WMU News

Urban education expert to speak

March 26, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- An urban schooling expert who believes school reform alone can't overcome the impact of the economic and political devastation of America's inner cities will speak at Western Michigan University Thursday, April 9.

"Poverty, Race and Urban School Reform: Advancing the Conversation" will be the topic when Dr. Jean Anyon delivers a free public address at 5 p.m. in the Oakland Recital Hall/Campus Cinema. Anyon is an associate professor of education at Rutgers University and chairperson of the Department of Education on Rutgers' Newark, N.J., campus. She also is the director of the Nascent Institute for Excellence in Urban Education.

Anyon's 1997 book, "Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform," recounts her involvement with a four-year effort to restructure eight inner city schools in Newark. After the experience, she concluded that educational reform can only be successful in urban schools if it is part of a larger effort that addresses such problems of the inner cities as poverty and racial isolation.

Her book captures the anger and sense of hopelessness she found in the Newark schools. It also offers a historical analysis of the roots of the current crisis in inner city schools and provides evidence that the economic and political devastation of the nation's inner cities has robbed schools, teachers and families of the capacity to implement educational reform.

Anyon's visit to the WMU campus is sponsored by the Institute for Leadership Transformation, the Department of Education and Professional Development and the Department of Sociology. For more information about her visit, persons should contact Dr. Joanne Ardovini-Brooker, research associate in the Institute for Leadership Transformation, at (616) 387-8378.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland; cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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