This book examines historical approaches and current research and practice related to the education of adolescents placed at risk of school failure as a result of social and economic conditions. One major goal is to expand the intellectual exchange among researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on factors influencing the achievement of poor and minority youth, specifically students in middle and high schools. Another is to encourage increased dialogue about policies and practices that can make a difference in educational opportunities and outcomes for these students. Although the chapters in this volume are not exhaustive, they represent an array of theoretical and methodological approaches that provide readers with new and diverse ways to think about issues of educational equality and opportunity in the United States. A premise that runs through each chapter is that school success is possible for poor and minority adolescents if adequate support from the school, family, and community is available.
*The conceptual approach (Section I) places the research and practice on students placed at risk in a historical context and sets the stage for an important reframing of current definitions, research, policies, and practices aimed at this population.
*Multiple research methodologies (Sections II and III) allow for comparisons across racial and ethnic groups as well as within groups, and contribute to different and complementary insights. Section III, "Focus on African-American Students," specifically addresses gender and social class differences among African-American adolescents.
*Current reform strategies presently being implemented in schools throughout the United States are presented and discussed (Part IV). These strategies or programs highlight how schools, families, and communities can apply research findings like the ones this book presents, thus bridging the often wide gap between social science research and educational practice.
"While the description of the research methodology may confuse the statistically challenged, all educators, parents, and politicians will become more informed about the conditions that place students at risk. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and policymakers."
"The book is well organised into four clear sections dealing with different aspects of the education process….Overall, the book has a good balance of empirical studies and reflective discussion presented in a range of accessible ways. There is a variety of writing styles, something for academic researchers, interested professionals and social theoriest….'Schooling Students Placed at Risk' offers many optimistic and exciting ideas about possible future paths for education and makes a valuable contribution to the continuing debate about the complexity of effective delivery of education to all our children."
—The British Journal of Educational Psychology
"The book offers theory, research, and strategies to help adolescents succeed and would be useful, in whole or in part, for principals, counselars, preservice and in-service teachers, school board members, researchers, professors, and professional development coordinators."
"The strength of this volume is its breadth of coverage on history, empirical studies, and policy….Overall, the scholarship presented here ranges from excellent to good. Each chapter is well supported with scholarly references. The conceptual and policy chapters are thought provoking and provide empirical support in many cases for the policies and practices that are proposed. The empirical papers present a variety of empirical approaches, including both quantitative and qualitative research, observational and survey research, use of large data sets, and case study designs. This diversity of methods represented in the volume could prove useful as exemplar material for teaching courses on educational research methods."
"…the book has a good balance of empirical studies and reflective discussion presented in a range of accessible ways. There is a variety of writing styles, something for academic researchers, interested professionals and social theorists….the clear message of this book is that greater success for the majority of our school students needs to continuously and imaginatively sought. Schooling Students Placed at Risk offers many optimistic and exciting ideas about possible future paths for education and makes a valuable contribution to the continuing debate about the complexity of effective delivery of education to all our children."
—British Journal of Educational Psychology
"Identifies a critically important issue for exploration….A significant contribution to the existing literature."
—Curtis W. Branch
Teachers College Columbia University
"Impressive….This work raises important questions related to the concept of 'at risk'….[and] has the potential for making conceptual and practical contributions to the field."
—William F. Tate
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Contents: A.W. Boykin, Foreword. M.G. Sanders, Preface: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents. Part I:Reframing Students Placed at Risk: A Historical Look. W. Franklin, Students at Promise and Resilient: A Historical Look at Risk. A. Mitchell, Historical Trends in Educational Policies That Target Students Placed at Risk. R. Balfanz, Why Do So Many Urban Public School Students Demonstrate So Little Academic Achievement? Part II:Factors Influencing Resiliency and School Failure. M.G. Sanders, W.J. Jordan, Student-Teacher Relations and Academic Achievement in High School. W.J. Jordan, S.B. Plank, Talent Loss Among High-Achieving Poor Students. S.S. Yonezawa, Unpacking the Black Box of Tracking Decisions: Critical Tales of Families Navigating the Course Placement Process. Part III:Focus on African-American Students. M.G. Sanders, J.R. Herting, Gender and the Effects of School, Family, and Church Support on the Academic Achievement of African-American Urban Adolescents. A. Mitchell, African-American Teachers and the Roles They Play. R. Cooper, A. Datnow, African-American Student Success in Independent Schools: A Model of Family, School, and Peer Influences. A. Datnow, R. Cooper, Creating a Climate for Diversity? The Institutional Response of Predominantly White Independent Schools to African-American Students. Part IV:From Research to Practice. H. Mintrop, Toward an Understanding of School Reconstitution as a Strategy to Educate Students Placed at Risk. D.J. MacIver, M.A. MacIver, R. Balfanz, S.B. Plank, A. Ruby, Talent Development Middle Schools: Blueprints and Results for a Comprehensive Whole-School Reform Model. C. McClendon, S.M. Nettles, A. Wigfield, Fostering Resilience in High School Classrooms: A Study of the PASS Program (Promoting Achievement in School Through Sport). N.E. Legters, Small Learning Communities Meet School-To-Work: Whole School Restructuring for Urban Comprehensive High Schools. M.G. Sanders, J.L. Epstein, Building School-Family- Community Partnerships in Middle and High Schools. M.G. Sanders, Conclusion: Effective Schooling for Poor and Minority Adolescents: Refining the Focus.