What's Informing Our Thinking

Email Twitter Facebook Stumble Upon Digg | More |

Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectory of Black and Latino Boys
by Edward Fergus, Pedro Noguera and Margary Martin. Published by Harvard Education Press, April 30,2014.

This month we recommend a new groundbreaking study of schools that effectively educate African-American and Latino boys, a valuable 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 obtain low test scores and grades, be categorized as learning disabled, be absent from honors and gifted programs and be overrepresented among students who are suspended and expelled from school. They are also less likely to enroll in college and more likely to drop out. Put simply, they are among the most vulnerable populations in our schools. 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 vulnerable group of young people.

Drawing on student and teacher surveys, focus groups, interviews and classroom observations, the authors investigate 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. This thoughtful, passionately argued volume promises to influence efforts to improve the achievement and life outcomes of black and Latino boys for years to come.

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 the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Margary Martin is a visiting assistant professor at Brown University.