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Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools [Paperback]

by Glenn E. Singleton, Curtis W. (Wallace) Linton
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 18, 2005 0761988777 978-0761988779 1

Deepen your understanding of racial factors in academic performance and discover new strategies for closing the achievement gap!

Examining the achievement gap through the prism of race, the authors explain the need for candid, courageous conversations about race in order to understand why performance inequity persists. Through these "courageous conversations," educators will learn how to create a learning community that promotes true academic parity. Practical features of this book include:

  • Implementation exercises
  • Prompts, language, and tools that support profound discussion
  • Activities and checklists for administrators
  • Action steps for creating an equity team

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Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools + Facilitator's Guide to Courageous Conversations About Race + More Courageous Conversations About Race
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Editorial Reviews


"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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin; 1 edition (November 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761988777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761988779
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a courageous book! March 22, 2006
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One sided 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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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars don't purchase the kindle version 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very though provoking February 7, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book for a class. I found it to be quick read and thought the information was organized pretty well, although a bit repetitive at times. I thought the authors did a good job at presenting potentially uncomfortable/contentious topic and provided good conversation starters. My biggest issue with the book, is that the authors seemed to not fully acknowledge or recognize the tremendous burdens our society places on teachers (full disclosure I'm the child of a public school teacher).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Weather Underground agenda April 16, 2014
Is Weather Underground agenda now part of USD 497 curriculum?

By Kevin Groenhagen

"We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution." - Bill Ayers, Weather Underground leader, in a 2006 speech at the World Economic Forum in Caracas, Venezuela

"John Dewey suggested that schools must be the engine of social transformation." - Glenn E. Singleton and Curtis Linton, Courageous Conversations About Race (2006)

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." - Vladimir Lenin

In their 1974 political manifesto, Prairie Fire, leaders of the Weather Underground, a communist terrorist organization, wrote, "We believe that radical teachers should work in schools in working class neighborhoods, in community or junior colleges. Radicalize other teachers, organize the parents, teach and encourage your students."

Bill Ayers was among those signing for the Weather Underground at the end of the introduction of Prairie Fire. His opinion about radicalizing teachers was unchanged four decades after the publication of Prairie Fire. "Revolutionaries want to change the world, of course, and teachers, it turns out, want to change the world too—typically one child at a time," he wrote in Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident (2013). "It wasn’t as much of a reach as you might imagine."

While the McCain-Palin campaign briefly (and ineptly) focused on Ayers’ days as a domestic terrorist, it failed to discuss Ayers’ work in education during the past several decades. Ayers earned an Ed.D. from Columbia University’s Teachers College, which was founded by Dr. John Dewey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars A Racist Marxist Manual for Dumbed Down People of Color
Glenn Singleton is a Marxist, anti-white racist who founded a racist organization in San Francisco called Pacific Educational Group. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mike Hammer
1.0 out of 5 stars Author has a Victim mentality!
This book should not be used for a graduate course. It is not backed by substancial research. I read it because it was required. The author is a racist!
Published 8 months ago by Brenda Ludwick
1.0 out of 5 stars Not always true
This book makes points that may have been true in schools before the 70's & 80's but in MOST cases it just isn't as bad as it was. It is getting better. Read more
Published 10 months ago by teachjacjac
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Though I had to read this book for a class, I plan to read it again. It sheds some much needed light on our society and it's culture. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kimberly A. Ehnes
1.0 out of 5 stars Well intentioned book that is poorly written and repedative.
This book attempts to tackel the real problem of an achievement gap, but it does so in an entirely race focused manner. It cites several unscientific studies. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Teacher
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Courageous Conversations is kind of a model on how to deal with issues of diversity amongst a school staff. Read more
Published on June 25, 2011 by Hawkeyeguy
5.0 out of 5 stars always great
I have always had a great experience ordering books from Amazon and this seller was no exception. IT came really quickly in the mail after ordering, was in great condition, and was... Read more
Published on October 1, 2010 by Hayley A
4.0 out of 5 stars Courageous Convesations
The book came in perfect condition, very quickly. I needed it for a book club for the school where I teach and I was able to get it early enough so that I had plenty of time to... Read more
Published on March 7, 2010 by C. Mello
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