. The CSI effect had universities scrambling to create CSI degree programs.
So my prediction is that Obama will significantly close the achievement gap without actually implementing any new programs. Through his success he will be a role model to African-American students everywhere and suddenly doing well in school will be cool. Graduating will be even cooler. Parents and teachers will finally be able to say that if you stay in school and do well, you could be president.
T. Willard Fair who runs a charter school in Liberty City in Miami told me that having positive male role models is the number one problem for his students. It is very likely, that he will have a very presidential role model for his students soon.
Do not underestimate this effect. Combine that with Obama’s support for charter schools for inner city students and the achievement gap will close. Many will take the credit (we at ABCTE promise to take some credit as well), but having a role model who clearly demonstrates how far an education can take you will have a significant part in closing the achievement gap for African-American students.