Keepin' It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities)

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9780195325232: Keepin' It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities)
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How can we help African American and Latino students perform better in the classroom and on exams? In Keepin' It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White, Prudence Carter argues that what is needed is a broader recognition of the unique cultural styles and practices that non-white students bring to the classroom. Based on extensive interviews and surveys of students in New York, she demonstrates that the most successful negotiators of our school systems are the multicultural navigators, culturally savvy teens who draw from multiple traditions, whether it be knowledge of hip hop or of classical music, to achieve their high ambitions.

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Prudence L. Carter is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Stanford University. She won the 2006 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award and was a finalist for the 2005 C. Wright Mills Award for Keepin' It Real.

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"...debunks the prevailing perspective that academic disengagement is influenced by student resistance to "acting white." "Acting White," Carter argues, is used by [African-American and Latino] students for cultural, not academic, reasons and is likely connected to student criticism of ineffectually organized schools that are blind to their social, cultural, and material realities offers educators valuable cultural insight into the role dominant and nondominant cultural repertoires play in the achievement gap. Recommended."--Choice


"This thoughtful and engaging study will change the way many people think about academic disengagement among low-income African American and Latino youths. Based on data from her field research, Prudence L. Carter advances an original and compelling thesis that challenges popular explanations of why some students fail in school while others achieve. Keepin' It Real is an important book."-- William Julius Wilson, author of When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor


"Those who continue to believe that Black and Latino students do not value education because they regard its pursuit as a form of racial treachery must now contend with Dr. Carter's powerful work. Through her textured and detailed ethnographic analysis of high school students, Carter shows that school success has no color, and that the desire to achieve through education has not died with this generation. For those interested in understanding the complex relationship between racial identity and school performance, this is required reading."--Pedro A. Noguera, author of City Schools and the American Dream


"Keepin' It Real offers fresh insight into the importance of a bicultural or multicultural approach to schooling. Carter's careful analysis of the experiences of low-income black and Latino students reveals marked diversity in their educational strategies and outcomes, and provides an important and timely counter to the oversubscribed to notion that these young people equate school success with 'acting white.' A must read for all those working to close the achievement gap."-- Margaret A. Gibson, author of Accommodation Without Assimilation


"This book highlights the importance of cultural authenticity for minority students, and examines how it influences their relationship with the values they believe are privileged by the schooling system. Carter enriches our understanding of topics that have attracted enormous interest among social scientists. Her book should be widely read because it helps us make sense of how various cultural frameworks contribute to the reproduction of inequality."-- Michèle Lamont, author of The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration


"Keepin' it Real provides the reader with a very rich description of the processes involved in a student's ability to maneuver between school, where dominant culture reigns, and their own community. Policy makers as well as educations should listen to Carter's call for teachers to become "multicultural navigators" Educators, researchers, and policy makers will benefit from undertaking the dynamics described in Keepin' it Real."--Children, Youth, and Environment


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