Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Strategies for Educating Latino, Black, and Asian Students
Edited by Susan J. Paik & Herbert J. Walberg
The fastest growing populations in U.S. schools are minority children and youth from Latino, Black, and Asian-American communities. Multiple economic, family, and social risk factors pose challenges to these students. Not surprisingly, evidence continues to show that these children face an ever-widening achievement gap throughout their school years. Consequently, school psychologists, educators, and other allied professionals must become better informed to improve the academic and life prospects of these children. To help these children succeed in school, Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Strategies for Educating Latino, Black, and Asian Students will serve as a valuable professional tool. Download a flyer for the book, featuring a discounted price.
Developing Minority Language Resources: The Case of Spanish in California
Guadalupe Valdes, Joshua A. Fishman, Rebecca Chavez, and William Perez
This book documents ongoing language shift to English among Latino professionals in California. It then describes current instructional practices used in the teaching of Spanish as an academic subject at the high school and university levels to “heritage” language students who, although educated entirely in English, acquired Spanish at home as a first language. It specifically examines the potential contribution of these instructional practices to the maintenance of Spanish. Download a flyer for the book.
Up Where We Belong: Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in Life
Gail L. Thompson
What will it take to get all students – even the most disenfranchised – engaged in school and motivated to learn and achieve? To find out, Gail Thompson decided to ask the students themselves. Relying on data from questionnaires and focus groups, Up Where We Belong uncovers what students like and dislike about their teachers, peers, and the larger environment of school. Thompson also weaves in her own experiences as an education researcher and as an African American teacher, parent, and student. Most important, she offers lessons for improving schools – especially for underachieving kids and students of color. Download a flyer for the book.
Daryl Smith's and Jose Moreno's "Hiring the Next Generation of Professors: Will Myths Remain Excuses?"
Ten years ago, one of us, Daryl Smith, described in The Chronicle the myths that were impeding colleges' efforts to diversify their faculties — especially to recruit African-American, Latino, and American Indian faculty members. As she explained in that article, hard data from a national study simply did not support common assumptions about bidding wars, the appeal of often higher-paying jobs in industry, and the dearth of academic opportunities for all faculty members. Consciously or unconsciously, such myths served to stifle dialogue and action on campuses by attributing the lack of progress to external forces beyond institutional control or influence. Click here for the rest of the article.
"Unknown" Students on College Campuses: An Exploratory Analysis
This exploratory study, resulting from research undertaken through Irvine's Campus Diversity Initiative (CDI), looks at the increasing number of students falling into the "race/ethnicity unknown" category of postsecondary demographic data. The study findings suggest that a sizeable portion of students in this category are white, in addition to multiracial students who may have selected white as one of their categories. These findings might alert campus leaders of the need to attend to this growing segment of the student population, and to how the United States is diversifying in more complex ways than ever before. The brief concludes with recommendations for future research and for both campus and federal data collection and use.
Charles Kerchner's "School Reform" ( Adobe PDF )
The conventional wisdom about big public bureaucracies is that nothing changes very much very fast. Bloated bureaucracy, greedy unions, and feuding interest groups assure absolute gridlock or so the stereotype holds. However, reality is a little more complicated, and so is studying efforts to overhaul the nation's second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified.
Bruce Matsui's Ysleta Story ( Adobe PDF )
The prospect of reforming educational systems, especially in regions as diverse as California, Hawaii and Texas is indeed daunting. Solutions are few and far between, and public opinion is easily swayed by pundits wary of the motives behind the monies. Too often, good money is thrown after bad, lacking focus. Using the methodological framework of tipping points, reformers confronting the intricacies associated with change can better pinpoint how resources might be better used to meet the needs of all students.
Bruce Matsui's "Making Sense of Numbers ?Leveraging Data From Standardized Tests to Improve Student Performance" ( Adobe PDF )
Several states now embark on a new approach to focusing the attention of schools on student performance that links "high stakes incentives and sanctions" to standardized tests. Since 1999, California's public schools have been ranked using a fairly complex formula called the Academic performance Index (API). Monetary incentives and a host of consequences have been employed to focus the performance of schools on state standards.
Daryl Smith's "The Campus Diversity Initiative: Current Status, Anticipating the Future?" ( Adobe PDF )
California today is the setting of dramatic demographic change. Yet higher education in the state has not reflected that diversity. Stark socioeconomic and racial gaps exist in college enrollment and achievement. At the same time, a college degree has never been more critical to career success and to promoting a democratic society. California needs to ensure that the students, faculty and curricula at its college campuses reflect the state's diversity, and that all college students are prepared for participation and leadership in a diverse society.
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