The Pedagogy, Power, and Politics of Excellence in Latina/o Schools and Communities
Excellence is all around us. If we were to take a historical journey through our communities, institutions, and country, there would be evidence of struggle, strife, and the not- so-glamorous, and even oppressive, moments in our history. Some of these moments linger today and may even be worsening. However, there are also the incredible moments, actions, events, and triumphs that characterize our immediate, regional, national, and global contexts. Some are better than others at highlighting these moments and some have more power than others in deciding which moments get recognition. And while there will always be controversy in terms of what is deemed worthy of recognition, the inevitable reality is that excellence exists all around us. The Latina/o community in the U.S. shares in this reality. The presence and contributions of Latinas/os in the U.S. goes back centuries, even before the U.S. was the U.S. However, the purpose of my writing this book is neither to attempt to present this history nor to pretend to be an expert in these spe- cific historical matters. I will defer to my colleagues and scholars who are the experts in such fields of study. But, I will state that the Latina/o community in the U.S. comprises a diverse set of differences by history, language, colo- nization/conquest, phenotype, culture and cultural practices, generation, so- cial class, immigration status, voting patterns, educational attainment levels, viii intentional excellence family practices, religion, and acculturation and assimilation patterns. Again, I will not attempt to provide a comprehensive list...
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