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Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap 1st Ed. Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1416613060
ISBN-10: 1416613064
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Unless we believe that those who have more are inherently superior to those who have less, we should be troubled by the fact that patterns of achievement are often fairly predictable, particularly with respect to students' race and class."

In Creating the Opportunity to Learn, Wade Boykin and Pedro Noguera help navigate the turbid waters of evidence-based methodologies and chart a course toward closing (and eliminating) the academic achievement gap. Turning a critical eye to current and recent research, the authors present a comprehensive view of the achievement gap and advocate for strategies that contribute to the success of all children.

Boykin and Noguera maintain that it is possible to close the achievement gap by abandoning failed strategies, learning from successful schools, and simply doing more of what the research shows is most effective. Success is founded on equity, but equity involves more than simply ensuring students have equal access to education; equity also entails a focus on outcomes and results.

If we want to bring about significant improvements in those outcomes, we have to do more to address the context in which learning takes place. In short, we must create schools where a child's race or class is no longer a predictor for how well he or she might perform.

About the Author

A. Wade Boykin is a professor and director of the graduate program in the Department of Psychology at Howard University. He is also the executive director of the Capstone Institute at Howard University. Pedro Noguera is an internationally recognized thought leader on addressing issues of equity and diversity in public schools. He is the Peter L. Agnew Professor at New York University s Steinhardt School of Education, the executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, and the co-director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development; 1st Ed. edition (September 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416613064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416613060
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The authors provide a very thoughtful review of the research literature examining the Black-White achievement gap in U.S. public schools. I tracked down several of the original articles that I was unfamiliar with and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the research. In short, the book provides an easy-to-read road map to some of the best research out there. It is a great resource for anyone interested in this specific topic or educational psychology in general.

I do take issue with a couple of the authors' points, which I'll mention briefly. First, Boykin and Noguera make the popular claim that PISA scores show that U.S. students perform poorly relative to the rest of the world, but this is misleading. When U.S. scores are disaggregated by race, we find that White and Asian students are faring very well relative to other countries, suggesting that our public school system is actually among the best in the world, for those specific subgroups. The problem is that our success is not extended to minority students, so the international gap and the Black-White achievement gap are effectively one and the same. This is an important point because critics of public schools use the aggregated average performance of U.S. students to suggest that the entire institution is failing. It is not. It is failing Black and Hispanic students, and we need to be very clear about that when framing the discussion.

And second, the authors provide examples of successful and unsuccessful school districts late in the book and their descriptions seem to suggest that one of the characteristics of a failing district is teachers "blaming" families or other outside factors.
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I found this book very insightful. There are excellent strategies to support students and to ameliorate the effects of stereotype threat which is very important when working with minority students in a majority environment.
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everyone talks about "evidence-based" or "fact-driven" policy -- well for public education, here you go. Of course, agenda still continues to dominate in terms of policy, so only organized movements can make education really succeed. But if you DO organize, you need info & this book has it
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This book was a well-researched study of the challenges to effectively educating urban children. The authors also offer sensible recommendations for meeting the challenges.
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Excellent book! I'm very happy with this read. It's well-written, and provides a thorough understanding of educational issues in the United States.
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