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Up Where We Belong. Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2218185
  • Book
  • May 2007
  • Region: United States, Africa
  • 352 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
In Up Where We Belong, Gail Thompson asked the students in a low performing school to be candid about their high school experiences. Using this information and relying on data from questionnaires and focus groups, Thompson discovered a huge gap in perception between how teachers and students view their experience of school. The book explores this disparity, and uncovers some of the reasons for students’ low achievement, apathy, and frustration. Most important, she offers vital lessons for transforming schools–especially for underachieving kids and students of color.
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Acknowledgments x

About the Author xi

Introduction 1

Part One: In the Classroom

1. “You Can Tell If They Care”: Why Students Need Caring and Highly Qualified Teachers 13

2. “It Would Be Nice to Learn Something About My Culture”: A Plea for a Culturally Relevant and More Interesting Education 38

3. “It Don’t Make No Sense to Give Us All These Tests”: Student Effort, Achievement, and Attitudes About Standardized Tests 65

4. “They Just Think We’re Loud”: How Discipline Policies and Practices Can Affect Students’ Attitudes About School 97

Part Two: On the Schoolyard

5. “We Just Can’t Seem to Get Along”: Race Relations on Campus 131

6. “You Don’t Know If They’re Gonna . . . Bust a Columbine on Everybody”: Why Schools Won’t Ever Be Entirely Safe 154

7. “Everybody’s Intimidated by Us”: A Candid Conversation with African American Males 179

8. “This Place Is Nasty”: How the School’s Physical Environment Can Contribute to Student Apathy 206

Part Three: Out in the World: Beyond the Classroom and the Schoolyard

9. “Yes! They Do Care About My Education”: Parent Involvement in Schools 223

10. “They Should Worry More About Our Future”: Why America’s Stepchildren Need a College Preparatory Curriculum 245

11. The Truth Can Set Us Free! Seven Lessons I’ve Learned About School Reform in America 266

Notes 291

Appendix A: Teacher Demographics 309

Appendix B: Student Demographics 310

Appendix C: Additional Information About the Student Questionnaire Respondents 311

Appendix D: Teacher Questionnaire Results 312

Appendix E: Student Questionnaire Results 319

Appendix F: Classroom Management Exercise 1 327

Appendix G: Classroom Management Exercise 2 328

Index 329

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Gail L. Thompson Claremont Graduate University.
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