Book Club

Thank you for expressing interest in this book club where we will explore practical ideas to help underserved and economically disadvantaged youth acquire the education and career readiness to improve their social mobility, help them find meaning, and contribute their talents and skills to the world.

Image by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

Education + work + social mobility

09082020_Book Club_Lives On The BoundaryBook Club
00:00 / 1:04:37
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Tuesday, September 8, 2020


LIVES ON THE BOUNDARY: A Moving Account of the Struggles and Achievements of America's Educationally Underprepared 

by Mike Rose


pp. 115-128; 189-194

"It’s popular these days to claim you grew up on the streets. Men tell violent tales and romanticize the lessons violence brings. But, though it was occasionally violence, it wasn’t the violence in South L.A. that marked me, for sometimes you can shake that ugliness off. What finally affected me was subtler, but more pervasive: I cannot recall a young person who was crazy in love or lost in work or one old person who was passionate about a cause or an idea….The people I grew up with were retired from jobs that rub away the heart or were working hard at jobs to keep their lives from caving in or were anchorless and in between jobs and spouses or were diving headlong into a barren tomorrow: junkies, alcoholics, and mean kids walking along Vermont looking to throw a punch."

"Even as they rebel, they confirm the school’s decision. They turn off or distance themselves or clam up or daydream, they deny or lash out, acquiesce or subvert, for, finally, they are powerless to stand outside the definition [remedial] and challenge it head on."

Book Club Discussion Notes

  • Bridge the divide to help more people become aware of why education is not working for all.

  • Students are coming into the system already mismatched.

  • Students show up to school with other things to overcome.

  • Schools systemically, as manifested by us as individuals, have become obstructed for students.

  • School works for individuals who are able to encounter it as they are. ~ Devon

  • We don't have a strong community around students so they fall through the cracks.

  • Issues related to Social mobility

    • What do kids bring to the classroom when they first enter?

    • How many books has a child been exposed to before kindergarten?

    • How many people do you know who graduated from college?

  • Community schools:

    • Recognize the need for individuals to come together and decenter self and center the developing lives of children

    • Responsibility and accountability for children

  • ROLES of people running a community school

    • People who have been to therapy or who have been doing their own healing

    • People who are not so focused on teaching the what but the how of learning - having a paradigm shift that doesn't shame people for not knowing - to be curious and to fail (students should be encouraged to figure out how to do it).

    • The community should be helped to understand (or reminded of) what is being invested into education and why. Understanding what the payoff is.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020


THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST: How College Makes or Breaks Us

by Paul Tough


pp. 241-265


Nice White Parents podcast - Episodes 1-5