Goal 1: To improve student achievement As educators, what can we do help students who self-identify as being of African descent achieve academic excellence? According to the BLAC Report on Education (1993), African Nova Scotian children must be given the opportunity to experience an appropriate cultural education which gives them an intimate knowledge of, and which honours and respects, the history and culture of Black people. As the National Alliance of Black School Educators aptly observed, “academic excellence cannot be reached without cultural excellence.” This September, students at Auburn Drive High School (ADHS) who self-identify as being of African descent will have the opportunity to enroll in an Africentric Math Cohort. The academic Mathematics 10 course is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, and it’s designed to reflect, honour and respect the cultural characteristics, lived experiences and learning styles of each student in the class. Teachers will use Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) applied in an African Nova Scotian context to teach and assess students equitably and with rigour. Currently, students who self-identify as being of African descent are underrepresented in academic math courses at ADHS. Analysis of Grade 10 enrollment over the past four years shows that students who identify as being of African descent have been more likely to enroll in math courses such as Math Essentials and Math at Work, and those who enrolled in Math 10 had a lower rate of meeting with success. That’s why Karen Hudson, Principal of ADHS, decided that it was time to try something new. In this video, Principal Hudson explains how the Africentric approach to academic math will address the achievement gap – and the opportunity gap faced by students who identify as being of African descent. 3