There Are No Deficits Here

Disrupt the deficit beliefs that steal belonging, purpose, pride, and joy from Black students

School reform efforts have long dominated the educational landscape, but the fixes that characterize many school improvement initiatives swing on the hinges of deficit beliefs about Black students. This book calls for a disruption in these models and urges educators to take seriously the significance of beliefs and cultures within schools.

Focused on racial equity from an ecological perspective and designed to propel readers to examine individual and systemic beliefs operating in their ecosystems, this book provides

  • Details on emancipatory educational ecosystems governed by beliefs that affirm Black children and immerse them in learning where their identities matter
  • A set of beliefs that work together to create collective mindsets needed to power change
  • A counternarrative of how interrelationships and interdependence govern healthy systems by challenging the meritocracy, competition, and individualism.

Grounded in extensive research and personal experience showcasing large-scale change efforts in major urban areas, Wells’ approach toward emancipatory educational ecosystems enables affirming beliefs to guide the work.