Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown
Oxford University Press, Feb 21, 2011 - Social Science - 240 pages
An all-too-popular explanation for why black students aren't doing better in school is their own use of the "acting white" slur to ridicule fellow blacks for taking advanced classes, doing schoolwork, and striving to earn high grades. Carefully reconsidering how and why black students have come to equate school success with whiteness, Integration Interrupted argues that when students understand race to be connected with achievement, it is a powerful lesson conveyed by schools, not their peers. Drawing on over ten years of ethnographic research, Karolyn Tyson shows how equating school success with "acting white" arose in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education through the practice of curriculum tracking, which separates students for instruction, ostensibly by ability and prior achievement. Only in very specific circumstances, when black students are drastically underrepresented in advanced and gifted classes, do anxieties about "the burden of acting white" emerge. Racialized tracking continues to define the typical American secondary school, but it goes unremarked, except by the young people who experience its costs and consequences daily. The rich narratives in Integration Interrupted throw light on the complex relationships underlying school behaviors and convincingly demonstrate that the problem lies not with students, but instead with how we organize our schools.
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Integration Interrupted:Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after ...
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academic achievement academically successful achievement gap achievement-related behaviors acting white slur advanced courses African Americans AP Biology AP calculus AP courses Banaker believe black adolescents black and white black peers black youth chapter classrooms counselors course-selection Curtis Curtis’s dents described desegregation Earnshaw elementary school enrolled in advanced Everton example experiences explained fellow blacks friends Garden Grove gifted program girls goals grade Gwen high-achieving black students high-achieving students honors classes identified as gifted identity Interviewer junior Lucas Valley Massey High School middle school minority nerd norms North Carolina oppositional peer culture oppositionality parents pattern peer influence peer pressure people’s percent placement predominantly white race racialized tracking racially diverse schools racially segregated reported ridicule Sandra secure adolescents segregation senior sense smart social class Steve Urkel study participants taking advanced classes Tanya teacher teasing there’s Tommy underrepresentation vulnerable adolescents white students Yeah