Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children” as Want to Read:
"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

"Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other People's Children

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  363 ratings  ·  54 reviews
As MacArthur award-winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that h ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by New Press, The (first published September 27th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about "Multiplication Is for White People", please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about "Multiplication Is for White People"

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,040)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Well, this is a pisser. To be clear: Delpit is a strong writer covering a topic that's sure to enrage almost everyone: that is, public education in the US. The short version is vast amounts of money from the Gates and Walton foundations (among other sources) haven't helped, except to divert energy and money away from public schools. No Child Left Behind hasn't helped, except to divert billions away from any actual education and into private companies producing the loathed tests and test-prep mat ...more
I am all over the place on Lisa Delpit’s latest book on educating “poor black children,” probably because Delpit is a little all over the place. She makes a plethora of excellent points, but in a fashion that is overly wordy (I know, pot calling the kettle black here; wait, I didn’t mean it that way!), puzzlingly organized, and admittedly angry (“I am left in my more cynical moments with the thought that poor black children have become the vehicle by which rich white people give money to their f ...more
Very interesting book on teaching African American children in general (not just math). There were lots of things in it that made me think. I actually tore the post-its I was using to mark pages into smaller & smaller pieces so I could mark more pages (no I didn't get more--just lazy I guess). I am not a teacher, but I do work in a school and it really made me think about how I respond to children of color based on my own world view and how an can change that based on what I learned from thi ...more
I read this as a professional development summer read for work. I recommend this for all teachers. It is a powerful testament and reminder to look at each child individually and without assumptions.
MacArthur Fellow and education professor Lisa Delpit (author of the seminal book Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflicts in the Classroom) takes on the “pedagogy of poverty” in this exploration of why education is still failing poor students of color. She charges that in spite of the fact that America has a black president,

“…we are far from a color-blind society, that African Americans are still devalued, stigmatized, and made invisible.”

In particular, she points to “microaggressions,” the t
Two Articles and the Education Implications

One of my students was telling the class how she was the only black student in her previous school (a private school). I asked her “which school do you like better?”
“Well, here I feel more welcome, there I learned more.”

Recently I was debating a friend and I asked him, well, what’s the end goal of education? He responded to build a sense of community, I responded that the end goal of American education is to instill individual excellence so a person can
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
Lisa Delpit builds on her 20 years working with schools and her children's experience to articulate what she see's going right and wrong in education. As a white mother in a system that is predominantly not, I thought this book would offer some insights and it does, but I also think its arguments need to be sorted out more. So this is what I took from it-

-Lots of uneven teaching out there, even by senior people
-Race still matters a lot, as does class, but Delpit seems to conflate the two and I w
Lisa Delpit has written another powerful book, and in fact, I believe that this most recent work delivers more than Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, as her analysis and outlook have deepened and become more rounded. With a focus particularly trained on improving the education provided to African American students (and exposing the many ways in which the current educational system not only fails but tragically harms these students), Delpit points us in the direction of ...more
There were some good pieces in her narrative but I was looking for more. I do appreciate that this is a tough subject to tackle and can lead to a whole lot of misunderstandings. However, the reality in some urban areas such as the one I work with, is that the majority of students are minorities and the majority of the teachers/administrators are not. I do believe that this can lead to misunderstandings particularly around parental involvement and procedural school-based issues. I was hoping that ...more
Jenny GB
I unfortunately couldn't get my hands on Other People's Children before reading this book so it was my first time reading anything by Lisa Delpit. I enjoyed her thoughts, suggestions, and challenges for educators. As a teacher myself, I work with a large minority population at school every day. I feel most of her ideas would not only be good for black students or even just minority students, but all students. All students need a challenging curriculum with supportive teachers. All students need ...more
This book, primarily written for educators (or so it seemed to me), explored some really interesting concepts regarding why children of color don't tend to fare well in school. It talks about other people's (teachers and principals) expectations about what a child is capable of, depending on that child's background and the educator's attempts to challenge or overcome both real and perceived barriers to learning. My main quarrel with this book is about its complete focus on black/African American ...more
Mark Isero
I like Lisa Delpit, but this book misses the mark. I love the provocative title, and in general, I like the idea of "school-dependent" children and our responsibility to teach them. However, once Ms. Delpit goes from theory to practice, her examples become less rigorous. She launches into feel-good anecdotes about teachers with heroic qualities who are doing amazing things. This kind of writing sometimes leaves me inspired, but this time, I was less than awed.

