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Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform
In this personal account, originally published in 1997, Jean Anyon provides evidence that the economic and political devastation of America's inner cities has robbed schools and teachers of the capacity to successfully implement current strategies of educational reform. She argues that without fundamental change in government and business policies and the redirection of ma ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published September 19th 1997 by Teachers College Press
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Anyon does a great job of providing the historical, social and economic background of Newark, New Jersey and how this history impacted the school climate and culture of the area. It's an impressive body of research which I'm sure took years to assemble. I enjoyed the political and economic policy discussion but it was a rather heavy and dry beginning to the book. I kept waiting for the....and what do we do about it moments. Unfortunately this came at the very end of the book; but even her ideas ...more
Not a lot to add here in Anyon's case study of a Newark school and the national, state, and city history that led up to its current state of disaster. The depressing part is her descriptions of Newark schools throughout the 20th century and how closely they cleave to the environment I now teach in. She speaks of schools in the 1930s that were built 80 years earlier, in disrepair, with disgusting lavatories, rodent problems, lack of supplies. She describes teachers who don't understand their stud ...more
The disaster of American urban education has a long history in racial segregation and oppression - Anyon presents the history of demographic change in Newark, NJ as a prime example of how shifting class and race populations in the inner city led to neglect and reallocation funds on the state level. What I found most interesting was how the level of corruption in city government led to the empty shell that blacks inherited as they gained political power. Big city governments have always been bast ...more
Jean Anyon is my educational hero. In this book she uses Newark, New Jersey as a case study to illustrate that what is wrong with the public school system has a lot to do with the cultural, political, and economical history of a geographic area. She makes so many sound arguments in this book about the state of the system, but amazingly leaves the reader charged and ready to change things!
This book is very dense with stats, but it does a good job of illustrating how failing schools lay at the intersection of a ton of social and economic policies. It isn't gripping reading like the first-person accounts of urban schools by Jonathan Kozol, but it does present the complexities of the issues facing education today, and how the current state of American education came to be.
This is an interesting book, and it holds largely the same purpose as Kozol's "Savage Inequalities." It's certainly a good tool for pending teachers, but if one has read Kozol, I don't see why he or she needs to read this text. If you have a particular interest in the subject and want to read more about injustice in public schools, give it a try. It's realtively short and quite readable.
This book was gift given to me sometime around 1999. I don't remember who gave me this book. But what I remember about what reading this book helped me understand and that was that I was not the only one out here that looked like me wondering if what I was realizing was real. If you understood that then you get it!