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Academic Profiling Cover

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Academic Profiling

Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Achievement Gap

Gilda L. Ochoa

Today the achievement gap is hotly debated among pundits, politicians, and educators. In particular this conversation often focuses on the two fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States: Asian Americans and Latinos. In Academic Profiling, Gilda L. Ochoa addresses this so-called gap by going directly to the source. At one California public high school where the controversy is lived every day, Ochoa turns to the students, teachers, and parents to learn about the very real disparities—in opportunity, status, treatment, and assumptions—that lead to more than just gaps in achievement.

In candid and at times heart-wrenching detail, the students tell stories of encouragement and neglect on their paths to graduation. Separated by unequal middle schools and curriculum tracking, they are divided by race, class, and gender. While those channeled into an International Baccalaureate Program boast about Socratic classes and stress-release sessions, students left out of such programs commonly describe uninspired teaching and inaccessible counseling. Students unequally labeled encounter differential policing and assumptions based on their abilities—disparities compounded by the growth in the private tutoring industry that favors the already economically privileged.

Despite the entrenched inequality in today’s schools, Academic Profiling finds hope in the many ways students and teachers are affirming identities, creating alternative spaces, and fostering critical consciousness. When Ochoa shares the results of her research with the high school, we see the new possibilities—and limits—of change.

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Aceh

A New Dawn

Aris Ananta and Lee Poh Onn

The tsunami that hit Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, on 26 December 2004 was a natural disaster of historic proportions. This book examines some issues faced by the people in the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam after the tsunami. The focus is not only on the areas affected by the natural disaster, but also the areas torn by internal conflict. The tsunami was a catalyst for a new beginning for both prosperity and peace. The authors of this book are researchers at ISEAS, except Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who is the Director of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency in Banda Aceh. The volume will appeal to readers wanting a quick sweep of some important sustainable development issues in Aceh, a society hit by both tsunami and internal conflict.

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Aceh

History, Politics and Culture

Arndt Graf, Susanne Schroter and Edwin Wieringa

The process of post-tsunami recovery and reconstruction in Aceh will take considerable time and is not easy. This book is an attempt at providing helpful background information on Acehnese history, politics and culture, which would benefit expatriate aid workers as well as foreign and domestic scholars in their dealings with the people of Aceh. It is written by specialists of Indonesian and Acehnese studies from a number of countries, together with Acehnese scholars. As the region was not accessible for decades, this book represents in many aspects a new, pioneering endeavour in Acehnese studies. The chapters cover many important aspects of history, such as the female Sultanahs of Aceh, Aceh’s Turkish connection and the Dutch Colonial War in Aceh. The main emphasis of the book is on relevant contemporary developments in the economy, politics, Islam, and the media, as well as painting, music, and literature.

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Achieving Anew

How New Immigrants Do in American Schools, Jobs, and Neighborhoods

Can the recent influx of immigrants successfully enter the mainstream of American life, or will many of them fail to thrive and become part of a permanent underclass? Achieving Anew examines immigrant life in school, at work, and in communities and demonstrates that recent immigrants and their children do make substantial progress over time, both within and between generations. From policymakers to private citizens, our national conversation on immigration has consistently questioned the country’s ability to absorb increasing numbers of foreign nationals—now nearly one million legal entrants per year. Using census data, longitudinal education surveys, and other data, Michael White and Jennifer Glick place their study of new immigrant achievement within a context of recent developments in assimilation theory and policies regulating who gets in and what happens to them upon arrival. They find that immigrant status itself is not an important predictor of educational achievement. First-generation immigrants arrive in the United States with less education than native-born Americans, but by the second and third generation, the children of immigrants are just as successful in school as native-born students with equivalent social and economic background. As with prior studies, the effects of socioeconomic background and family structure show through strongly. On education attainment, race and ethnicity have a strong impact on achievement initially, but less over time. Looking at the labor force, White and Glick find no evidence to confirm the often-voiced worry that recent immigrants and their children are falling behind earlier arrivals. On the contrary, immigrants of more recent vintage tend to catch up to the occupational status of natives more quickly than in the past. Family background, educational preparation, and race/ethnicity all play a role in labor market success, just as they do for the native born, but the offspring of immigrants suffer no disadvantage due to their immigrant origins. New immigrants continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, though with less prevalence than native black-white segregation. Immigrants who arrived in the 1960s are now much less segregated than recent arrivals. Indeed, the authors find that residential segregation declines both within and across generations. Yet black and Mexican immigrants are more segregated from whites than other groups, showing that race and economic status still remain powerful influences on where immigrants live. Although the picture is mixed and the continuing significance of racial factors remains a concern, Achieving Anew provides compelling reassurance that the recent wave of immigrants is making impressive progress in joining the American mainstream. The process of assimilation is not broken, the advent of a new underclass is not imminent, and the efforts to argue for the restriction of immigration based on these fears are largely mistaken.

