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"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If all teachers adopted these ideas, the American educational system would be vastly improved for all students. Covering age groups from preschool to college, Delpit offers advice to new and veteran teachers, advice that applies not only to African American students but to all ethnic and minority groups. A much-needed review of the American educational system and an examination of the techniques needed to improve the teaching methods of all involved in that system.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this passionate book, Lisa Delpit argues thoughtfully and urgently for a new approach to the education of the children who are now left behind. We must heed her words of wisdom.”
—Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

“Once again Lisa Delpit dispels myths about the way in which African American children learn. She demonstrates how they can master complex concepts and succeed if racist systems get out of their way.”
—Herbert Kohl, 2010 Guggenheim Education Fellow, National Book Award winner, and author of 36 Children

“This book is an instant classic. By challenging us to reimagine the culture, politics, and practice of teaching our nation’s most vulnerable and marginalized students, Lisa Delpit raises the stakes of the current conversations on education yet again. Her scholarship is rigorous, her scope is wide-ranging, her writing is magical, and her hope is contagious.”
—Marc Lamont Hill, author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity

'Multiplication Is for White People' compels readers to think deeply about why we allow assessment to drive instruction, why we have silenced discussion about inequality in public policy, and why outcomes continue to be so stubbornly correlated with race. At a time when profound thinking about solving America's education dilemmas is in short supply, Delpit has come to the rescue with a book that forces us to do just that.”
—Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and author of The Trouble With Black Boys

About the Author

MacArthur "genius" award winner Lisa Delpit's article on "Other People's Children" for Harvard Magazine was the single most requested reprint in the magazine's history following its publication. Delpit expanded her ideas into a groundbreaking book with the same name, which won a Critics' Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Title award, and was voted one of Teacher Magazine's "great books." A recipient of the Harvard School of Education's award for an Outstanding Contribution to Education, she is dedicated to providing excellent education to communities both in the United States and abroad. She is a co-editor of The Real Ebonics Debate, Quality Education as a Constitutional Right, and The Skin That We Speak(The New Press). Currently the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University, she lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Product Details

  • File Size: 763 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; Reprint edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VFNWV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

MacArthur "genius" award winner Lisa Delpit's article on "Other People's Children" for Harvard Magazine in the 1990s was the single most requested reprint in the magazine's history; Harvard School of Education gave her its award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. She is now the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she lives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About a quarter ways in, Lisa Delpit pretty much nails the matter:

"My point is that children come to us having learned different things in their four-to-five years at home. For those who come to us knowing how to count to one hundred and to read, we need to teach them problem solving and how to tie their shoes. And for those who already know how to clean up spilled paint, tie their shoes, prepare meals, and comfort a crying sibling, we need to make sure that we teach them the school knowledge that they haven't learned at home. Unfortunately, though, different types of [knowledge] are not equally valued in the school setting."

Said differently, the need is for public education to become ever more capable to absorb and continually learn from all the variety kids show up with at school each day.

(Where Delpit uses the word "skill," I prefer the word "knowledge" for the simple reason "skill" arguably is a pejorative in corporate-speak used to enforce managerial hierarchy: executives have knowledge, worker bees have skill. As knowledgeable worker bees can be upsetting to corporatism, knowledgeable students and teachers can be upsetting to educratism.)
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Format: Hardcover
I am all over the place on Lisa Delpit's latest book on educating "poor black children," probably because Delpit is a little all over the place. She makes a plethora of excellent points, but in a fashion that is overly wordy (I know, pot calling the kettle black here; wait, I didn't mean it that way!), puzzlingly organized, and admittedly angry ("I am left in my more cynical moments with the thought that poor black children have become the vehicle by which rich white people give money to their friends."). I found myself craving ease, warmth, and humor. Of course, I also found myself nodding along with frequency and learning a great deal about a subject of serious urgency. After giving my mixed feelings extensive thought, I decided that much of the problem is that Delpit's book isn't a well-reasoned opening salvo, it's a passionate refutation. She responds to those who say African American students disproportionately fail in school because they just aren't as smart as children of other races and come from "a culture of poverty" (and that those who succeed do so only because of unmeritocratic affirmative action). No wonder she's pissed.

OF COURSE African American students are just as "gifted and brilliant" as everyone else (as Delpit ably demonstrates). But even educators who accept racial equality expect less of poor and minority students because of their supposed cultural deficiency. Delpit spends the bulk of the book tackling this point. Essentially, she says that "poor black children . . .
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Format: Hardcover
Very thought provoking. A must-read for all educators. Those who have adopted Ruby Payne as the authority on the education gap need to read this and adjust their thinking.
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Format: Paperback
"Multiplication is for White People" was my first book by Lisa Delpit.

The title provokes lots of discussion; everyone who saw me reading it wanted to discuss the book. Also, it's reminiscent of something a student told me. ("Miss, grammar is for white people; I just speak.")

The theory sections are well-written. Delpit asks hard questions and uses research to support her opinions. She also brings up great ideas to implement in the classroom.

However, Delpit admits she is biased and angry. The cynicism is seen in multiple places even though she has hope for African-American children. Also, a lot of her practical discussion veer into anecdotes. While these can be inspiring, they're not helpful in implementing the theory.
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Format: Hardcover
My principal ordered some books for us to read to help close our achievement gap and I chose this book to read. I'm not going to lie - it's not some groundbreaking book telling you something you didn't already know as an educator, however the book does raise some good points. It's a relatively quick read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delpit asks the audience to get outside of their own mind - their own race - and see through the eyes of our children. This is an important concept, an important book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a moment early in "Multiplication Is for White People" where Delpit perfectly illustrates the problem that many parents feel when interacting with school officials. Her daughter is beginning to play softball and after one of the first practices, the coach tells the assembled parents to work on 'softball' skills with their daughters at home. Delpit confesses a complete ignorance of the game, knowing only bits of the nomenclature, certainly no mastery of the complex physical and mental nuance of the athleticism involved. She recognizes in that moment how parents feel when they're told to help their children with homework. Delpit writes compellingly that the problems of urban education go beyond whether the schools are public, private, or charter, run by for profit companies or union teachers: Poverty, housing uncertainty, and the lack of security at home are never discussed by policy makers who think we can test our way out of the problem.
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