Students of Color and the Achievement Gap is a comprehensive, landmark analysis of an incontrovertible racialized reality in U.S. K-12 public education---the relentless achievement gap between low-socioeconomic students of color and their economically advantaged White counterparts. Award winning author and scholar Richard Valencia provides an authoritative and systemic treatment of the achievement gap, focusing on Black and Latino/Latina students. He examines the societal and educational factors that help to create and maintain the achievement gap by drawing from critical race theory, an asset-based perspective and a systemic inequality approach.
By showing how racialized opportunity structures in society and schools ultimately result in racialized patterns of academic achievement in schools, Valencia shows how the various indicators of the achievement gap are actually symptoms of the societal and school quality gaps. Following each of these concerns, Valencia provides a number of reform suggestions that can lead to systemic transformations of K-12 education. Students of Color and the Achievement Gap makes a persuasive and well documented case that school success for students of color, and the empowerment of their parents, can only be fully understood and realized when contextualized within broader political, economic, and cultural frameworks.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Problem. 1. The Achievement Gap. 2. Competing Models to Explain the Achievement Gap. Part II. Macrolevel-Factors. 3. The "Other" Gaps: Income, Housing, and Health. Part III. Mesolevel-Factors. 4. School Segregation, Desegregation, and Integration. 5. Teacher Quality. 6. Language Suppression and Cultural Exclusion. 7. Curriculum Differentiation. Part IV. Microlevel-Factors. 8. Parental Engagement and Empowerment. 9. Student Agency and Empowerment. Last Thoughts.
Richard R. Valencia is a professor educational psychology and faculty associate in the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.