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Transforming Urban Schools Through Investments
in the Social Capital of Parents


by Pedro A. Noguera

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Diversity Project is a research and reform collaboration that was created to find ways to reduce academic disparities among students at BHS. The Project was established in 1996 and will continue it work through June 2000.

Text taken from the Economic Opportunity Act, 1964 cited in Fantini,, p.10

For an analysis of public support for head start and Title I programs see Hard Work for Good Schools, edited by Gary Orfield and Elizabeth DeBray. Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project of Harvard University.

Proposition 187 was approved by voters in 1996 and was intended to restrict undocumented aliens and their children from having access to public services. Proposition 209 was approved by voters in 1997 and eliminated the use of race and gender as factors that could be considered in admissions for higher education, employment and contracting in publicly funded organizations. Proposition 227 was approved by voters in 1998 and banned the use of bilingual education in public schools.

Reconstitution is a strategy that was made available to SFUSD as a result of the consent decree on school desegregation. The policy allows the district to reconstitute a school - remove all or part of the personnel from a school deemed low performing - as a way to improve achievement for minority students. Since 1993, 14 schools in SFUSD have been completely or partially reconstituted.

My consulting work with the SFUSD has focused on an evaluation of the impact of the new admissions policy at Lowell High School on students admitted under the plan. For additional information on the work see An Evaluation Report on the Lowell High School Admissions Policy, 1998 by P. Noguera. Published by the San Francisco Unified School District.

The term structural anecdote was used by Bourdieu in a seminar presented at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley, March 1986.

I have attended parent education workshops, honor roll marches, and issue-oriented events sponsored by all three centers. Each event drew a significant number of parents from constituencies not typically involved in school activities.

This finding is supported by a poll conducted in 1994 by Public Agenda on behalf of the American federation of Teachers ("What Americans Expect from the Public Schools" in American Educator, Winter 1994-'95) and in California by a poll conducted by PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education) in March 1996.

Published in In Motion Magazine October 19, 2003.

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