The African American Struggle for Secondary Schooling, 1940-1980: Closing the Graduation Gap [NOOK Book]

Overview

This is the first comprehensive account of African American secondary education in the postwar era. Drawing on quantitative datasets, as well as oral history, this compelling narrative examines how African Americans narrowed the racial gap in high school completion. The authors explore regional variations in high school attendance across the United States and how intraracial factors affected attendance within racial groups. They also examine the larger social historical context, such as the national high school ...

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The African American Struggle for Secondary Schooling, 1940-1980: Closing the Graduation Gap

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Overview

This is the first comprehensive account of African American secondary education in the postwar era. Drawing on quantitative datasets, as well as oral history, this compelling narrative examines how African Americans narrowed the racial gap in high school completion. The authors explore regional variations in high school attendance across the United States and how intraracial factors affected attendance within racial groups. They also examine the larger social historical context, such as the national high school revolution, the civil rights movement, campaigns to expand schooling and urging youth to stay in school, and Black migration northward. Closing chapters focus on desegregation and the "urban crisis" of the 1960s and 1970s that accelerated “White flight” and funding problems for urban school systems. The conclusion summarizes these developments and briefly looks at the period since 1980, when secondary attainment levels stopped advancing for Blacks and Whites alike.

Book Highlights:

  • A comprehensive history, drawing on statistical analysis, archival research, and interviews with African Americans who attended school in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Lessons from the past, showing how parents and local communities played the most direct and dynamic role in the fight for access to education.
  • Today’s major challenges, including the growth of inner-city poverty and changing family structures. 

John L. Rury is professor of education and (by courtesy) history at the University of Kansas. Shirley A. Hill is professor of sociology at the University of Kansas.

“Based on prodigious research, The African American Struggle for Secondary Schooling sets a new standard of excellence in social history and policy studies. The authors evocatively recreate the passions of the civil rights movement and centrality of public schools in the ongoing quest for justice, opportunity, and freedom.”
William J. Reese, Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“This book is a rich and compelling addition to the literature on secondary education generally and on secondary education for African Americans specifically. It will set the standard for historical studies on American high schools for a long time to come.”
Jeffrey Mirel, David L. Angus Collegiate Chair of Education, Professor of History, University of Michigan

The African American Struggle for Secondary Schooling fills a major gap in the history of African American educational history. This book will be on my shelf and will no doubt be on the shelves of scholars and students who study African American educational history.”
Thomas V. O'Brien, Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Studies and Research, University of Southern Mississippi

“This is the only book-length account of the growth and impact of secondary education for African Americans post-1930. With a unique and original analysis, the authors frame key themes not only within the common historiographical tradition of an unfolding of 'growth and development' over time, but correctly understand that high school entailed opportunities for ‘attainment’ in a broader social sense as well.”
Michael Fultz, Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807771747
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 665 KB

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Racial Convergence in Secondary School Attainment 3

Setting Attainment in Context 6

Improving Black Secondary Education 10

Moving to Opportunity, and to Crisis 14

Building Toward the Future 16

Plan of the Book 18

Part I Expanding Access

1 The South in the 1940s 25

Stark Inequity: The Rural Countryside 26

A Shaky Foundation: Elementary Education 31

Making the Best of Hard Times 34

City Schools 38

Accreditation Struggles 45

Conclusion: Struggling Against a Legacy of Inequity 50

2 Sea Change: "Equalization "and Secondary Schooling 52

Race, Education, and Regional Development 52

Mounting Restiveness 55

Shifting Social and Political Conditions 57

A New Day for High Schools 60

Rising Levels of Attainment 63

A Grassroots Movement 67

The Good Black High School 71

White Resistance and Black Skepticism: The Limits of Reform 76

Conclusion: Building a Foundation for the Future 81

3 Inequity, Discrimination, and Growth Outside the South, 1940-1960 83

Blacks and Secondary School Attainment in 1940 85

Going to High School in the North and West, 1940 88

Racial Conflict in High Schools 91

In Search of Tolerance 95

Segregated Secondary Schooling, North and West 98

Parsing the Academic Layer Cake 104

Black Secondary School Attainment in 1960 108

Conclusion: Growing Attainment and Persistent Inequality 111

Part II Fighting for Equality

4 Black Youth and the Urban Crisis 115

A Changing Urban Scene 117

Discovery of the "Dropout" 119

Continuing Progress in Attainment 122

Learning Under Difficult Circumstances 127

Serving the "Disadvantaged" 132

An Era of Conflict and Protest 136

Conclusion: Coming of Age in the 1960s and 1970s 143

5 Battling Segregation 145

Integration in the 1940s and 1950s 146

Changing High Schools in Kansas City 151

Desegregation and Protest Across the North 157

Pyrrhic victory in the South 162

Integration and Student Conflict 168

Inequity Within the Schools 171

Conclusion: Trial by Fire 174

Conclusion: The African American High School Experience in Perspective 176

The High School in the History of Black Education 177

High Schools and Social Status 180

Dilemmas of Integration 183

A Legacy of Protest 188

The Elusive Goal of Equality 191

The Imperative of Educational Change 197

Appendix A Oral History Interviews and Other Sources of Information 200

Appendix B Logistic Regression Analysis of Secondary School Attainment 204

Notes 208

Index 251

About the Authors 262

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