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Life at a Failing School in the Heart of America
Searching for Hope is a gripping account of life in a once-great high school in a rough Indianapolis neighborhood. Granted unfiltered access to Manual High throughout an entire school year, award-winning journalist Matthew Tully tells the complex story of the everyday drama, failures, and triumphs in one of the nation's many troubled urban public high schools. He walks readers into classrooms, offices, and hallways, painting a vivid picture of the profound academic problems, deep frustrations, and apathy that absorb and sometimes consume students, teachers, and administrators. Yet this intimate view also reveals the hopes, dreams, and untapped talents of some amazing individuals. Providing insights into the challenges confronting those who seek to improve the quality of America's schools, Tully argues that school leaders and policy makers must rally communities to heartfelt engagement with their schools if the crippling social and economic threats to cities such as Indianapolis are to be averted.
Examining Deaf Languacultures in Education
Thomas P. Horejes’s new book focuses on revealing critical knowledge that addresses certain social justice issues, including deafness, language, culture, and deaf education. He conveys this information through discourses about his own experiences being deaf and through his research in which he “stresses the contingency of the social” in educational institutions. In Social Constructions of Deafness: Examining Deaf Languacultures in Education, Horejes contends that schools as social institutions play powerful and exacting roles in the creation and maintenance of social constructions such as language and culture for deaf children. He subscribes to Michael Agar’s concept of “languaculture,” defined as the inextricable relationship between language and culture in which a specific language will shape and influence culture. His approach employs other anthropological methodology as he connects his personal experiences as a deaf student (emic) to academic research on deafness (etic) to bring understanding to the multidimensional aspects of his own negotiated identities. Horejes extends his inquiry through his analysis of two kindergarten classes for deaf students, one orally oriented and the other conducted using sign language. His findings are sobering evidence of the myriad challenges educators face in defining appropriate academic, linguistic, and cultural pedagogy for deaf children in schools and other social institutions.
Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap
Addressing the disparity in test scores between black and white children remains one of the greatest social challenges of our time. Between the 1960s and 1980s, tremendous strides were made in closing the achievement gap, but that remarkable progress halted abruptly in the mid 1980s, and stagnated throughout the 1990s. How can we understand these shifting trends and their relation to escalating economic inequality? In Steady Gains and Stalled Progress, interdisciplinary experts present a groundbreaking analysis of the multifaceted reasons behind the test score gap—and the policies that hold the greatest promise for renewed progress in the future. Steady Gains and Stalled Progress shows that while income inequality does not directly lead to racial differences in test scores, it creates and exacerbates disparities in schools, families, and communities—which do affect test scores. Jens Ludwig and Jacob Vigdor demonstrate that the period of greatest progress in closing the gap coincided with the historic push for school desegregation in the 1960s and 1970s. Stagnation came after efforts to integrate schools slowed down. Today, the test score gap is nearly 50 percent larger in states with the highest levels of school segregation. Katherine Magnuson, Dan Rosenbaum, and Jane Waldfogel show how parents’ level of education affects children’s academic performance: as educational attainment for black parents increased in the 1970s and 1980s, the gap in children’s test scores narrowed. Sean Corcoran and William Evans present evidence that teachers of black students have less experience and are less satisfied in their careers than teachers of white students. David Grissmer and Elizabeth Eiseman find that the effects of economic deprivation on cognitive and emotional development in early childhood lead to a racial divide in school readiness on the very first day of kindergarten. Looking ahead, Helen Ladd stresses that the task of narrowing the divide is not one that can or should be left to schools alone. Progress will resume only when policymakers address the larger social and economic forces behind the problem. Ronald Ferguson masterfully interweaves the volume’s chief findings to highlight the fact that the achievement gap is the cumulative effect of many different processes operating in different contexts. The gap in black and white test scores is one of the most salient features of racial inequality today. Steady Gains and Stalled Progress provides the detailed information and powerful insight we need to understand a complicated past and design a better future.
Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation
With the rate of cochlear implantation reaching 80% to 90% of all deaf children, some as young as five months old, Surgical Consent: Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation arrives at a critical juncture. This comprehensive collection features essays by Priscilla Alderson, Inger Lise Skog Hansen, Hilde Haualand, volume editor Linda Komesaroff, Paddy Ladd, Harlan Lane, Karen Lloyd, Eithne Mills, Paal Richard Peterson, Gunilla Preisler, Kristina Svartholm, and Michael Uniacke. These worldwide renowned ethicists, educators, and Deaf leaders express their diverse perspectives on the bioethics of childhood cochlear implantation according to their discipline and a number of themes of inquiry: human rights, medical and social ethics, psychology, education, globalization, identity, life pathways, democracy, media, law, and biotechnology. Drawing on current research, this volume presents the varying reactions around the globe to the high rate of implantation. These views contrast sharply with the medical perspective of deafness overwhelmingly promoted through the media and by the cochlear implantation industry. At the same time, the contributors aim to disrupt the binaries that have long dominated the field of deafness — speech versus sign, instruction through speech and sign systems versus bilingual education, and medical intervention versus cultural membership in the Deaf community. Surgical Consent begins and ends with the voices of Deaf people. Their articulate and, at times, raw insights clearly delineate the issues of power, positioning, and minority-majority group relations that are inherent in the dominant hearing culture’s understanding of diversity and globalization.
