In this book, author Leonard Valverde contends that it is imperative to reinvent schools in order to provide a viable education for these students. Improving Schools for Latinos starts with the past, points out the present, and speaks to the future. It exposes the negative mental models and practices that must be discarded and proposes what favorable elements need to be put into place. Helpful resources for program assistance, community-based organizations, and funding sources are included.
Valverde (Arizona State Univ.) draws on his extensive experience working with Latino schools, as well as relevant research on school change, to clearly articulate the components needed for improving schools serving Latino students. The author focuses particularly on those of Mexican descent. After providing a compelling argument for the reasons change is necessary, he presents a thorough discussion of the steps required to bring about the desired changes. Valverde provides specific suggestions for ways to build capacity and create flexibility through continual professional development, the incorporation of technology, and the formation of a variety of partnerships in order to create schools of hopefulness, purpose, and positive results. The extensive list of resources identified in the final chapter is extremely helpful. This book would be a useful tool for the many groups Valverde believes should be included in the process of school improvement for Latinos. These include teachers and parents, as well as school, community, and business leaders. Recommended. * CHOICE *
This publication is at the cutting edge of the study of Latinos in the new century. The author of the publication, Dr. Leonard A. Valverde, provides a comprehensive, insightful, and intelligent perspective...Dr. Valverde has, in this publication, taken steps to begin to bring the new Mexican American school into focus by providing a variety of valuable information as he emphasizes (1) redefinition of schools, (2) community-centered institutions, (3) culturally asset-based schools, (4) real parent participation, (5) a variety of programs, and (6) partnerships with various agencies. Thus, it appears that he is making a significant contribution to education in the 21st century. Teachers need this book, America deserves it, and our students will demand it. -- Reynaldo Contreras, Department of Administration & Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco State University