Academic journal article High School Journal

Letter from the Editorial Board

Academic journal article High School Journal

Letter from the Editorial Board

Article excerpt

As a nation, we continue to hold fast to a collective belief in education as one of the primary avenues to a more democratic and prosperous future. However, there are too many people struggling to get ahead and stay ahead, especially in the midst of a faltering economy. For over a decade, politicians and presidents have professed a renewed desire to turn around failing schools. The latest legislation calls us to "leave no child behind" and to "race to the top" of educational rankings worldwide; nevertheless, these nationwide policies have yet to ease our educational woes. Opportunity gaps persist between more privileged students and those who have historically been underserved, particularly low-income students and students of color. Two-thirds of eighth-graders cannot read at levels deemed proficient (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011), for example, and students in most industrialized nations outperform U.S. students in math, science, and reading (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2010).

It is easy to lose hope in light of these circumstances, particularly for educators who work tirelessly with students every day. Despite the difficulties, educational reform movements continue. Some small-scale reform efforts include The Eagle Rock School, a residential high school in Colorado that provides tuition-free education to students who have otherwise given up on graduating from traditional schools. Public schools like Gregorio Luperon High School in New York City adopt additive approaches to bilingualism and biculturalism, drawing on the cultural assets of its students (Michael, Andrade, & Bartlett, 2007). Non-profit organizations like Student U in Durham, North Carolina, are aimed at increasing college access for lower-income middle and high school students. Academic and activist Jeff Duncan-Andrade aims to scale up his program of support, called Roses in Concrete, through "looping" and community involvement to create a sustainable model for urban education (see Duncan-Andrade, 2009). Similarly, Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone offers a model for community-based education with wrap-around services such as health care and family support. …

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