Along the way, Ms. Delpit decries th
"Other People's Children" had been on my reading list for a while but "Multiplication is for White People" beat it to my library first. I first encountered "Multiplication is for White People" when it was splashed across the screen on new school year staff orientation at my internship school. I had recently read "Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" and was looking to deepen my knowledge on ways to approach my own biases when I work with African American/Black students. ...more
John Huber
I definitely enjoyed Delpit's latest book, although there wasn't a ton that was terribly new in terms of content. Delpit's style is clear and apparent, and readers of Delpit's Other People's Children will feel like they are in familiar territory. It's also pretty clear in reading the book that Delpit wrote this book, in part, as a response to the criticism that she received following the publication of Other People's Children - namely, that by calling for teachers of low-income students to empha ...more
Yamil Baez
This book provided just what I needed at this time which was some framing ideas, some paths to follow and the inspiration to stay strong as an educator. However, the book feels like it was rushed- a bit unpolished, a bit rough around the edges. I am left with some questions but I don't think that this is a bad thing. I just hope that I've gotten enough to help me find answers as my primary goal is to contribute to providing education to all our children. Also, because Delpit uses many anecdotes ...more
Jenna Willson
I read Delpit’s newest work, "Multiplication is for White People:" Raising Expectations for Other’s Peoples Children first and loved it. Delpit brought up many issues that I have unfortunately seen first had in my school: lowered expectations because of race. She also addresses Ruby Payne’s deficit model of thinking in regards to children who are living in poverty and critiques everything that is wrong with it. I haven’t studied Payne in depth; after reading Delpit, part of me wants to and the o ...more
I had mixed feelings on this book. I found the first portion of the book that focused more on research and statistics on the disparity in learning among different races and economic statuses useful and intriguing. There were many moments within the book where I felt certain concepts and controversial ideas we taken somewhat out of context - which was quite likely intentional - but I feel led to more of an argumentative attitude rather than a collective "let's work on this together" stance. I who ...more
Barbara Lovejoy
This is the book for the next Education Week Book Club. I loved "Other People's Children" by Lisa Delpit so was really looking forward to reading this book. Even though it was directed mainly to those working with African American children, I felt that the same concepts applied to Hispanic children. The author has some great insights we'll want to remember as we work with our Esperanza learners.

On 5-26-12 I watched BOOKTV with Lisa Delpit the guest. Great program that can be found at http://www

I truly enjoy Delpit's work, but I found that this book attempted to tackle way too much. Without a clear thesis or underlying theme, the reader can easily become lost in her anecdotal stories of her field work and her references to her contemporaries work in the field of race and education. That said, I found her chapters on "Educating the Youngest" extremely insightful and new. Not enough is said about the stigma of special education students, class, and alternative literacy practices. Within
Professional Development on May 28th to discuss the book. Looking forward to it.
The book grew on after a few chapters. I have worked in urban schools in Baltimore and DC and many of the issues and concepts she described were relevant. I believe her values around education and teacher planning and instruction are on point but I wished she provided a more detailed plan on how to get there. She highlighted a number of policy obstacles but didn't give much on how to overcome the obstacles. I definitely think this is a good read for new teachers regardless of race, class, or lif ...more
I wonder why the teaching profession is the only profession that allows itself to be torn apart by its own members. You would neveer see a doctor critique the rest of all doctors or a lawyer critique the rest of all lawyers. Maybe we don't consider ourselves to be true professionals? This book had little new to offer. One statement that did reverberate with me was that the richest men in America control the education of the poorest (in reference to Gates grants). Unfortunate, I wanted to learn s ...more
I flew through this book pretty quickly earlier in the summer - it felt very conversational, like I was with coworkers simply talking about how things are and agreeing a lot. I enjoyed reading the book for sure - even when it veered into ranting territory I understood why. That said, now that it's been a month I'm not sure what I really gained from it - while there were some suggestions on how to better teach non-white students (largely black males) a lot of them weren't super concrete.
Mills College Library
379.26097 D363 2012
For book discussion group. I wish we'd read this book for "cultural competency" class req instead of the boring text book we read. I hesitated to start the book thinking it might be more confrontational than practical, but it was as opposite as could be. Pure praxis. I would consider this one of, if not the, the most important ed books I've read in the last few years.
Jun 17, 2012 Jen added it
Thought provoking. Dr. Delpit revisits some commonly-cited educational achievement literature and interprets it from a non-dominant perspective. Whether you agree with her assessments and recommendations or not, this book is a valuable read for anyone interested in social justice, educational inequalities, and understanding how intelligence is measured.
Excellent! A few chapters stumble and don't quite stick the landing, but overall a powerful look at the impact our educational system is having on black learners at every level. At once provocative, damning, hopeful, and inspiring, all the while offering practical and actionable insights to the boots on the ground.
Offers plenty of evidence that a good education based on meeting the needs of individual children would go a long way towards erasing the "achievement gap" and explains some of the roots of the gap. Not so heavy on how to actually make it so all schools offer that kind of education.
Chandra Power
Passionate, witty, and more than a little angry, Delpit clarifies the case for her case that we must do a better job of culturally responsive teaching. I found the stories of her time in Atlanta intriguing, but overall the book is a must-read for teachers of all populations.
Aug 13, 2012 Abi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: profdev
Excellent. So much food for thought, so many of my deeply held beliefs addressed in a teaching context... Just ordered it from Amazon. I look forward to highlighting the heck out of it and working on my humility and my lesson planning, book in hand. <3
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
  • The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future
  • Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School
  • Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity
  • The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
  • The Trouble with Black Boys: And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education
  • Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools
  • Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students
  • Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students
  • Understanding by Design
  • Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, [Book, CD & DVD]
  • Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools
  • The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
  • Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement
  • Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform
  • Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America
  • One Teacher in 10: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories
  • A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All
Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom The Skin That We Speak : Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom Quality Education as a Constitutional Right: Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public Schools Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students The Real Ebonics Debate: Power, Language, and the Education of African-American Children

Share This Book

“There is no achievement gap at birth.” 0 likes
More quotes…