City Schools and the American Dream: Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education
Pedro Noguera Multicultural Education Pub Date: September 2003, 208 pages
Paperback: $26.95, ISBN: 080774381X
• Wheaton College's Otis Social Justice Award, 2010
• AESA Critics' Choice Award, 2005
• ForeWord Magazine Gold Book of the Year Award in Education, 2004
"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
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 achieveprovide the basic economic and social support so that teachers and students can get the job done!