Classroom

Schools Are Flunking. You Can Help.

Failing schools are everyone's problem. In his Big Think interview this week, NYU sociologist and education reform champion Pedro Noguera provides clear, no-nonsense advice on how government, teachers' unions, and parents can all help turn around sagging school systems. He even has some unflinching criticism for the President.

Discussing his own experience as a student, Noguera recalls that it was his parents' dogged emphasis on the value of education that compensated for mediocre schools—a lesson he hopes other parents will take to heart. Noguera also addresses the perpetually controversial issue of school violence, explaining how shootings in affluent white schools end up hurting poor districts the most, and arguing that turning schools into high-security "prisons" makes them less safe, not more.

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