BiographyRich Milner is a researcher, scholar and leader of urban education and teacher education. Centering on equity and diversity, he has spent hundreds of hours observing teachers’ practices and interviewing educators and students in urban schools about micro-level policies that shape students’ opportunities to learn. He examines the social context of classrooms and schools and looks at how the ways in which teachers talk (particularly about race) influences student learning, identity and development. His research in urban schools and his book, “’These Kids are out of Control:’ Why We Must Reimagine Classroom Management,” (Corwin Press, 2018) has influenced designs and practices of teacher education courses and programs.
Schools should move away from assigning letter and numeric grades during the pandemic and beyond. It’s time to eliminate both the way we grade and the grades we have assigned in the past. No student should be told that he, she or they are failing — particularly during or after the pandemic.
June 17th, 2021
“Critical race theory is a theoretical framework that emerged from critical legal studies to analyze the ways in which race and racism intersects with laws,” says Rich Milner, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt Peabody College.
May 26th, 2021
Richard Milner, professor of education at Vanderbilt University says these figures do not surprise him. “In fact, I suspect those numbers will probably increase over time,” he says. “Many teachers are barely keeping their heads above water and we don’t know how much longer we’re going to be in this space.”
December 14th, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement strengthened dramatically this year, as millions of Americans took to the streets to protest police violence. Schools have an opportunity to use this momentum and movement to reimagine their curriculum and teaching. Rather than returning to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic—to stale, dated, predetermined, irrelevant, under-responsive, disconnected, and “racially neutral” curriculum and instructional practices that maintain a white-centric status quo—teachers have a renewed chance instead to address opportunity gaps in education.
October 22nd, 2020
Far too many believe that students in mostly white schools do not have to focus on racial justice. This notion is especially present in schools where there are very few students and teachers of color.
September 10th, 2020
"It's difficult for sure in this particular context if the assignment is appropriate, but based on what I see, those are the kinds of questions we need to engage with our young people," said Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Education Richard Milner.
November 19th, 2019
In the landmark 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. However, many schools remained largely segregated even after the ruling. When some schools eventually became racially desegregated, systems of inequity proliferated, ensuring that students from different races would still remain separate in schools and that black students in particular would be negatively affected.
November 13th, 2019
OPINION: Parents, here’s why your most important partner may be your child’s teacher (and vice versa)As teachers return to the start of school following summer break, I hope they will take some time to reflect on ways to effectively communicate and partner with the families of the students they teach. Particularly for educators in early and elementary education, they have a chance to set the course for how families imagine school and family connections. As a parent of young children, I know for sure that I am doing the very best I can to support them for school success. But, even as a university professor of education, I still experience a deep level of anxiety and vulnerability about how best to partner with teachers to support my children.
August 29th, 2019
When Shawn Joseph came to Nashville with an equity agenda, he was hailed. When he actually implemented that agenda, he was vilified.
May 6th, 2019
And black students are more likely to be placed in gifted education programs if they have a black teacher, and less likely to receive suspensions, expulsions, or detentions from black teachers. Research has found that black teachers have higher expectations for black students. “I think in general, black students benefit from working with teachers who deeply understand and are invested in their educational progress and success,” said Rich Milner, a professor of education at Vanderbilt University. “With the decline of teachers post Brown, we see that these students are often underserved and are not supported in ways that would be advantageous to their academic and social success.”
May 14th, 2019
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University
Master of Arts, South Carolina State University
Bachelor of Arts, South Carolina State University
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