Cover image for Debunking the middle-class myth : why diverse schools are good for all our kids
Debunking the middle-class myth : why diverse schools are good for all our kids
Kugler, Eileen Gale, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 163 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A ScarecrowEducation book."
Myth 1: the best school for my child is the one with the highest standardized test scores -- Myth 2: one style of school leadership will work in every school -- Myth 3: the best teachers prefer homogeneous middle-class schools -- Myth 4: diverse schools can't provide rigorous classes -- Myth 5: diverse schools are not safe -- Myth 6: family beliefs and values will be threatened if we expose our youth to people with different perspectives -- Myth 7: minority parents don't care about their children's education -- School reality 1: students with different backgrounds and experiences bring new insights to the classroom -- School reality 2: students who closely interact with people from different backgrounds learn that reality extends beyond their own limited experiences -- School reality 3: stereotypes and prejudice break down when students have personal contact with members of other races and cultures -- Society reality 1: our youth must learn how to actively participate in a diverse national and international society -- Society reality 2: our nation's school population is becoming more diverse, but our schools are becoming more segregated -- What about schools near me? -- What's my role? -- School boards: leading their community -- Superintendents: visionaries with a collaborative spirit -- Principals: doing whatever it takes -- Teachers: reaching for every child -- Parents: the critical connection -- Students: what it's all about.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC1099.3 .K84 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This book offers a unique perspective on what every educator, parent, and community leader should know about reaping the rich harvest of our diverse schools. Included are anecdotes from Kugler's personal experience as well as information from 80 interviews with key educators, parents, and students.

Author Notes

Eileen Gale Kugler is a national advocate for diverse schools, speaking and writing on the benefits of a diverse student body and consulting with school districts.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a forceful and straightforward apology for public school diversity from a parent activist. Rarely do we find in print first-person parental accounts that forward the notion of diversity as a clear indicator of academic excellence for majority students. Free of educational jargon and hard-to-understand statistics, Kugler's book is suitable for both popular and academic audiences. Adding additional weight to Gary Orfield's valuable and compelling research on school diversity and resegregation at the School of Education at Harvard, the book is particularly valuable because of the rarity of its voice and its call for parents to rethink the types of environments needed for the future of students and country. While many parents write essays or letters to the editors on current problems in public education, few ever attempt to write about what is working in public education and what must work if the US is to become a successful multicultural country. This book is recommended for all parents, teachers, and professors of education who are looking for literature that chronicles health rather than pathology in public education. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All levels. L. B. Gallien Regent University

Table of Contents

Gary Orfield
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xxi
Part 1 The Myths That Poison Our Thinking about Diverse Schools
1 Myth 1: The Best School for My Child Is the One with the Highest Standardized Test Scoresp. 3
2 Myth 2: One Style of School Leadership Will Work in Every Schoolp. 10
3 Myth 3: The Best Teachers Prefer Homogeneous Middle-Class Schoolsp. 17
4 Myth 4: Diverse Schools Can't Provide Rigorous Classesp. 22
5 Myth 5: Diverse Schools Are Not Safep. 27
6 Myth 6: Family Beliefs and Values Will Be Threatened If We Expose Our Youth to People with Different Perspectivesp. 34
7 Myth 7: Minority Parents Don't Care about the Education of Their Childrenp. 38
Part 2 The Realities of Diverse Schools and of Our Society
8 School Reality 1: Students with Different Backgrounds and Experiences Bring New Insights to the Classroomp. 47
9 School Reality 2: Students Who Closely Interact with People from Different Backgrounds Learn That Reality Extends beyond Their Own Limited Experiencesp. 52
10 School Reality 3: Stereotypes and Prejudice Break Down When Students Have Personal Contact with Members of Other Races and Culturesp. 56
11 Society Reality 1: Our Youth Must Learn How to Actively Participate in a Diverse National and International Societyp. 62
12 Society Reality 2: Our Nation's School Population Is Becoming More Diverse, but Our Schools Are Becoming More Segregatedp. 68
13 What about the Schools Near Me?p. 75
Part 3 How to Reap the Rich Harvest of Our Diverse Schools
14 What's My Role?p. 83
15 School Boards: Leading Their Communityp. 86
16 Superintendents: Visionaries with a Collaborative Spiritp. 94
17 Principals: Doing Whatever It Takesp. 104
18 Teachers: Reaching for Every Childp. 118
19 Parents: The Critical Connectionp. 127
20 Students: What It's All Aboutp. 137
21 Community Members: Closing the Loopp. 144
Conclusionp. 151
Epiloguep. 153
Bibliographyp. 157
About the Authorp. 162