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Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools 1st Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0761988779
ISBN-10: 0761988777
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The beauty of this volume is that it is designed to help lay people―teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders, and even university professors―begin to engage in the emotionally and psychically difficult conversations about race. Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton have offered us an important book that provides us with empirical data and well-constructed exercises to help us think through the ways that race affects our lives and our professional practices. My sincere desire is that after you have had an opportunity to read this volume you will, indeed, engage in some courageous conversations about race." (Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2005-03-07)

"Challenges educators to talk in honest and open ways about race, and provides various tools to stimulate and inform the conversation. Singleton and Linton remind us that the achievement gap will not be eliminated until we learn to talk about race in ways that build bridges of understanding that lead to effective action." (Dennis Sparks, Executive Director 2005-08-09)

"Given the sensitive issues of race in our nation, schools and school leaders need tools that can illuminate the concerns, guide the discussions, and generate momentum for growth and change.  This book provides the tools and resources needed to move from open dialogue to meaningful action that can make excellence and equity in schools a reality." (Monte C. Moses, Superintendent 2005-08-12)

"Talking about race and its effect on academic achievement remains one of the most elusive conversations today. In their new book, Singleton and Linton help educators understand and engage in the discourse around race that affects the success of any curriculum, instructional methodology, or program implementation. The book's exercises and prompts assists school and district leadership teams in articulating those innate behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that impair our ability to be effective in closing the racial achievement gap. I am encouraged to know that educators will be empowered and supported as we develop our personal capacity to address one of the most crucial elements of our society: the education of our children." (Yvette M. Irving, Principal 2005-09-06)

"This is an important book that challenges one to think critically about the effects of race and student achievement. It is an invitation to sustain a strong desire for fairness and equity for all children." (SMSG Newsletter 2005-12-29)

"In an era when America seems content to sweep candid talk of race under the rug, Courageous Conversations About Race recognizes that denial isn’t a prescription for interracial tolerance and social progress. The authors provide thoughtful educators with innovative instructional tools to successfully navigate the most robustly diverse nation on earth." (Hugh B. Price, Former President and CEO 2006-01-05)

"Singleton and Linton challenge educators to move beyond recognizing the existence of a racial achievement gap and to develop strategies to eliminate it." (Curriculum Connections, Fall 2006)

About the Author

Glenn Eric Singleton hails from Baltimore, Maryland. A product of public elementary and independent secondary school, Singleton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Singleton began his career as an Ivy League admissions director. In 1992, he founded Pacific Educational Group, Inc. (PEG) to support families in their transitions within and between K–12 and higher education. His company rapidly grew into a vehicle for addressing systemic educational inequity by providing a framework, guidance, and support to K–12 systems and institutions of higher education focused on meeting the needs of under-served students of color. He is now its president and chief executive officer.

Singleton and his associates at PEG design and deliver individualized, comprehensive professional development for educators in the form of training, coaching, and consulting. Working at all levels, from beginning teachers to superintendents at local, state, and national levels, PEG helps educators focus on heightening their awareness of institutional racism and implementing effective strategies for eliminating racial achievement disparities in schools. In 1995, Singleton developed Beyond Diversity, a widely recognized seminar aimed at helping administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community stakeholders identify and examine the intersection of race and schooling. The Beyond Diversity seminar is the foundation for the PEG Systemic Racial Equity Framework and its theory of transformation, which focuses on leadership development, teacher action-research, and family/community empowerment. Today, participants around the world use Singleton’s Courageous Conversations Agreements, Conditions and Compass, introduced to them in Beyond Diversity, as they strive to usher in culturally proficient curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Over its 20-year history, PEG’s scope of work has expanded to include online professional learning, independent school partnerships, and international efforts in Canada and Australia that focus on educational equity for indigenous populations. PEG hosts an annual Summit for Courageous Conversation, in which scholars, educators, community members, and other stakeholders convene to identify strategies and best practices for creating high-level, equitable learning environments for all students.

Singleton currently resides in San Francisco, California. He is the founder of the Foundation for a College Education (FCE) and currently serves on the FCE Advisory Board.



