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Literacy as a Civil Right

Reclaiming Social Justice in Literacy Teaching and Learning


Stuart Greene

The urgency to create equity in schools has never been greater, especially since legislators are considering the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind as a means to eliminating the achievement gap. Studies continue to show that increased standards, testing, and accountability have simply maintained the status quo. In response, this book proposes alternative ways of addressing these educational inequities, taking an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complex historical, social, and global issues that stand in the way of ensuring that all students have access to literacy – issues that policy makers and educators can no longer ignore. Literacy as a Civil Right assembles an impressive group of essays that broaden the conversation taking place about school reform, unmasking an ideology that maintains unequal relations of power in school and society. The ideas presented here will help readers re-imagine success in schools by understanding the possibilities that grow from a democratic vision of education. Together, this book provides an alternative framework to increased testing, offering a more humane vision of education that values agency, rigor, civic responsibility, and democracy.
Contents: Stuart Greene: Introduction: Teaching for Social Justice – Gloria Ladson-Billings: Still_Black A Story of Black Life in the Academy – Pauline Lipman: Education Policy, Race, and Neoliberal Urbanism – Amanda E. Lewis: «Even Sweet, Gentle Larry?» The Continuing Significance of Race in Education – Bob Fecho/Sarah Skinner: For What it’s Worth: Civil Rights and the Price of Literacy – Jennifer Seibel Trainor: The Wages of Whiteness? Rethinking Economic Metaphors for Whiteness: Literacy and Life Goals in an All-White Suburban High School – Adrienne Dixson: «Taming the Beast»: Race, Discourse, and Identity in a Middle School Classroom – Carol D. Lee: Revisiting Playing in the Dark: The Hidden Games of Racialization in Literacy Studies and School Reform – Kris Gutierrez: Language and Literacies as Civil Rights.