The Languages of Educational Reform
Talking about a Revolution tells the story of school reform from the perspective of teachers engaged in it, illuminating the complexity of teachers’ roles in transforming policy into practice. Al, Brian, and Camille teach at a large, comprehensive high school in a suburb of a major mid-western city. They use the languages of educational reform to inspire new ways to think about teaching, to shield themselves from the confusion of contradictory understandings of reform, and to construct a shared understanding of what reformed teaching might mean.
Realities and Possibilities
Raises provocative questions about the efficacy, viability, and sustainability of professional learning communities. This book raises provocative questions about the efficacy, viability, and sustainability of professional learning communities given the present political and structural realities of public schools. The culmination of six years of research in five states, it explores real world efforts to establish learning communities as a strategy for professional development and school improvement. The contributors look at the realities of these communities in public schools, revealing power struggles, logistical dilemmas, cultural conflicts, and communication problems—all forces that threaten to dismantle the effectiveness of learning communities. And yet, through robust and powerful descriptions of particularly effective learning communities, the authors hold out promise that they might indeed make a difference. Anyone persuaded that learning communities are the new “magic bullet” to fix schools needs to read this book, including teacher educators, educational leaders and practitioners, professional developers, and educational leadership faculty.
Public Education, State Centralization, and Teacher Unionism in France and the United States
Offering the first systematic, comparative examination of the origins of teachers’ unions in two countries—France and the United States—Teaching Marianne and Uncle Sam shows how teachers’ unions came into existence not because of the willful efforts of particular actors, but over the course of decades of conflict over the proper role of professional educators in public politics.
Nicholas Toloudis traces teacher unionism back to the first efforts of governments to centralize public education. He carefully documents how centralization created new understandings of the role of teachers in their societies and generated new sources of conflict within teachers’ corps. Using rare archival source materials, Toloudis illustrates how these internal conflicts became salient in teachers’ battles with governments over their legitimate right to exist as collective claim-makers within the polity.
In the series Politics, History, and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey
Despite the idealism represented by the No Child Left Behind law’s mandate for accountability in education, deaf students historically and on average have performed far below grade level on standardized tests. To resolve this contradiction in deaf education, this collection presents a spectrum of perspectives from a diverse corps of education experts to suggest a constructive synthesis of worthy ideals, hard realities, and pragmatic solutions. Contributors to this study include volume editors Robert C. Johnson and Ross E. Mitchell, Ed Bosso, Michael Bello, Betsy J. Case, Patrick Costello, Stephanie W. Cawthon, Joseph E. Fischgrund, Courtney Foster, Christopher Johnstone, Michael Jones, Jana Lollis, Pat Moore, Barbara Raimondo, Suzanne Recane, Richard C. Steffan, Jr., Sandra J. Thompson, Martha L. Thurlow, and Elizabeth Towles-Reeves. These noted educators and researchers employ experiences from Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois and California to support their findings about the dilemma facing deaf students and their teachers. They assess the intent and flexibility of federal law; achievement data regarding deaf students; potential accommodations and universal design to make tests more accessible; possible alternatives for deaf students not ready for conventional assessments; accounts of varying degrees of cooperation and conflict between schools and state education departments; and the day-to-day efforts of teachers and school administrators to help deaf students measure up to the new standards. By presenting these wide-ranging insights together, Testing Deaf Students in an Age of Accountability provides a unique opportunity to create genuine means to educate deaf students for the only test that matters, that of life.
Futurity and the Limits of Autonomy
This book brings together an international roster of renowned scholars from disciplines including philosophy, political theory, intellectual history, and literary studies to address the conceptual foundations of the humanities and the question of their future. What notions of the future, of the human, and of finitude underlie recurring anxieties about the humanities in our current geopolitical situation? How can we think about the unpredictable and unthought dimensions of praxis implicit in the very notion of futurity?The essays here argue that the uncertainty of the future represents both an opportunity for critical engagement and a matrix for invention. Broadly conceived, the notion of invention, or cultural poiesis, questions the key assumptions and tasks of a whole range of practices in the humanities, beginning with critique, artistic practices, and intellectual inquiry, and ending with technology, emancipatory politics, and ethics. The essays discuss a wide range of key figures (e.g., Deleuze, Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray), problems (e.g., becoming, kinship and the foreign, disposable populationswithin a global political economy, queerness and the death drive, the parapoetic, electronic textuality, invention and accountability, political and social reform in Latin America), disciplines and methodologies (philosophy, art and art history, visuality, political theory, criticism and critique, psychoanalysis, gender analysis, architecture, literature, art). The volume should be required reading for all who feel a deep commitment to the humanities, its practices, and its future.
One Hundred Years of Education Reform in Texas
In 1949, as postwar Texas was steadily becoming more urban and calls for education reform were gathering strength throughout the state and nation, State Representative Claud Gilmer and State Senator A. M. Aikin Jr. sponsored a bill designed to increase salaries for Texas schoolteachers. Also tied to the bill, however, were provisions related to sweeping changes in school funding and access to education for minorities. In To Get a Better School System, Gene B. Preuss examines not only the public policy wrangling and historical context leading up to and surrounding the Gilmer-Aikin legislation, but also places the discussion in the milieu of the national movement for school reform.