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The Plight of Invisibility

A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os


Donna Marie Harris and Judy Marquez Kiyama

The Plight of Invisibility offers unique contributions that inform the use of a community-based research approach that examines educational issues identified by urban, Latina/o communities. It offers a new lens from which to understand the circumstances of Latina/o students in schools as they navigate in social systems that are in opposition to them, thus rendering Latina/o students and their families invisible. Despite these challenges, the book offers examples of community programs and resources that support and address the needs of Latina/o students as they build resiliency and determination to persist. Community organizations and advocates, educational researchers, practitioners, students, and policymakers will find The Plight of Invisibility useful to reframe deficit discourses about Latina/o students and their families. In addition, the book is appropriate for classes including methodology courses focused on community-based research, educational policy and/or college access courses, and Latina/o studies courses.
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11. Implications for Practice and Policy: High School Persistence and College Access

Building High School Persistence


11. Implications for Practice and Policy: High School Persistence and College Access


The trends, findings, and narratives of Latina/o students and families presented in this book represent issues the entire community, inclusive of schools, colleges, families, students, community organizations, and policy makers, must address. This book articulates a clear need to examine and shift many of the practices and policies at various levels of education, including K–12 and postsecondary, and different levels of government, including local, state, and federal.

Within this chapter we revisit many of the issues presented in this book, particularly those that have attempted to render Latina/o students and their families invisible. As our book attempts to make visible the voices, activism, and long-standing advocacy within the Latina/o community, we also focus here on some of the policies and practices that must shift in response to the community’s pleas. We cannot continue to hear stories of Latina/o students being presented with more opportunities on the street than in their schools, nor can we continue to hear stories of the multiple ways in which Latina/o students are pushed out of educational systems. The objectives of this book include not only documenting the trends and factors influencing Latina/o student dropout and transition, but also informing our audience and moving readers to action. The findings offered in this book parallel much of what many urban districts face nationwide. However, there are key points that...

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