Despite the Best Intentions

How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools

Author: Amanda E. Lewis,John B. Diamond

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190250879

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

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On the surface, Riverview High School looks like the post-racial ideal. Serving an enviably affluent, diverse, and liberal district, the school is well-funded, its teachers are well-trained, and many of its students are high achieving. Yet Riverview has not escaped the same unrelenting question that plagues schools throughout America: why is it that even when all of the circumstances seem right, black and Latino students continue to lag behind their peers? Through five years' worth of interviews and data-gathering at Riverview, John Diamond and Amanda Lewis have created a rich and disturbing portrait of the achievement gap that persists more than fifty years after the formal dismantling of segregation. As students progress from elementary school to middle school to high school, their level of academic achievement increasingly tracks along racial lines, with white and Asian students maintaining higher GPAs and standardized testing scores, taking more advanced classes, and attaining better college admission results than their black and Latino counterparts. Most research to date has focused on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in urban contexts. Diamond and Lewis instead situate their research in a suburban school, and look at what factors within the school itself could be causing the disparity. Most crucially, they challenge many common explanations of the 'racial achievement gap,' exploring what race actually means in this situation, and why it matters. An in-depth study with far-reaching consequences, Despite the Best Intentions revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society.
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Legislating Morality in America: Debating the Morality of Controversial U.S. Laws and Policies

Author: Donald P. Haider-Markel

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1440849714

Category: Law

Page: 297

View: 6507

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This title undertakes an impartial, authoritative, and in-depth examination of the moral arguments and ideas behind the laws and policies that govern personal, corporate, and government behavior in the United States. This A-Z encyclopedia surveys the moral arguments that provide the foundation for many of the most important and/or divisive laws, policies, and beliefs that govern modern American society. The work discusses such controversial and important issues as abortion, civil rights, drugs and alcohol, euthanasia, guns, hate crimes, immigration, immunization, natural resource use and protection, prostitution, same-sex marriage, and workplace laws. In the process of surveying historical and current beliefs about appropriate legislative responses to these issues, this work will help readers to understand how conservative and liberal conceptions of justice, fairness, and morality are at the center of so many hot-button political and social issues in 21st century America. The essays featured in the volume cover wide-ranging and controversial topics related to constitutional and religious freedoms, issues of crime and punishment, sexuality and reproduction, environmental protection and public health, national security and civil liberties, social welfare programs, and education. Context-setting overview essay introduces the question of whether (or to what degree) legislation inevitably carries a moral element and discusses examples of legislation in US history with a significant alleged "moral" grounding, ranging from the Emancipation Proclamation and Prohibition to anti-smoking laws, the Civil Rights Act, and the Affordable Care Act Each entry not only summarizes economic, legal, and sociological arguments for or against positions on these issues but more importantly focuses on the ethical/moral arguments championed by various sides A chronology of events situates morality historically as a force in US legislation An annotated bibliography suggests resources for further study, related to concepts of morality and their impact on American laws
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The Power of Race in Cuba

Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness During the Revolution

Author: Danielle Pilar Clealand

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190632313

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 8282

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In The Power of Race in Cuba, Danielle Pilar Clealand analyzes racial ideologies that negate the existence of racism and their effect on racial progress and activism through the lens of Cuba. Since 1959, Fidel Castro and the Cuban government have married socialism and the ideal of racial harmony to create a formidable ideology that is an integral part of Cubans' sense of identity and their perceptions of race and racism in their country. While the combination of socialism and a colorblind racial ideology is particular to Cuba, strategies that paint a picture of equality of opportunity and deflect the importance of race are not particular to the island's ideology and can be found throughout the world, and in the Americas, in particular. By promoting an anti-discrimination ethos, diminishing class differences at the onset of the revolution, and declaring the end of racism, Castro was able to unite belief in the revolution to belief in the erasure of racism. The ideology is bolstered by rhetoric that discourages racial affirmation. The second part of the book examines public opinion on race in Cuba, particularly among black Cubans. It examines how black Cubans have indeed embraced the dominant nationalist ideology that eschews racial affirmation, but also continue to create spaces for black consciousness that challenge this ideology. The Power of Race in Cuba gives a nuanced portrait of black identity in Cuba and through survey data, interviews with formal organizers, hip hop artists, draws from the many black spaces, both formal and informal to highlight what black consciousness looks like in Cuba.
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