The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies

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Overview

Will the United States have an educational caste system in 2030? Drawing on both extensive demographic data and compelling case studies, this powerful book reveals the depths of the educational crisis looming for Latino students, the nation’s largest and most rapidly growing minority group.
Richly informative and accessibly written, The Latino Education Crisis describes the cumulative disadvantages faced by too many children in the complex American school systems, where one in five students is Latino. Many live in poor and dangerous neighborhoods, attend impoverished and underachieving schools, and are raised by parents who speak little English and are the least educated of any ethnic group.
The effects for the families, the community, and the nation are sobering. Latino children are behind on academic measures by the time they enter kindergarten. And while immigrant drive propels some to success, most never catch up. Many drop out of high school and those who do go on to college—often ill prepared and overworked—seldom finish.
Revealing and disturbing, The Latino Education Crisis is a call to action and will be essential reading for everyone involved in planning the future of American schools.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Whether or not one takes issue with the grade-point averages and college admissions scores that are the conventional measures of student achievement, everyone has a compelling interest in better education for those who constitute a growing proportion of both the student and national populations. The discussion is worth review for anyone concerned about the progress of education in the U.S.
— D. E. Tanner

Carola And Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
American schools are sleepwalking into a perfect storm—rapid demographic changes, an unforgiving global economy, and continually dysfunctional schools. Gándara and Contreras delineate the…challenges of the 'Latino education crisis' with empirical rigor, conceptual clarity, and humane concern. This is the book that everyone who cares about the American future should read and pass on to a friend.
Choice - D. E. Tanner
Whether or not one takes issue with the grade-point averages and college admissions scores that are the conventional measures of student achievement, everyone has a compelling interest in better education for those who constitute a growing proportion of both the student and national populations. The discussion is worth review for anyone concerned about the progress of education in the U.S.
Choice
Whether or not one takes issue with the grade-point averages and college admissions scores that are the conventional measures of student achievement, everyone has a compelling interest in better education for those who constitute a growing proportion of both the student and national populations. The discussion is worth review for anyone concerned about the progress of education in the U.S.
— D. E. Tanner
Inside Higher Ed
Generalities about 'minority students' can easily hide specific issues related to various ethnic and racial groups - and the ways they do and do not advance in the American educational systems. The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies, just published by Harvard University Press, is a scholarly attempt to focus on one fast-growing ethnic group. The authors are Patricia Gándara, professor of education at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Frances Contreras, professor of education at the University of Washington. The book primarily deals with elementary and secondary education, but a major chapter focuses on higher education.
—Scott Jaschik
Library Journal

Gándara (education, Univ. of California at Los Angeles) and Contreras (education, Univ. of Washington) examine issues revolving around Latino education, primarily following a chronological history of bilingual education and affirmative action in California. Along the way, the authors also attempt to tackle controversial issues like illegal immigration and institutional racism, presenting human stories via hypothetical case studies, which are revealed as real situations toward the end of the book. That something akin to a plot twist is attempted in this sociological analysis should be your first warning. Gándara and Contreras give selective, and often contradictory, readings of the data they reviewed. They also regularly conflate Latino and black students when convenient, which seems to undermine the argument that there is a Latino-specific education crisis. Rather than seriously consider any opposing viewpoints, they set up broad straw-man arguments. All this might be forgiven if the rhetoric weren't so bland. An extensive bibliography may be of interest to students and researchers in this field. Overall, however, the book brings nothing new to the discussion of an American education crisis.
—Robert Perret

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674047051
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2010
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 718,994
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Gándara is Professor of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Frances Contreras is Associate Professor in the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Call to Action 1

1 The Crisis and the Context 15

2 On Being Latino or Latina in America 54

3 American Schools and the Latino Student Experience 86

4 Is Language the Problem? 121

5 Inside the Lives of Puente Students 151

6 Beating the Odds and Going to College 196

7 The Costs and Effectiveness of Intervention 250

8 Rescatando Sueños-Rescuing Dreams 304

Acknowledgments 335

Appendix 337

Notes 349

References 373

Index 405

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