Despite the Best Intentions:
How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools
by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond
LC212.2 .L49 2015
New Arrivals, 2nd floor
Dr. Amanda E. Lewis and UW-Madison Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, Dr. John B. Diamond, present a fresh approach in their discussion of the racial achievement gap in education.
Research often focuses on schools in urban neighborhoods and points to factors which are beyond the control of the school, such as poverty and family stability. As the basis for their study, Lewis and Diamond identify a single, diverse, well-funded school in an affluent neighborhood, yet which reflects common disparities in achievement. The authors look within that school for clues as to what might cause the racial achievement gap. Lewis and Diamond present five years of their research: interviews with students, parents, and teachers of all races; observations; analysis of school policy and its application; education data and demographics. Their research illustrates how school structures, practices and racial ideologies reinforce each other to create advantage or disadvantage for students. They recommend moving past common interventions which emphasize cultural characteristics or which search for intentional discrimination. The lessons learned here are numerous, but one often revisited throughout the work is that carefully designed policies and routines can be derailed by well-intentioned teachers, parents and administrators.
In addition to the book, listen to an interview and call-in discussion with Dr. Diamond to learn more about what this research implies, at http://www.wpr.org/listen/809741, or hear his interview from the Univ. of Texas at Austin station KUT: