Tearing Down the Gates

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-22
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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We often hear about the growing divide between rich and poor in America. This compelling exposeacute;, backed by up-to-date research, locates the source of this trend where we might least expect to find it--in our schools. Written for a wide audience,Tearing Down the Gatesis a powerful indictment of American education that shows how schools, colleges, and universities exacerbate inequality by providing ample opportunities for advantaged students while shutting the gates on the poor--and even the middle class. Peter Sacks tells the stories of young people and families as they struggle to negotiate the educational system. He introduces students like Ashlea, who grew up in a trailer park and who would like to attend college, though she faces constant obstacles that many of her more privileged classmates can't imagine. Woven throughout with voices of Americans both rich and poor,Tearing Down the Gatesdescribes a disturbing situation that has the potential to undermine the American dream, not just for some, but for all of us. At the heart of this book is a question of justice, and Sacks demands that we take a hard look at what equal opportunity really means in the United States today.

Author Biography

Peter Sacks is an author and social Critic who writes and speaks extensively on education and American culture. He is author of standardized Minds: The High price of America's Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It and generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in postmodern America. His essays have appeared in the Nation, the Los Angeles times, the New York Times, and other Publications.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Lost Illusionsp. 1
Rich Families, Poor Families
Ashlea and Gillianp. 11
˘Do We Look Intimidating?÷p. 37
Struggle for The Soul of Public Schools
Berkely High and the Politics of Exclusionp. 63
˘Do I Make the Kids Smart or Get Them into College?÷p. 79
Public Schools, Private Privilegep. 92
Affirmative Action For The Richp. 92
Class Mattersp. 111
Part Church, Part Car Dealerp. 130
A Social Compact Brokenp. 159
Government Gifts to the Richp. 175
Experiments in Gatecrashing and The Backlash of The Elites
A Dangerous Manp. 195
The Gatecrashersp. 225
˘I Always Imagined Myself as a Rock÷p. 258
American Dreams
How We Got Herep. 277
Class Confusionsp. 288
Where Are We Going?p. 299
Supplementary Figuresp. 319
supplementary Tablesp. 337
Notesp. 341
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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