A Better Education Plan

BerNadette Best-Green

BernNadette Best-Green

Ph.D. Candidate, Education

Impact: Improving educational outcomes for culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse learners

Follow the results of Best-Green’s research study, “Thriving While Black,” on Facebook.

View the UC Davis Principles of Community.

BernNadette Best-Green learned about the value of education from her mother, Daisy (Middleton) Best.

Born in a generation of African American women who deferred many dreams in service to their families, Best-Green’s mother had the academic achievements but not the financial means to attend college. Despite hardships, she raised three daughters and a son, encouraging them to earn college and graduate degrees, which they did — an MBA, M.Ed. and J.D. among them.

“We were able to return the favor and celebrate our mother when she earned an A.A. degree in finance just shy of her 71st birthday,” said Best-Green. “She’s always been my biggest cheerleader, and I will always be her biggest fan!”

Her mother continues to cheer her on as she pursues her Ph.D. at the UC Davis School of Education. Previously a K-8 educator, Best-Green’s observations of widening disparities in student achievement propelled her to seek changes in the classroom and scholarship in the field of teacher education.

“All students deserve equitable access to educational opportunities,” she said.

Through a multiyear fellowship, Best-Green is supervising UC Davis teacher credential students placed in Northern California elementary schools. She hopes to support their development into teachers who are well prepared to effectively educate all students.

Best-Green is also the principal investigator of “Thriving While Black,” a research study aimed at understanding K-12 factors that impact the college-going aspirations of African American/black students. Collaborating with university-based academic departments in California, she interviewed 50 undergraduates and graduates for the study. She was selected to present her findings at two national education research conferences in 2015 and plans to submit them to peer-reviewed journals for publication.

“I draw inspiration from our Principles of Community and its expressed commitment of diversity among students, faculty and staff. It makes me proud to be an Aggie.”