The Trouble with Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education by Pedro A. NogueraFor many years to come, race will continue to be a source of controversy and conflict in American society. For many of us it will continue to shape where we live, pray, go to school, and socialize. We cannot simply wish away the existence of race or racism, but we can take steps to lessen the ways in which the categories trap and confine us. Educators, who should be committed to helping young people realize their intellectual potential as they make their way toward adulthood, have a responsibility to help them find ways to expand identities related to race so that they can experience the fullest possibility of all that they may become. In this brutally honest--yet ultimately hopeful-- book Pedro Noguera examines the many facets of race in schools and society and reveals what it will take to improve outcomes for all students. From achievement gaps to immigration, Noguera offers a rich and compelling picture of a complex issue that affects all of us.
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All of the most important quality of life indicators suggest that African American males are in deep trouble. They lead the nation in homicides, both as victims and perpetrators 1 and in what observers regard as an alarming trend, they now have the fastest growing rate for suicide. In many school districts throughout the United States, Black males are more likely than any other group to be suspended and expelled from school. However, since there has been a sharp and continuous decline, especially among males. When compared to their White peers, middleclass African American males lag significantly behind in both grade point average and on standardized tests. Scholars and researchers commonly understand that environmental and cultural factors have a profound influence upon human behavior, including academic performance. There is considerable evidence that the ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds of students have bearing upon how students are perceived and treated by the adults who work with them within schools.
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