31160782 - J Youth Adolescence (2008) 37:486487 DOI...

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BOOK REVIEW Susan J. Paik, Herbert J. Walberg (eds): Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Strategies for Educating Latino, Black, and Asian Students Springer, NY, 2007, 210 pp, ISBN 978-0-387-44609-7 Troy E. Beckert Published online: 2 November 2007 Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007 Susan J. Paik and Herbert J. Walberg, editors of Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Strategies for Educating Latino, Black, and Asian Students , assemble papers from a national invitational conference that focused on the importance of education for minority children. The book is organized in three parts that deal with (a) culturally diverse families and schooling; (b) histories, issues of immigration, and schooling experiences; and (c) socio-cultural issues on teaching, learning, and development. Each part contains a separate chapter dealing with issues for students from Latino, Black, and Asian backgrounds. The purpose of the conference and subsequent book was to unite interdisci- plinary scholars, practitioners, and policy makers in understanding the achievement gap for each of the three largest minority groups in the United States from multiple perspectives and varied theoretical foundations. This pur- pose was founded on the belief that research should be useful to scholars, educators, and those who influence policy. Generations of research on racial disparity in academic achievement have failed to produce solutions to close the gap between ethnically diverse populations (Lynch 2006 ). Until the 21st Century, federal policy initiatives focused on reducing disparity (especially Fnancial) across schools. However, a signiFcant shift in federal policy to address disparity within schools resulted in the adoption of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in ( 2001 ) (Stiefel et al. 2006 ). This shift again focused the spotlight on the achievement gap speciFc to the major groups of ethnic minority students (Hursh 2007 ). While some improvements in test scores have been observed (Romney 2003 ), the achievement gap continues to exist for most minority groups (Noguera and Wing 2006 ). The authors of this book’s chapters seek to expand the readers’ appreciation for the variance within each minority distinction. This book
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31160782 - J Youth Adolescence (2008) 37:486487 DOI...

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