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Quality Education as a Constitutional Right: Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public Schoolsby Theresa Perry
Synopses & Reviews
In 2005, famed civil rights leader and education activist Robert Moses invited one hundred prominent African American and Latino intellectuals and activists to meet to discuss a proposal for a campaign to guarantee a quality education for all children as a constitutional right—a movement that would “transform current approaches to educational inequity, all of which have failed miserably to yield results for our children.” The response was passionate, and the meeting launched a movement.
This book—emerging directly from that effort—reports on what has happened since and calls for a new scale of organizing, legal initiatives, and public definitions of what a quality education is. Essays include
· Robert Moses’s historically rooted call for citizens, especially young people, to make the demand for quality education
· Ernesto Cortés’s view from decades of work organizing Latino communities in Texas
· Charles Payne’s interview with students from the Baltimore Algebra Project, who organized to make historic demands on their district
· Legal scholar Imani Perry’s nuanced analysis of the prospects of making a case for quality education as a right guaranteed by the Constitution
· Perspectives from scholars Lisa Delpit and Joan T. Wynne, and by teachers Alicia Caroll and Kim Parker, who provide examples of what quality education is, describing its goal, and how to guide practice in the meantime
Book News Annotation:
In 2005, civil rights leader and activist Robert Moses invited African American and Latino educators and activists to a conference at Howard U. where they discussed the creation of a grassroots movement to amend the Constitution to make quality education a constitutionally guaranteed right, as they saw minorities as excluded from quality education. In this volume, Perry (Africana studies and education, Simmons College), Moses, and others compile nine essays by educators and activists who discuss the idea; the history of equal education during emancipation, Reconstruction, and the progressive era; questions of how the Constitution can guarantee quality education and how to get there; how the fight can be waged at different government levels; definitions of quality education; and examples of it, including the work of the Baltimore Algebra Project, a summer math program, and culturally responsive teaching. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In 2005, legendary civil rights leader and education activist Robert Moses invited 100 prominent African-American and Latino intellectuals and activists to meet to discuss a proposal for a campaign to guarantee a quality education for all children as a civil right-a movement. This groundbreaking book has emerged from that effort.
A passionately argued case for a new civil rights movement—centered on schools
Legendary civil rights leader and education activist Robert Moses invited one hundred prominent African American and Latino intellectuals and activists to meet to discuss a proposal for a campaign to guarantee a quality education for all children as a constitutional right—a movement that would transform current approaches to educational inequity, all of which have failed miserably to yield results for our children.” The response was overwhelming, and people literally started organizing on the spot.
This book—emerging directly from that effort—includes a fierce, eloquent call by Moses for a new approach to school reform. He argues that the crisis in public education for children of color wont be solved by bureaucratic fixes but—like the crisis in political citizenship in the 1950s and 60s—only by a grassroots, popular movement modeled after the civil rights movement.
Latino organizer Ernesto Cortés tells us about the realities of organizing based on the success stories of grassroots change in Texas. Lisa Delpit shows us the key features of culturally grounded quality education. Other eminent educators, historians, and legal experts lend their voices to this groundbreaking book.
About the Author
A leader in the African American community for nearly 40 years, Robert Moses is the winner of many awards, including the MacArthur genius award and a prestigious Heinz Award for his work in the Algebra Project.
Table of Contents
The Historical and Contemporary Foundations for Robert Moses’s Call to Make Quality Education a Constitutionally Guaranteed Right
“The Holy Cause of Education”: Lessons from the History of a Freedom-Loving People
Part I Organizing: The Youth Shall Lead the Way
1. Miss Baker’s Grandchildren: An Interview with the Baltimore Algebra Project
Charles M. Payne
Part II Can the Constitution Guarantee Quality Education?
2. Reading, Writing, and Rights: Ruminations on Getting the Law in Line with Educational
Justice Imani Perry
3. Schools That Shock the Conscience: What Williams v. California Reveals about the Struggle for an Education on Equal Terms Fifty Years after Brown
4. Constitutional Property v. Constitutional People
Robert P. Moses
5. Quality Education as a Civil Right: Reflections
Ernesto Cortés Jr.
Part III Pursuing Excellence in a Context of Inequities
6. Stepping Stories: Creating an African American Community of Readers
Kimberly N. Parker
7. Is This School?
8. Stories of Collaboration and Research within an Algebra Project Context: Offering Quality Education to Students Pushed to the Bottom of Academic Achievement
Joan T. Wynne and Janice Giles
9. Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: Lessons from Teachers
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