"Pedro A. Noguera and Jean Yonemura Wing (2006) in their edited volume, Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Our Schools
, address this ongoing problem of what it will take to fulfill the promise of education reform and educate all students to high levels -- using the Berkeley High School Diversity Project as a case study.... The editors focus on the possibilities for achieving these lofty goals through public education, arguably our nation's most equitable and democratic institution." (Teachers College Record,
"Unfinished Business was written because of the belief that public education is vital for a healthy democracy and that schools can play a decisive role in making our nation less divided and fractured on the basis of race, class, culture, gender, and language." (Teachers College Record, October 2006)
From the Inside Flap
"Fulfilling the promise of public education is the reason that so many schools and districts are now working desperately to find ways to close the achievement gap. The persistence of wide disparities in achievement that correspond with the race and class backgrounds of students serves as a reminder that America remains a deeply divided nation, a place where the lines separating the haves and the have-nots are manifest in every facet of our lives."
from the Preface
In this groundbreaking book, co-editors Pedro Noguera and Jean Yonemura Wing and their collaborators investigated the dynamics of race and achievement at Berkeley High Schoola large public high school that the New York Times called "the most integrated high school in America." Berkeley's diverse student population clearly illustrates the "achievement gap" phenomenon in our schools. Unfinished Business brings to light the hidden inequities of schoolswhere cultural attitudes, academic tracking, curricular access, and after-school activities serve as sorting mechanisms that set students on paths of success or failure.
Unfinished Business examines the results of the Berkeley High School Diversity Project, a six year research and organizing project that brought together high school students, parents, teachers, staff, and university researchers to explore how a school and a community can act together to address the racial disparities that exist in academic performance. The book explores what factors contribute to the disparity in academic achievement between students of different racial and class backgrounds, and identifies the factors that are responsible for the racial separation of students within the school.
Unfinished Business analyzes the successes and failures the project members encountered during their work and describes the revelations and insights they gained during the project. While the task of closing the achievement gap is daunting, Unfinished Business explains the concrete steps that parents, educators, and the larger community can take to help close the education gap in their community.