Every Closed Eye Ain't Sleep: African American Perspectives on the Achievement Gap examines the origins and perpetuation of the achievement gap from the perspective of the African American community. Instead of accepting the achievement gap as an inevitable matter of fact, Every Closed Eye Ain't Sleep questions the fundamental beliefs that perpetuate the gap. Drawing on dialogue with African American community members, Teresa Hill advances a framework for understanding a predominant African American view of the educational process. She then juxtaposes this framework with the norms perpetrated by the educational establishment to demonstrate how disagreements about the roles and responsibilities of parents, teachers and students affect community members' experiences in schools. Every Closed Eye Ain't Sleep opens a dialogue about the achievement gap on different terms, analyzes the gap as an issue of social justice, and provides educational leaders and policymakers with ways to engage in the productive dialogue necessary to improve education for African American children.
Teresa D Hill —
Teresa Hill is an educator, consultant and parent. She currently serves as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for a large unit school district in Illinois.
Hill, Teresa D. Every closed eye ain't sleep: African American perspectives on the achievement gap. Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. 115p bibl afp; ISBN 9781610481045; ISBN 9781610481052 pbk; ISBN 9781610481069 e-book. Reviewed in 2012mar CHOICE.
There are so many books about the achievement gap that it is difficult to choose one that adds enough to the conversation to be of value in the collection of an academic library. This book fits the bill by presenting a seldom-heard perspective, that of the African American community whose children too often find themselves on the wrong side of the gap. Hill, an urban school district administrator, argues that the concept of the achievement gap represents more than just a set of data; it is also a social construct that places poor and minority students at the bottom end of academic ability and potential. In framing her argument, she skewers both the conservative view that African American students do not achieve because they do not have either the capability or the drive to do what is necessary to succeed, and the liberal view that the students are merely the victims of uncontrollable outside forces. The author also identifies instructional models to support her contention that educators need to be focused on helping all students find their academic wings.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. -- H. M. Miller, Mercy College