Publication Date: October 16, 2003
Series: Multicultural Education Series
What will it take for urban schools to achieve the kind of academic performance required by new state and national educational standards? How can classroom teachers in city schools help to close the achievement gap? What can restore public confidence in public schools?
Pedro Noguera argues that higher standards and more tests, by themselves, will not make low-income urban students any smarter and the schools they attend more successful without substantial investment in the communities in which they live. Drawing on extensive research performed in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond, Noguera demonstrates how school and student achievement is influenced by social forces such as demographic change, poverty, drug trafficking, violence, and social inequity. Readers get a detailed glimpse into the lives of teachers and students working “against the odds” to succeed. Noguera sends a strong message to those who would have urban schools “shape up or shut down”: invest in the future of these students and schools, and we can reach the kind of achievement and success that typify only more privileged communities.
Public schools are the last best hope for many poor families living in cities across the nation. Noguera gives politicians, policymakers, and the public its own standard to achieve—provide the basic economic and social support so that teachers and students can get the job done!
Pedro Noguera is the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“This book will prove useful to anyone interested in and perplexed by how to reform urban public schools in this country.”
—Harvard Educational Review
“This well-researched and well-written book should be on every American educator’s reading list.”
—Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“A gem of a book.”
—Journal of Educational Change
“In this engaging book, Pedro Noguera provides a compelling vision of the problems plaguing urban schools and how to address them. City Schools and the American Dream is replete with insights from a scholar and former activist who makes great use of both personal and professional experiences.”
—William Julius Wilson, Harvard University
"With pragmatism untarnished by cynicism, an uncompromising willingness to challenge long-held educational assumptions, deep compassion for poor communities, and a full understanding of the workings of urban schools, Pedro Noguera gives us what we desperately need — a clearly written, keenly insightful treatise on what's needed if we really want to educate ALL children in America."
— Lisa Delpit, Executive Director, Center for Urban Education & Innovation, Florida International University
2010 Wheaton College's Otis Social Justice Award