Curtis Linton is a co-owner of The School Improvement Network where he is co-executive producer of The Video Journal of Education and TeachStream. He has spent the last 10 years documenting on video and in print the improvement efforts and best practices of the most suc­cessful schools and school systems across North America. Each year, he visits more than 100 classrooms and schools, capturing what they do to succeed with all students at the classroom, school, and system levels. Linton has written or produced dozens of award-winning video-based staff development programs. His areas of expertise include closing the achievement gap and improving minority student achievement, using data, leadership, effective staff development, brain research, differ­entiation, action research, and coaching. With the goal of delivering results-based professional development efficiently to large numbers of educators, he works with school systems to design comprehensive school improvement plans that integrate workshops, video, electronic media, and other resources. As a part of this, Linton conducts workshops on effective classroom practices. Linton also works extensively in the community, including serving on the Davis School District Equity Committee. Linton received his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin; 1 edition (November 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761988777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761988779
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Painter on February 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Other 1- and 2-star reviewers have smelled-the-coffee. I continue to be surprised by the number of university, professional development, and school improvement programs that require this text. It is poorly written and edited, repetitive, unscholarly, and (only barely) conceals its true purpose as a self-serving, perpetual marketing tool for a consulting business. Which explains this text's explicit aversion to 'actionable items' that would make a REAL difference in the lives and achievement of minority (and majority) individuals, today. I have seen school districts, with mostly anglo staff and administrators, get sucked into three-plus years of perpetual consultations and 'training' in "courageous conversations" without much to show for their efforts. The reason is too simple (and self-apparent) to be marketable - any approach based on white-guilt is coming from the SAME self-centered and self-absorbed place as the racist, prejudiced, discriminatory attitudes and behaviors that are causing the problems. Real change can only occur in the context of real (authentic), caring, empathetic relationships with whoever we consider 'the other' (them), in the pursuit of THEIR GOALS - not our own. Nuff said on that. On a positive note, I would (and have) reccomend this as an excellent text for diversity programs and grad/phd-level students in search of a 'bad example' for critical thinking and analysis.
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29 of 41 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on August 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I live in a rapidly gentrifying part of town as my neighbors of color become fewer and fewer and more people like me move into it. What was once a predominantly African-American, working-class neighborhood is transforming into an upper-middle class and increasingly white neighborhood. Sadly, the neighborhood schools remain largely segregated, my new neighbors sending their children to other schools in the city or to private schools, my African-American neighbors sending their children to the schools close by. I find this disturbing. What I also find disturbing is the "achievement gap" between childern of color and White kids. Previously I had attributed this "achievement gap" to socio-economic differences and a lack of parental involvement in schools. I was wrong to think this, as Singleton and Linton address pointedly in their book. What causes this gulf - and more importantly, how it can be eliminated - has been a hot-button issue nationally with the passage of "No Child Left Behind" and locally as school districts seek to address this problem. Singleton and Linton suggest that the most effective place to begin is with a hard, cold look at the issue of race in American schools specifically and American society at large. A caveat - any meaningful discussion of race is going to be uncomfortable and disturbing for all parties, regardless of race. Singelton and Linton provide the context in which to have these disucssions, with the intent that participants (regardless of race) come to an understanding if not necessicarily consensus on the impact of racial relations in education.

The issue, they contend, is that our public school system has been created by and for Whites.
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32 of 46 people found the following review helpful By kim pietrzykowski on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is truly a courageous book! Richard Hernstein first broke Political Correctness's stranglehold on the discussion of race and educational achievement with his book The Bell Curve, and though that groundbreaking book was meticulously researched, the author suffered a hail of mindless political-inspired assaults. Now, the authors of this book have built on Hernstein's work, calling for meaningful dialogue on what changes need to be made to the American educational establishment to provide meaningful results for non-whites.

If you care about the future of America, then read The Bell Curve and Courageous Conversations about Race!
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Format: Paperback
This is a very important contribution to literature that can disrupt inequalities both inside and outside of schools. It's true that these are challenging conversations to have, but this is acknowledged in the text. I whole-heartedly disagree with reviews that assert this is an unnecessary conversation in 2015. There are several items that offer practical guidance within the book, and a number of excellent conversation starters. It is a worthy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 5, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really great book, highly recommended for anyone teaching.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janet Jelkin on May 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked the content of this book. It was very insightful and thought provoking. What I didn't like was the kindle version was missing part of the book because there were no rights to an electronic version from one of the people quoted in the book. When you are missing content, it makes it difficult to read. Luckily it was towards the end and there were about 6 parts, but they seemed like they might have been important to get a point across.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Parker on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Singleton has managed to present an incendiary topic in such a way that is palatable and astounding. "Courageous Conversations" creates a great outlet for discussion, and provides great opportunities for educators to actually be the student. It was a pleasure to read.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Adelina on July 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this book was great to open up conversations with, but I found it was very much only black and white. Other nationalities were an afterthought.
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