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A.C.R. Grønland

L’univers mystérieux et intime d’un Nord disparu. Que pouvons-nous dire d’un album personnel de photographies dont nous ne savons presque rien et qui pourtant nous permet de pénétrer dans un monde à la fois intime et historique, dans l’étrangeté d’une colonie arctique du début du 20e siècle ? Les traces que constituent ces photographies dérangent parce qu’elles ne correspondent pas à l’histoire que nous pouvons lire du Groenland ; en quelque sorte, elles contredisent l’image d’un monde isolé, froid, dangereux, hostile et inhumain qu’en a transmise la tradition.

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Across America by Bicycle

Alice and Bobbi's Summer on Wheels

Alice Honeywell

Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.
    As Alice and Bobbi pedal along  their 3,600-mile journey, they test and deepen their friendship, defy their aches and pains, experience the vast and varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle. And, they encounter unfailing generosity from people they meet—from the prayers of a North Dakota woman for their safekeeping, to the offer of a house in Michigan, to invitations for dinner and a place to sleep at stops all along the way. And there are incidents to laugh over, too, such as the bewildered woman who asked them, “Well, but where do you pack your dresses?”
    Ride along with Alice and Bobbi as they embrace retirement with gusto and live their dream.

 

Winner, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award in the Travel Essays category

Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance Cover

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Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance

Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India

Nandi Bhatia

Despite its importance to literary and cultural texts of resistance, theater has been largely overlooked as a field of analysis in colonial and postcolonial studies. Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance seeks to address that absence, as it uniquely views drama and performance as central to the practice of nationalism and anti-colonial resistance. Nandi Bhatia argues that Indian theater was a significant force in the struggle against oppressive colonial and postcolonial structures, as it sought to undo various schemes of political and cultural power through its engagement with subjects derived from mythology, history, and available colonial models such as Shakespeare. Bhatia's attention to local histories within a postcolonial framework places performance in a global and transcultural context. Drawing connections between art and politics, between performance and everyday experience, Bhatia shows how performance often intervened in political debates and even changed the course of politics. One of the first Western studies of Indian theater to link the aesthetics and the politics of that theater, Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance combines in-depth archival research with close readings of dramatic texts performed at critical moments in history. Each chapter amplifies its themes against the backdrop of specific social conditions as it examines particular dramatic productions, from The Indigo Mirror to adaptations of Shakespeare plays by Indian theater companies, illustrating the role of theater in bringing nationalist, anticolonial, and gendered struggles into the public sphere. Nandi Bhatia is Associate Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.

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Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times

Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights

Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia Garcia

Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.

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Africa's Season of Hope

The Dawn of a New Africa-Asia Partnership

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki

This book contains the text of the Singapore Lecture delivered by Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki on 21 April 2005.

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Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo

From Plantations to the Slums

Rafael Ocasio

Costumbrismo, which refers to depictions of life in Latin America during the nineteenth century, introduced some of the earliest black themes in Cuban literature. Rafael Ocasio delves into this literature to offer up a new perspective on the development of Cuban identity, as influenced by black culture and religion, during the sugar cane boom.

Comments about the slave trade and the treatment of slaves were often censored in Cuban publications; nevertheless white Costumbrista writers reported on a vast catalogue of stereotypes, religious beliefs, and musical folklore, and on rich African traditions in major Cuban cities. Exploring rare and seldom discussed nineteenth-century texts, Ocasio offers insight into the nuances of black representation in Costumbrismo while analyzing authors such as Suárez y Romero, an abolitionist who wrote from the perspective of a plantation owner.

Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo expands the idea of what texts constitute Costumbrismo and debunks the traditional notion that this writing reveals little about the Afro-Cuban experience. The result is a novel examination of how white writers' representations of black culture heavily inform our current understanding of nineteenth-century Afro-Cuban culture and national identity.

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