Not Paved for Us

Not Paved for Us Black Educators and Public School Reform in Philadelphia

Camika Royal, Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings
paper, 224 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-735-0
Price: $36.00

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Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-736-7

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Not Paved for Us chronicles a fifty-year period in Philadelphia education, and offers a critical look at how school reform efforts do and do not transform outcomes for Black students and educators.


A heart-provoking historical work. Royal gives voice to the experiences of Black educators silenced by anti-Black systemic reform. Unadulterated and admonishing, this work serves as a signpost for those in the fight for educational equity. Royal pushes the reader toward introspection, challenging us to stand in the conviction of our commitments toward antiracism. All who believe they serve in the liberated interests of black children should read this. — Sabriya K. Jubilee, Chief of Equity, School District of Philadelphia

This is a powerful book about how Black educators and community members experienced public schooling in Philadelphia from 1967 to 2017. It also raises critical questions about the impact of racism, racial capitalism, liberal ideals, and neoliberal practices on school reform in similar urban districts. It’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the racial politics of school reform and the importance of Black educators and communities to leading the creation of real solutions. — Ken Zeichner, Boeing Professor of Teacher Education Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle

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About the Author

For more than 20 years, Camika Royal has been an educator, teaching middle and high school, coaching teachers, and supporting urban school leaders in Baltimore City, Maryland, Washington, DC, and her hometown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Presently, she is an associate professor of urban education at Loyola University Maryland. Her research and teaching examine the racial, historical, and sociopolitical contexts of school reform ideologies, policies, and practices. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English literature at North Carolina Central University, her master of arts in teaching degree at Johns Hopkins University, and her doctor of philosophy in urban education at Temple University. This is her first book.

Race and Education Series

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