Voices: African American and Hispanic Students' Perceptions Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap, Paperback/Dupage Cou Regional Office of Education image0
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Voices: African American and Hispanic Students' Perceptions Regarding the Academic Achievement Gap, Paperback/Dupage Cou Regional Office of Education

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Contributor(s): Author: Dupage Cou Regional Office of Education Author: Maria De Lourdes Ferrer Author: MR Stephen Garlington This book is called Voices because it captures what African American and Hispanic students believe deters them from reaching the full measure of the American Dream. Voices simply echoes the thoughts and feelings of the students of DuPage County. The stated mission of the DuPage Regional Office of Education is to collaboratively build and sustain a high-quality county educational community for all. Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage County Regional Superintendent of Schools, is determined to see this mission lived out to its fullest. In keeping with this intent, she determined that the academic achievement gaps evidenced by African American and Hispanic students must be addressed. Dr. Ruscitti, with the financial support of the DuPage County Board, hired Lourdes Ferrer, Ed.D. and Stephen Garlington, MSW/LCSW to address the needs of under-achieving minority students. As part of their work, they conducted hundreds of interviews with high-achieving minority students over a five-year period to ascertain the students' perspectives on the academic achievement gaps. High achievers are more able to articulate orally and in writing their perceptions and yet close enough to their peers to provide insights about students who struggle academically. Out of the analysis of the students' responses, 25 significant findings emerged. In response to these findings, Dr. Ferrer and Mr. Garlington propose a series of 27 actionable recommendations, which are offered in this book. The implications for the education and political communities are boundless. Educators are held accountable for the performance of all students. With today's focus on test scores, schools cannot continue to allow significant performance gaps to exist. This book outlines specific problems and provides clearly delineated solutions. This work goes beyond the theories to offer concrete ideas that can make a significant difference in the academic attainment of these deserving students who so obviously need assistance to achieve their full potential. African Americans and Hispanics represent approximately 30% of the population in the United States and their numbers are increasing. Their educational attainment and contributions to society will significantly impact the future of our nation. It is a moral and national imperative to address these gaps for the betterment of these students and our nation. In the words of Dr. Ruscitti, "As educators, we have a moral imperative to educate all our children well. It is the foundation of our democracy, our economy and the American Dream. We can do itWe have the expertise, the political will and the greatness of heart."