Jean Anyon's groundbreaking new book reveals the influence of federal and metropolitan policies and practices on the poverty that plagues schools and communities in American cities and segregated, low-income suburbs. Public policies...such as those regulating the minimum wage, job availability, tax rates, federal transit, and affordable housing...all create conditions in urban areas that no education policy as currently conceived can transcend. In this first book since her best-selling Ghetto Schooling, Jean Anyon argues that we must replace these federal and metro-area policies with more equitable ones so that urban school reform can have positive life consequences for students.
Anyon provides a much-needed new paradigm for understanding and combating educational injustice. Radical Possibilities reminds us that historically, equitable public policies have been typically created as a result of the political pressure brought to bear by social movements. Basing her analysis on new research in civil rights history and social movement theory, Anyon skillfully explains how the current moment offers serious possibilities for the creation of such a force. The book powerfully describes five social movements already under way in U.S. cities, and offers readers interested in building this new social movement a set of practical and theoretical insights into securing economic and educational justice for the many millions of America's poor families and students.
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Radical Possibilities is a powerful and important book. Jean Anyon argues forcefully and persuasively for a new and comprehensive vision to understand and confront the problems of urban education. By showing the limitations of urban school reform in dealing with conditions created by macroeconomic and metropolitan policies, she presents a compelling case for a social movement that centers on education but that addresses the broader issues of social inequality. This well written book is must reading for anyone concerned about the state of urban public schools.
William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard UniversityAbout the Author:
Jean Anyon has published widely on the confluence of social class, race, the political economy, and education. Several of her articles are classics, and have been reprinted in over 40 edited collections. Her last book, Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban School Reform, was reviewed in the Book Review of the New York Times, among many other publications, and is widely used and cited. She teaches social and educational policy in the Doctoral Program in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
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