City Schools And The American Dream By Pedro A. Noguera

537 Words3 Pages
In 1999, the state of California adopted the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA) in response to failing schools. The purpose of t PSAA is to improve educational performance by raising expectations of students, teachers, and school administrators. Although well meaning, schools in “racially isolated urban and rural areas where poverty is concentrated” (Noguera, 2003, p. 83) continue to perform poorly. In fact Noguera analyzes these educational disparities in his book City Schools and the American Dream. Noguera selected Oakland Unified Public School systems. The population of students consists of mostly “poor, immigrant, and non whites” (p. 89) who according to Noguera, financial circumstances affect the ability to leave, thus students are stuck attending failing schools. Noguera states that differences in per pupil spending as well as social and financial inequities affect local controls on schools. Noguera believes there are four influencing factors affecting local control. Funding from local tax revenues and community resources to generate additional income from poor families is smaller than that of affluent neighborhoods. Second, parental participation is lower due time constraints and lack of information which is often interpreted as disinterest. Third, parents often feel powerless to create change which often influenced by the fourth factor, lack of “individual and collective efficacy” (p. 85). Educational success is further impacted by student arriving with additional needs. Unlike their affluent counterparts, students with in the Oakland system arrived to school with unprepared: academically, often lacked dental and health insurance, came to school hungry, moved frequently or were affected by domestic violence. Parental dissatisfaction about low scores or inferior school conditions have little impact, after all, most residents were trapped. In cases where

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