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Multiplication Is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People's Childrenby Lisa Delpit
Synopses & Reviews
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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lisa Delpits paradigm-shifting first book Other Peoples Children won a Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association and Choice magazines Outstanding Academic book award; was voted one of Teacher Magazines great books”; and has gone on to sell a quarter-million copies since its publication in 1996. Since then we have seen No Child Left Behind, an obsession with standardized testing, the creation of alternative teacher certification paths, the charter school movement,
and a host of other attempts to reform our nations public education system.
Two things we have not seen are an elimination of the achievement gap between
white and African American children—or a new book by Lisa Delpit.
Sure to be an instant classic, "Multiplication Is for White People" explores a wide range of little-known research that conclusively demonstrates there is no achievement gap at birth and argues that poor teaching, negative stereotypes about African American intellectual inferiority, and a curriculum that still does not adequately connect to poor childrens lives all conspire against the education prospects of poor children of color. In a major new book for her many impatient fans and admirers, Delpit brings the topic of educating other peoples children into the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Lisa Delpit is an Eminent Scholar and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education and Innovation at Florida International University in Miami, where she lives. Her work is dedicated to providing excellent education for marginalized communities in the United States and abroad.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Yes, Diane, Im Still Angry xv
Part One: Inherent Ability
1. There Is No Achievement Gap at Birth 3
2. Infinite Capacity 27
Part Two: Educating the Youngest
3. Stuff You Never Would Say: Successful Literacy
Instruction in Elementary Classrooms 53
4. Warm Demanders: The Importance of Teachers
in the Lives of Children of Poverty 71
5. Skin-Deep Learning: Teaching Those
Who Learn Differently 89
6. I Dont Like It When They Dont Say My Name
Right”: Why Reforming” Cant Mean Whitening” 105
Part Three: Teaching Adolescents
7. Picking Up the Broom: Demanding Critical Thinking 123
8. How Would a Fool Do It? Assessment 137
9. Shooting Hoops: What Can We Learn About the
Drive for Excellence? 149
Part Four: University and Beyond
10. Invisibility, Disidentification, and Negotiating
Blackness on Campus 169
11. Will It Help the Sheep? University, Community,
and Purpose 193
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