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Barbara A. Sizemore

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Information about Barbara A. Sizemore

Profile image of Barbara A. Sizemore

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
School Superintendent
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/17/1927
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
School Superintendent
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/17/1927
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Barbara A. Sizemore is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dedicated educator and educational theorist Barbara Sizemore applies the expertise she acquired at premiere institutions to work on behalf of disadvantaged students. Sizemore was born on December 17, 1927, in Chicago. Upon completing a B.A. in classical languages at Northwestern University, she began teaching in the Chicago public school system. Sizemore returned to Northwestern and received an M.A. in elementary education in 1954. Twenty-five years later, she graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in educational administration.

In 1963, Sizemore was among the first African American women to serve as principal of a Chicago school. Six years after switching from elementary to high school administration, she was the first African American woman elected superintendent of a major city's school system in 1972. For two years Sizemore served as the top official of the District of Columbia's public schools. She then accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh, which she retained until 1992. At Pitt, Sizemore studied schools located in low-income, high-crime areas whose students were predominately African American. She incorporated her findings into an innovative educational strategy called School Achievement Structure (SAS), which she championed as dean of DePaul University's School of Education from 1992 to 1998. Schools that followed her routines had tremendous success raising their students' test scores, increasing these individuals' chances for success in system that often works against them.

A former member of the board of directors of The Journal of Negro Education, Sizemore continues to participate in the dialogue of how to empower students as a prolific writer and member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She has received numerous awards and honors recognizing her contribution to educational theory. Sizemore's children, Kymara Chase and Furman G. Sizemore, are also professors.

See how Barbara A. Sizemore is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Sizemore's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Sizemore talks about the curious circumstances around her father's death
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her maternal grandparents, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her maternal grandparents, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Sizemore lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her childhood in the Laffoon household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Sizemore talks about the special attention she received from her grade school teachers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Sizemore recalls intense racial discrimination in Evanston, Illinois schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Sizemore describes her experiences obtaining a scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Sizemore talks about the racist environment she experienced at Northwestern University as an undergraduate student
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Sizemore talks about how Ella Mae Cunningham taught her how to teach at John D. Shoop Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Sizemore describes learning to teach reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Sizemore describes how she met her husband, Furman Sizemore
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Sizemore describes being falsely accused by her school principal for teaching communism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Sizemore talks about the debasement of black people in the United States
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Sizemore describes how Thelma E. Gray taught her about being a principal at Gillespie Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Sizemore describes working with low-performing students and becoming a school principal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Sizemore talks about working on the first non-graded elementary school system in Chicago with assistant principal Clara Holton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Sizemore describes key lessons she learned from Anderson Thompson at Forrestville High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Sizemore talks about how Anderson Thompson rid Forrestville High School of gangs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Sizemore recalls her political struggles and her dreams for King High School, pt.1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Sizemore recalls her political struggles and her dreams for King High School, pt.2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Sizemore describes tensions with Anna Kolheim and James Moffat
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her resignation from Chicago Public Schools in 1972
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Sizemore describes her experience as the Superintendent of D.C. Public Schools, pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Sizemore describes her experience as the Superintendent of D.C. Public Schools, pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Sizemore explains why she transitioned into the university setting
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Sizemore talks about the unchanging state of black education in the United States
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Sizemore talks about white supremacy in the United States
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her daughter and her son
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her work as the Dean of the School of Education at DePaul University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barbara Sizemore talks about Mayor M. Daley's control over Chicago
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Sizemore talks about how she will be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Sizemore talks about her book "Walking in Circles"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Sizemore reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Sizemore talks about running for city council in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Sizemore talks about feeling betrayed when she was fired in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Sizemore reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barbara Sizemore narrates her photographs