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Journal Article: Confronting Racism in Literacy Education and Research

Journal Article » Confronting Racism in Literacy Education and Research


Academic Achievement, Literacy, Race and Ethnic Discrimination, Racism, Reading Education, Expectations, Justice, Politics, Schools


Edmondson, Jacqueline


2005, Spr


Reviews the book "Literacy and Racial Justice: The Politics of Learning After Brown v. Board of Education," by Catherine Prendergast (2003). Closing the achievement gap is a central and explicit aim of current federal decisions. The achievement gap has direct and specific implications for literacy education and research. By linking reading with eventual success in school and other aspects of life, the Bush administration and Congress continue the assumption that reading well will guarantee success for all students in American schools, and that this success will translate into success in the job market and the globalized economy of the 21st century. This book is both timely and indispensable in explaining the racism embedded in the shallow claims made by those who hold beliefs similar to the Thernstroms and the Bush administration. The author reveals the ways in which racism is normalized in American society through laws, education, and literacy research. She explains the history and challenges of literacy as an expected means to overcome racial inequalities in the United States. Literacy as White property has been protected historically through legislation, reports of research, and the structures of traditional schools. These three core themes of her book are briefly explored in this review. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA )