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Educating All God's Children: What Christians Can--and Should--Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids Paperback – April 1, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

There are sixteen million children growing up in poverty in America. They have the same God-given potential as children in wealthier communities, but on average they achieve at significantly lower levels. Education expert Nicole Baker Fulgham explores what Christians can--and should--do to champion urgently needed reform and improve our public schools.

"A compelling call to a new generation of Christians to fight poverty and injustice through committing themselves to education. Nicole Baker Fulgham is a leader who gives me hope for the future of the church and for educational equality in America. Her passion and dedication to her faith and to tackling one of the greatest challenges of our time is clear on every page. Anyone looking for a practical and faithful means of changing the world should read this book at once."
--Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners; author of The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided

"A powerful, engaging book about one of the most urgent challenges facing our nation today. Combining moving stories with solid data, Educating All God's Children is a ringing challenge to provide quality education for all our children. Excellent."
--Ronald J. Sider, president emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action

"Educating All God's Children stands as a justice manifesto on behalf of millions who stand crippled by the epidemic of educational disparity. This book serves as a clarion call for the church of Jesus Christ to rise with a prophetic and moral imperative to reform our public schools."
--Samuel Rodriguez, president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Hispanic Evangelical Association

"Nicole Baker Fulgham weaves personal experience, national statistics, educational theory, biblical teaching, and practical examples into a compelling call to transform public schools from worst to first. Everyone who cares about America's children must read this book."
--Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals

About the Author

Nicole Baker Fulgham (PhD, UCLA) is president and founder of The Expectations Project, a national organization that mobilizes people of faith to support public education reform and close the academic achievement gap. She is the former vice president of faith community relations at Teach For America and has appeared on CNN and ABC News. Baker Fulgham was named to the list of "50 Women to Watch: Those Most Shaping the Church and Culture" by Christianity Today and one of "14 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2014" by the Center for American Progress. She lives in the Washington, DC area.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press; 3.2.2013 edition (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587433273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587433276
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Trent M. Nicholson on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute ([...]

The book Educating All God's Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham is a well-researched, well-organized book that will prove useful to both educators and the church in examining what they can do to empower students to do better in their classes and to be more confident about their own abilities. Fulgham graduated from the University of Michigan and later joined Teach For America where she taught fifth grade in Compton, California. She received her doctorate in education from UCLA with a focus on urban education policy and teacher preparation. Her varied experiences and education are what add to the quality and academic clarity of her book.

Having been in education (both public and private: both secular and Christian) for nearly 20 years now, I have to admit a certain amount of trepidation in approaching this book. Over the years, my professional learning community has been regaled with books on how to fix the ills that plague our education system. In Southern California particularly, I have been approached by professionals representing virtually every minority and special-interest group telling me how their approach will "level the playing field." Most of these solutions are self-serving and at best put a bandage on the problem offering many complaints and few genuine solutions.

Fulgham's book, while suffering from some of the same problems, is probably the most useful that I have read for several reasons. First, she takes the time to break down each of the issues into manageable sub-sections. These allow her to be specific about the larger problems that she is talking about. This has the benefit of addressing specific concerns that her audience might have.
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This is an excellent book on the injustice of the opportunity gap that exists between kids in low income families and others. It's a challenging thought to consider if our school system is separate but not equal. Are we really giving every student the same chance to succeed? Are we doing all we can and should do? Does the church have an obligation to stand up for this injustice like we do for other things like unsafe drinking water in Africa or human trafficking in Asia and Latin America?

The author Nicole Baker Fulgham is an amazing woman and she tells personal stories of her time teaching in the inner-city of LA. Nicole shares why she believes Churches & Christians should partner with public schools to help bridge this gap. Maybe you've never considered the injustice that exists today in our education system or maybe you are well aware and are considering how you or your church can collaborate with schools and other non-profits to make a difference, then this is a great book for you. In fact, it may be the only book of its kind in that regard. I would also recommend connecting with Nicole's organization "The Expectations Project" which I have found to be a great resource to knowing how to get started in church-school partnerships.
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States spend an average of over $10k per pupil on public education, and D.C., where the author lives and which she refers to in the book, spends almost twice that much. Why are some of the schools inadequate and others stellar? Again and again she emphasizes how much difference a good teacher can make, even in a bad school, yet she downplays the stranglehold teachers' unions have on the schools. Bad teachers who are paid good salaries make the same money as good teachers. In another place in the book, she states that every child has the potential to be a neurosurgeon. Every child has potential, but I don't know where she got that idea. She does have some good points, though. If Christian volunteers could get into the public schools and work individually or in small groups with kids who have inadequate support at home and/or overworked or unqualified teachers, it would make a difference. Like the little boy who threw one starfish into the sea, we can't save them all, but if each person saved one, that would be a great thing.
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An enjoyable read. This book is so clearly written and easy to follow, even when she is describing the intricacies of the education process, public education funding or how education policy is set. I felt even as an education novice that I could easily follow the train of thought and the points she was making. Her work has a very intellectual bend with a thread of humility and practical real world experiences throughout....very effective!
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Good overview of the major issues related to inequality in public education. Fulgham nicely outlines the significant factors as well as related historical issues contributing the current state of the public education system. She clearly outlines the spiritual imperative to respond to this issue as Christians. In addition, she provides a wealth of resources and strategies that can be used to intervene on many levels. Lastly, the personal disclosures Fulgham made from her own life provide a engaging dimension that communicated her passion for making sure the most vulnerable children receive an adequate public school education.
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