Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education by Peter SacksTearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education by Peter Sacks

Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education

byPeter Sacks

Paperback | September 22, 2009

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We often hear about the growing divide between rich and poor in America. This compelling exposé, backed by up-to-date research, locates the source of this trend where we might least expect to find it—in our schools. Written for a wide audience, Tearing Down the Gates is a powerful indictment of American education that shows how schools, colleges, and universities exacerbate inequality by providing ample opportunities for advantaged students while shutting the gates on the poor—and even the middle class. Peter Sacks tells the stories of young people and families as they struggle to negotiate the educational system. He introduces students like Ashlea, who grew up in a trailer park and who would like to attend college, though she faces constant obstacles that many of her more privileged classmates can't imagine. Woven throughout with voices of Americans both rich and poor, Tearing Down the Gates describes a disturbing situation that has the potential to undermine the American dream, not just for some, but for all of us. At the heart of this book is a question of justice, and Sacks demands that we take a hard look at what equal opportunity really means in the United States today.
Peter Sacks is an author, essayist, and social critic who writes and speaks extensively on education and American culture. He is author of Generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in Postmodern America and Standardized Minds: The High Price of America's Testing Culture and What We can do to Change it. His essays...
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Title:Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American EducationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:381 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:September 22, 2009Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520261690

ISBN - 13:9780520261693

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: False Illusions

PART 1. RICH FAMILIES, POOR FAMILIES
1. Ashlea and Gillian
2. “Do We Look Intimidating?”

PART 2. STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
3. Berkeley High and the Politics of Exclusion
4. “Do I Make the Kids Smart or Get Them into College?”
5. Public Schools, Private Privilege

PART 3. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR THE RICH
6. Class Matters
7. Part Church, Part Car Dealer
8. A Social Compact Broken
9. Government Gifts for Rich

PART 4. EXPERIMENTS IN GATECRASHING AND BACKLASH OF THE ELITES
10. A Dangerous Man
11. The Gatecrashers
12. “I Always Imagined Myself as a Rock”

PART 5. AMERICAN DREAMS
13. How We Got Here
14. Class Confusions
15. Where Are We Going?

Appendix
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Sacks understands class in a multi-faceted way. . . . [The book] is an insightful work written from a critically important perspective.”