The Thernstroms, senior fellows at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, deliver "a tough message" about how "to close the racial gap in academic achievement." Although the 48 graphs and tables, 566 footnotes and statistics galore may muffle the work's polemical aspects, the Thernstroms produce a case for standards-based testing and charter schools. Despite caveats (e.g., "Not all Asian parents and their children fit the stereotype... and Asian Americans are not actually one `group' "), the authors' assessment of success and failure attributes much to ethnic cultural factors. Family expectations and hard work lead to success for Asian-Americans, who embrace "the American work ethic with life-or-death fervor," while "the limited education of many Hispanic parents" and "their propensity to work in unskilled jobs that don't require a knowledge of English" underlie the poor performance of Latino students. African-American failure rests in "the special role of television in the life of black children and the low expectations of their parents." "Conventional wisdom" about improving schools (more money, improved cleanliness, smaller classes, etc.) is inadequate, they say. Title I and Head Start appear to have accomplished little, they lament, but Bush's No Child Left Behind (and its mandatory testing program) gets high praise. For the Thernstroms, ideal schools break from tradition and are liberated from such "roadblocks to change" as "hands-tied administrators" and unions. Enter vouchers (implicitly) and charter schools (quite explicitly), where the Thernstroms seem particularly taken by students chanting "answers-with claps and stomps and fists held high" and reciting "rules in unison."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Authors of America in Black and White (1997), the Thernstroms take on the troubling and stubborn gap that persists in academic achievement between white students and black and Hispanic students, a gap that translates into a lifetime of uneven opportunities. They begin by citing statistics based on standardized test scores that verify the woeful achievement gap, which has become the burning issue in the continued struggle for racial justice. In separate chapters, the authors look at the historic and cultural factors at work in the low academic achievement of blacks and Hispanics and the high achievement of Asians, compared with white students. But the heart of the book focuses on several inner-city schools across the nation that have succeeded in educating minority children and provide models for educational reform. The success factors include independence from district control, discretionary budgetary power, and latitude in hiring nonunion teachers. Although it is sure to provoke some controversy, this book provides a thoughtful look at a pressing social problem. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
from culture to hours spent watching tv - what's wrong with our schoolsPublished 16 days ago by bob douglas
This an excellent book to read. Being an educator for over 40 years, I have been diligently trying to bridge the achievement gap. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Alice Sapp
Certainly I agree that there is a racial gap; and that we cannot accept the inadequate education that minorities and other low-income Americans are receiving. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ann El-moslimany
This book is VERY interesting. It contains extensive information, drawn from a variety of studies, as to the precise levels of achievement among American students of different... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Attorney VA
Very concise and informative resource.I am glad I purchased this book. I suggest it for anyone investigating the racial gap.Published on February 20, 2013 by Mammi
Excellent book for people new to the educational debate, especially parents concerned about their children's welfare as they enter the junior- and senior-high school years. Read morePublished on November 26, 2010 by ScrawnyPunk
Achieving equal educational achievement between white and African-American students is realistically impossible, given public education as arranged and practiced in the U.S. today. Read morePublished on June 1, 2009 by Artie Frank
I read this book around two years ago. I found it insightful and persuasive then, and I have several times referenced the book when talking with others (and thinking to... Read morePublished on January 13, 2009 by Kevin Currie-Knight
"No Excuses" opens with a harsh dose of reality. By the 12th grade, on average, black students are four years behind whites and Asians. Read morePublished on May 2, 2008 by Loyd E. Eskildson