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Untangling Urban Middle School Reform

Clashing Agendas for Literacy Standards and Student Success

Cynthia D. Urbanski (author) Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (Foreword by)

ISBN: 9780807757710

Publication Date: Jul 2016

Format: Paperback

Examines the experience of one school’s resistance to the deficit model of education and how it represents the overall story of urban school reform. Highlighting the consequences of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in literacy, the author weighs the perspectives of teachers, National Writing Project consultants, and administrators.
£33.95

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At Rosa Parks, a middle school in a crimeridden neighborhood, students are advised to “do as they are told” and they will succeed. Unfortunately, “doing what they are told” often translates into repeating information givento them by the teacher, especially when it comes to writing. Meanwhile, students in an affluent neighborhood nearby are encouraged to be creative and think critically. This book examines the experience of one school’sresistance to the deficit model of education and how it represents the overall story of urban school reform. Highlighting the consequences of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in literacy, the author weighs the perspectives of teachers, National Writing Project consultants, and administrators. Her up-close analysis illuminates how rigid accountability structures shift power away from the teachers and administrators who know the students best. As such, it illustrates the complex nature of writing instruction in urban schools.

Book Features:
  • Provides valuable lessons learned that can be applied throughout the United States to improve urban schools.
  • Offers rich portraits of students and teachers who resist the deficit identities placed on them by the dominant narrative of urban school reform.
  • Presents a forum for those who are often silenced and talked about where they can speak for themselves.

Reviews

“This is a story of life at Rosa Parks Middle School as teachers, administrators, and consultants take up a school improvement project, but it is also the story of life in an urban middle school under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its larger operational context of generalized, bureaucratized distrust.” —From the Foreword by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, executive director, National Writing Project
Pages 144
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Jul 2016
Publisher Teachers College Press
Subject/s Education   Child & developmental psychology   Urban communities   Teaching of students with English as a second language (TESOL)   Primary & middle schools  
Cynthia D. Urbanski is a Writing Project teacher consultant at the University of North Carolina, USA at Charlotte and ethnographic researcher with the Renaissance West Community Initiative.

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