Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectory of Black and Latino Boys

Posted by Harvard Education Press on November 7, 2016

Studies show that black and Latino youth face some of the most towering obstacles in our public schools, leading to the continued expansion of the opportunity gap. Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectory of Black and Latino Boys provides a brilliant road map to better educate this important group. We highly recommend this groundbreaking study of schools that effectively educate African-American and Latino boys, an indispensable tool for anyone interested in creating game-changing education for marginalized young men of color.

Black and Latino boys face persistent and devastating disparities in achievement when compared to their white counterparts. They are more likely to receive low test scores and grades, be categorized as learning disabled, be absent from honors and gifted programs, and be over-represented among students who are suspended and expelled from school. They are also less likely to enroll in college and more likely to drop out once they do. Schooling for Resilience investigates how seven newly formed schools, created specifically to serve boys of color, set out to address the broad array of academic and social problems faced by this group of young people.

Drawing on student and teacher surveys, focus groups, interviews, and classroom observations, the authors investigated how these schools were developed, what practices they employed, and how their students responded academically and socially. In particular, they focus on the theory of action that informed each school’s approach to educating black and Latino boys, and then explore how choices about school structure and culture shaped students’ development and achievement. In doing so, the authors identify educational strategies that all schools can learn from.

About the authors: Edward Fergus is an assistant professor of educational leadership at New York University. He is also the former deputy director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University. Pedro Noguera is a professor of education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA, and Margary Martin is a visiting assistant professor at Brown University.

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