Pedro Noguera: New Book Looks Back at “Race, Equity, and Education” Since Brown

Timely volume gives overview of current state of race and education, education equality through original research.

UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Pedro Noguera has recently published a new book on race and education as two of the most visible markers for social disparities in the United States. Through original research, educators’ insights, and perspectives from communities of color, “Race, Equity, and Education: Sixty Years from Brown” (With J. C. Pierce and R. Ahram, Eds. New York: Springer, 2015), provides a timely look at racial inequities in education as well as the opportunities to support and create racial justice within the context of educating all of America’s students.

Noguera, the director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of School Transformation, says that he and his co-editors felt that a look back at the last 60 years after the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision would provide a clear picture of where challenges lie and what solutions could be reached.

“Over the last 60 years since the Brown decision, the greatest changes in pursuing racial equality in education have been related to poverty, particularly concentrated poverty and the way it impacts child development, and residential patterns of racial segregation which have made the pursuit of school integration more difficult,” says Noguera. “Of course, several court decisions since Brown have made it considerably more difficult to pursue school integration along with a lack of political will. The greatest work ahead lies in overcoming these obstacles – particularly the narrow focus of educational policy because it has largely ignored these issues.”

Professor Noguera describes the book’s focus on a broad array of “second generation” discrimination issues in education such as tracking, the over-representation of children of color in special education, and diversification of the curriculum, as well as issues that have been central to education for many years such as parental involvement and teacher bias.

“Our hope is that the chapters in this volume will lead to more scholarship on these critical issues,” he says.

Professor Noguera’s research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. The author of 12 books and more than 200 articles and monographs, he serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.

Prior to joining UCLA Ed & IS, Noguera served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley. From 2009 to 2012, he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014, Professor Noguera was elected to the National Academy of Education. He has also recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

For a Q & A on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with Professor Noguera by NPR, click here.