The Pedagogy, Power, and Politics of Excellence in Latina/o Schools and Communities
The impetus for this book was truly inspired by my work in schools and com- munities across the U.S. I have been privileged to live in and work with three similar, and at the same time distinct, school systems and communities in the Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest. In every region, I have been able to learn from and observe the conditions facing Latina/o students and commu- nities. Aside from this work, I have also encountered educators, leaders, and policymakers from every other corner of the country who serve our communi- ties, and who are committed to improving the conditions facing our commu- nities. However, it wasn’t until I began my work in Southern California that I started to see the politics and significance of excellence emerge. I am grateful to the students, educators, parents, and educational leaders who have afforded me access to the realities facing our students and communities, and I applaud their commitment to service as a “model of excellence” in and of itself. I am also grateful to the growing number of mentors and scholars who are continuing to push an additive agenda to shape and reshape, invent and rein- vent, and create and recreate the conditions in our schools and communities so our children, families, and educators that serve them operate in conditions characterized by dignity, respect, equity, hope, and possibility. Such mentors and scholars include Angela Valenzuela, Pedro Noguera, Gil Conchas, Gary xiv intentional excellence Orfield, Daniel Solorzano, Rebeca Burciaga, Maria Ledesma, Tara Brown, Dorinda...
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