By any measure of test scores and graduation rates, public
schools are failing to educate a large percentage of Chicana/o
youth. But despite years of analysis of this failure, no consensus
has been reached as to how to realistically address it. Taking a
new approach to these issues, Marcos Pizarro goes directly to
Chicana/o students in both urban and rural school districts to ask
what their school experiences are really like, how teachers and
administrators support or thwart their educational aspirations, and
how schools could better serve their Chicana/o students.
In this accessible, from-the-trenches account of the Chicana/o
school experience, Marcos Pizarro makes the case that racial
identity formation is the crucial variable in Chicana/o students'
success or failure in school. He draws on the insights of students
in East Los Angeles and rural Washington State, as well as years of
research and activism in public education, to demonstrate that
Chicana/o students face the daunting challenge of forming a
positive sense of racial identity within an educational system that
unintentionally yet consistently holds them to low standards
because of their race. From his analysis of this systemic problem,
he develops a model for understanding the process of racialization
and for empowering Chicana/o students to succeed in school that can
be used by teachers, school administrators, parents, community
members, and students themselves.
Subjects: Sociology, Education
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