New Book: Wrestling with Difference and Educational Equity in Everyday Practice

Posted by on August 4, 2008

Title: Elusive Justice: Wrestling with Difference and Educational Equity in Everyday Practice
Author(s): Thea Renda Abu El-Haj
Publisher: Routledge, New York
ISBN: 0415953650 , Pages: 256, Year: 2006

The last three words pledged daily by American boys and girls are cruelly ironic, given the state of education in their country. In May, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy decried a “national epidemic” in which “the dropout rate for African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students approaches 50%” (Spellings, 2007). Actually, flipping a coin offers better odds than those faced by pupils in many cities expecting – or, for those with a working grasp of probability, not expecting – to graduate from high school (Toppo, 2006). America does many things very well, but competently educating all of its children is not among them. This injustice drives Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, a professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Education and a self-described “anthropologist of education” (p. 3), to explore how schools try to achieve justice.

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