NPEA Digest: June 15, 2017
Special Edition: 10 Summer Reads
Editor: Vijay Pendakur, Foreword By: *Shaun Harper ( 2016 NPEA Conference Keynote)

"This book offers a novel and proven approach to the retention and success of underrepresented students. It advocates a strategic approach through which an institution sets clear goals and metrics and integrates the identity support work of cultural/diversity centers with skill building through cohort activities, enabling students to successfully navigate college, graduate on time and transition to the world of work. Underlying the process is an intersectional and identity-conscious, rather than identity-centered, framework that addresses the complexity of students' assets and needs as they encounter the unfamiliar terrain of college...Each chapter opens with a student story to frame the problem, outlines the key research that informs the program, and offers sufficient descriptive information for staff or faculty considering implementing a similar identity-conscious intervention on their campus. The chapters conclude with a discussion of assessment, and suggested 'Action Items' as starting points. " Read more.


"Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it. Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school - not with a degree, but with crippling debt...In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector-focused 'first degree free' program. What's not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people. " Read more.



" Just 16 percent of [all] female students, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged - by teachers, administrators, and the justice system - and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond." Read more.


By: Alan M. Blankstein, *Pedro Noguera ( 2013 NPEA Conference Keynote ), and Lorena Kelly

" Excellence Through Equity is an inspiring look at how real-world educators are creating schools where all students are able to thrive. In these schools, educators understand that equity is not about treating all children the same. They are deeply committed to ensuring that each student receives what he or she individually needs to develop their full potential and succeed. To help educators with what can at times be a difficult and challenging journey, Blankstein and Noguera frame the book with five guiding principles of Courageous Leadership: (I) Getting to your core,
(II) Making organizational meaning, (III) Ensuring constancy and consistency of purpose, (IV) Facing the facts and your fears, and (V) Building sustainable relationships. They further emphasize that the practices are grounded in three important areas of research that are too often disregarded: (1) child development, (2) neuroscience, and (3) environmental influences on child development and learning. You'll hear from Carol Corbett Burris, Michael Fullan, Marcus J. Newsome, Paul Reville, Susan Szachowicz, and other bold practitioners and visionary thinkers who share compelling and actionable ideas, strategies, and experiences for closing the achievement gap in your classrooms, organizations, and schools ." Read more.


"Drawing upon decades of leadership in schools and the foundation and nonprofit worlds, author David Grant offers strategies - from creating mission time to planning backwards to constructing qualitative assessment rubrics - that help organizations take assessment back into their own hands, and improve their work as a result. His insights, illustrated by numerous case studies, make this book a unique organizational development tool for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, as well as emerging mission-based social venture businesses, such as low-profit corporations and B Corps. The Social Profit Handbook presents assessment and evaluation not as ends in themselves but as the path toward achieving what matters most in the social sector. The result: more benefits to society and stronger, more unified, more effective organizations prepared to make the world a better place. " Read more.


"In her groundbreaking history of 175 years of American education, Dana Goldstein finds answers in the past to the controversies that plague our public schools today. In The Teacher Wars , a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been embattled for nearly two centuries. She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools - instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting 'elite' graduates to teach - are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. The Teacher Wars upends the conversation about American education by bringing the lessons of history to bear on the dilemmas we confront today. By asking 'How did we get here?' Dana Goldstein brilliantly illuminates the path forward." Read more.


By: James Baldwin and Raoul Peck

"To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin's published and unpublished oeuvre, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck's film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin's private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America. This edition [of the book] contains more than 40 black-and-white images from the film. " Read more.


" Mentoring At-Risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education reveals how the institutional culture and social networks of universities influence the academic success of underrepresented students. This book is based on a qualitative study that integrates a sociological and higher education theoretical framework to examine the impact of mentoring programs on students' acquisition of institutional cultural capital and social capital during their college experience. This book offers an innovative mentoring model that illuminates how students can navigate the hidden curriculum of higher education. In addition, the book provides practical
strategies on how to avoid academic mine fields in order to thrive in college. This book is written for administrators, faculty, student affairs professionals and students to promote retention, academic success, and create a more transparent, inclusive, and equitable higher education system." Read more.


By: Luis Alberto Urrea

"In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Award-winning writer and poet Urrea ( Across the Wire; Six Kinds of Sky; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte...In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety, and how 14 others did not. But while many point to the group's smugglers (known as coyotes) as the prime villains of the tragedy, Urrea unloads on, in the words of one Mexican consul, 'the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border.' Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted mélange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy. It may not directly influence the forces behind the U.S.'s southern border travesties, but it does give names and identities to the faceless and maligned, and highlights the brutality and unsustainable nature of the many walls separating the two countries." Read more.


By: Tia Brown McNair, Susan Albertine, Michelle Asha Cooper, Nicole McDonald, and Thomas Major Jr.

"The national conversation asking 'Are students college-ready?' concentrates on numerous factors that are beyond higher education's control. Becoming a Student-Ready College flips the college readiness conversation to provide a new perspective on creating institutional value and facilitating student success. Instead of focusing on student preparedness for college (or lack thereof), this book asks the more pragmatic question of what are colleges and universities doing to prepare for the students who are entering their institutions? What must change in an institution's policies, practices, and culture in order to be student-ready? Clear and concise, this book is packed with insightful discussion and practical strategies for achieving your ambitious student success goals. These ideas for redesigning practices and policies provide more than food for thought-they offer a real - world framework for real institutional change." Read more.


By: Angel D. Flores (author) and many contributors

"Real-world advice for first-generation college students FROM first-generation college graduates. Each author understands the challenges of being the first person in your entire family to attend college. This book is full of practical, common sense advice that will save you both time and money because it was gained through the struggles and challenges overcome by first-generation students. A must have for any first-generation student or for any college student whose parents have been out of school for more than 10 years." Read more.


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