From the MacArthur Award–winning education reformer and author of the bestselling Other People's Children, a long-awaited new book on how to fix the persistent black/white achievement gap in America's public schools
As MacArthur Award–winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that has eluded several decades of reform.
Delpit's bestselling and paradigm-shifting first book, Other People's Children, focused on cultural slippage in the classroom between white teachers and students of color. Now, in "Multiplication Is for White People", Delpit reflects on two decades of reform efforts—including No Child Left Behind, standardized testing, the creation of alternative teacher certification paths, and the charter school movement—that have still left a generation of poor children of color feeling that higher educational achievement isn't for them.
In chapters covering primary, middle, and high school, as well as college, Delpit concludes that it's not that difficult to explain the persistence of the achievement gap. In her wonderful trademark style, punctuated with telling classroom anecdotes and informed by time spent at dozens of schools across the country, Delpit outlines an inspiring and uplifting blueprint for raising expectations for other people's children, based on the simple premise that multiplication—and every aspect of advanced education—is for everyone.
A decade after her award-winning Other People's Children: Cultural Conflicts in the Classroom, MacArthur Fellow and education professor Delpit, her passion unassuaged, takes a fresh look at education practice and theory with a sharp focus on "children marginalized either by income-level or ethnicity or both." Exploring four stages (infants, early childhood, adolescents, college age), her book is full of firsthand observations of teachers and students in multiple settings, most commonly the inner-city, and trenchant anecdotal accounts of her own experiences with her daughter's "often difficult travels through school," some predominantly white, some predominantly black. Delpit's assessments of Teach for America and No Child Left Behind, while respectful of the goals, are critical of both the practices and the results. In reviewing current scholarship, she offers jargon-free explanations of current terminology (like "stereotype threat" and "microaggression"), and clarifies arguments with graphs and statistics. This is very much a book for teachers and education professionals, but anyone concerned with the state of American schooling will find Delpit's smooth blending of the personal, the professional, and the political appealing and illuminating.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Ignore the racists who gave this book one star.
This book is an essential for anyone who cares about racial equity and social justice.
Race Baiting Turned Into An Artform
This book would be informative if it were true and might have been applicable in pre-1970s education systems.