Educational Aide Society
ISAAC is a research Institute whose purpose is to create a collaborative among scholars to achieve solutions to problems facing African American children. However, African American children cannot wait. ISAAC is designed so that there is an immediate feed-in to the community of programmatic entities as they emerge. The first such entity that is described in Learning While Black (2001) is an organization that is designed to assist African American children and families in negotiating the schools they attend.
There is a need for high quality, individualized tutoring for African American children. ISAAC will network with sponsors and other community organizations to increase the availability of sliding fee scale tutoring in the community. Through ISAAC, we will also link students in need of remedial assistance with certified and effective supplemental service providers through the No Child Left Behind Program.
Network of African American Social and Mental Health Professionals
ISAAC will provide lists of African American mental health professionals in communities across the nation and make those lists available through its website to African American parents. Often school districts recommend that African American children be tested for special education placements, provided with drug therapy, retained in grade and/or placed in lower ability tracks. The decisions that are called for as a result of those recommendations can be the cause of intense stress and anxiety. Most parents do not know of the availability of African American mental and social health professionals in different specializations who can provide them with culturally appropriate advising and evaluations. The network and counseling by Education Advocates described in Clinical Services below are designed to fulfill that need.
Electronic Grapevine – Sharing Our Stories
Sharing Our Stories. This will be an entity wherein African American parents in a given community can share war stories about experiences they have had in schools. Parents often want recommendations of schools from experts. However, it is difficult to evaluate the quality of schools unless one has actually attended for a period of time. What better source of data are the testimonies of parents who have negotiated those schools? Through online chats, parents will be able to read testimonies and judge for themselves whether reports from different parents have validity.
Achievement Gap Suburban/Private School Consultations
The challenges faced by African American students in affluent suburban and private school settings have been well documented (Hale, 2001; Ogbu, 2003). ISAAC will offer consultation to those schools to analyze the environment; identify practices and strategies that can enhance school efficacy for African American students; and offer in-service training to faculty and staff.
Cultural Enrichment Clearinghouse
Numerous organizations across the country have volunteers who put together tutoring, mentorship, teen pregnancy prevention, academic competitions and other such African American child enrichment programs with little knowledge of what is being done along the same lines in other communities. This results in gross duplication of effort in the design and implementation of such programs. There is very little sharing and exchange of information. This results in huge amounts of charitable effort and dollars being expended with very little focus and coordination of effort.
ISAAC will offer a Clearinghouse which religious, fraternal and civic organizations can access for assistance in the design and evaluation of child/youth enrichment programs. A data base will be created providing names and contact information of groups who sponsor programs designed to enhance the fortunes of African American children. ISAAC will stimulate networking so that organizations can share program designs, start-up kits and evaluation prototypes to reduce duplication of effort by volunteers. ISAAC will also create a data base of educational programs and approaches that actually work – model schools.