Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools
7 Pan-ethnic Studies
Many connections have been made in educational research between academic failure, educational inequality, and race in American schools. These investigations have looked at schooling inequalities (Anyon, 1997; Darling-Hammond, 1998; Kozol, 1991; Noguera, 2003), tracking and teacher preparation (Oakes, 1985; Oakes & Lipton, 2001), and critical literacy (Delpit, 1995; Freire & Macedo, 1987; Lee, 2004), among other issues. The research has been crucial in linking these issues to deeper structural problems such as under-qualified teachers (Akom, 2003; Delpit, 1995; Oakes & Lipton, 2001), teacher shortages (Darling-Hammond, 1998; Kozol, 1991; Oakes & Lipton, 2001), and funding inequalities (Anyon, 1997; Kozol, 1991; Meier, 1995).
These studies have laid important groundwork for the documentation of urban educational inequality and U.S. educational disinvestment in places where people of color reside. However, given intolerably low academic achievement in urban schools that serve predominantly students of color (Council of the Great City Schools, 2007), there is a growing need to highlight, examine, and understand the practices and strategies that actually work in these schools, specifically those that are simultaneously focused on educational and racial justice. We call these “counter-narratives” because they are stories that challenge narratives that normalize failure in urban schools and pay special attention to the conditions of inequity.
Research that exposes the level of inequity (educational, social, political, and economic) in this country and throughout the world should be ramped up. The selfish exploitation and hoarding of resources cannot be tolerated in any...
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