Closing the Nation's Racial Achievement Gaps I

THU, MAY 5, 2005 (1:29:15)

Organized by the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University, this series kicks off a forum entitled Race, Culture, and K-12 Achievement Gaps. Popular discourse among national leaders has assumed that some black and Latino youth are embedded in a culture that is oppositional to achievement and that this culture is a major impediment to narrowing the nation's achievement gaps. The speakers present a more complex picture, identifying issues upon which future research will be helpful, and suggesting some practical implications of the emerging research consensus.

Panelists include Prudence Carter, assistant professor of sociology, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Ronald Ferguson, lecturer of public policy, Kennedy School of Government; and Mica Pollock, assistant professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

+ BIO: Prudence Carter

Prudence L. Carter is an associate professor in the School of Education and the Department of Sociology at Stanford. She teaches a range of courses on racial and ethnic relations, social and cultural inequality, the sociology of education, urban education and research methods. Professor Carter's first book, Keepin' It Real: School Success beyond Black and White (Oxford University Press 2005), is the 2006 co-winner of the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, (Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, American Sociological Association) for its contribution to the eradication of racism; a 2005 finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award (Society for the Study of Social Problems); and an a 2007 honorable mention recipient of the distinguished book award (Section on Race, Class, and Gender, American Sociological Association). At present, Professor Carter is completing a book tentatively titled The Paradoxes of Opportunity: Race, Culture, and Boundaries in "Good" Schools, which documents a cross-national study of desegregated and majority-minority high schools in the United States and South Africa and examines how school practices can either facilitate or diminish academic and social divides in education.

+ BIO: Ronald Ferguson

Ronald Ferguson is faculty director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. His book, Toward Excellence with Equity, advocates for a social movement focused both on raising achievement and narrowing gaps. Ferguson is also a contributor to the Waldfogel volume and will present findings from the Achievement Gap Initiative Conference report of June 2008.

Harvard Graduate School of Education
African American Culture Series
Latino Culture Series