Rac(e)ing to Class

Rac(e)ing to Class Confronting Poverty and Race in Schools and Classrooms

H. Richard Milner IV, Foreword by Tyrone Howard
paper, 232 Pages
Pub. Date: April 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-786-6
Price: 32.00

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In this incisive and practical book, H. Richard Milner IV provides educators with a crucial understanding of how to teach students of color who live in poverty. Milner looks carefully at the circumstances of these students’ lives and describes how those circumstances profoundly affect their experiences within schools and classrooms. In a series of detailed chapters, Milner proposes effective practices—at district and school levels, and in individual classrooms—for school leaders and teachers who are committed to creating the best educational opportunities for these students.
Building on established literature, new research, and a number of revelatory case studies, Milner casts essential light on the experiences of students and their families living in poverty, while pointing to educational strategies that are shaped with these students' unique circumstances in mind. Milner’s astute and nuanced account will fundamentally change how school leaders and teachers think about race and poverty—and how they can best serve these students in their schools and classrooms.


With a growing focus on poverty, race, and equality in America, Milner’s timely and sophisticated book deserves widespread discussion and debate. His subtle and sensitive analyses are just what we need. — Cornel West, author of Race Matters

Too many teachers think that ignoring the racial identity and social class backgrounds of their students is the best way to show that they are concerned about all of their students equally.… Milner powerfully argues precisely the opposite. He makes a convincing case that teachers need a deeper understanding of the intersections of race and poverty so that they can better counter the out-of-school factors that hinder student learning. This book is crucial reading for educators at all levels. — Mary Pattillo, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University

In my view, the kind of education and teacher education that Milner proposes is the only way that we will be able to provide a high-quality public education to everyone’s children in the U.S. This clearly written and very practical book should be required reading for every educator, aspiring educator, and those who prepare educators. — Ken Zeichner, Boeing Professor of Teacher Education, University of Washington

We should thank Rich Milner for Rac(e)ing to Class, a smart and accessible book that invites us to have a conversation about race and poverty, in schools and around, so that we may build schools rich in wisdom. Rac(e)ing to Class is honest, provocative, and compelling; a call to action, an invitation to talk, for parents, community, students, teachers, and pre-service educators. — Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY

In this comprehensive and timely text, Milner takes head-on the issue of how poverty impacts education, and details why understanding and ameliorating the effects of poverty on education is a moral imperative…. Importantly, Milner offers thoughtful solutions and strategies for teachers and school districts to better support the learning of students in poverty, drawing on his vast experience in classrooms as a teacher, teacher educator, and scholar. This book is one of the most thoughtful and important on poverty and education in the market. — Na’ilah Nasir, Birgeneau Chair in Educational Disparities, Graduate School of Education, and H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Chair of African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Classroom teachers, principals, and school leaders must read this book; it provides an illuminating model and framework for educators that vividly challenges ‘us’ to re-envision what we think and do about poverty, race, and achievement in classrooms across the U.S. We need this book. — Terry Harris, coordinator, Department of Educational Equity and Diversity, Rockwood School District, St. Louis, Missouri

This book will prove valuable for readers of all levels interested in research in education, social change, critical pedagogy, teacher education, curriculum and instruction, bilingual education, educational leadership, ESL, multiculturalism, and diversity. — K. Al-Qubbaj, Choice Magazine

By considering the issue of racial inequity at both microlevels and macrolevels, Milner's insights are likely to be appealing to community advocates and educational practitioners alike. — Tony Dreise, Australian Journal of Education

Since Rac(e)ing to Class addresses strategies specifically for administrators at the district level, this book will be particularly meaningful for superintendents and other district administrators striving to implement systemwide reforms to address the educational needs of students living in poverty. — Dede Smith, School Administrator

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About the Author

H. Richard Milner IV is the Helen Faison Endowed Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Education, Professor of Sociology, Professor of Social Work, Professor of Africana Studies, and Director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. His research, teaching, and policy interests are urban education, teacher education, African American literature, and the sociology of education. In particular, Professor Milner’s research examines policies and practices that support teacher success in urban schools.

Professor Milner’s work has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five books. His award-winning book, Start Where You Are but Don’t Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity Gaps, and Teaching in Today’s Classrooms (Harvard Education Press, 2010), represents years of research and development. In 2006, Professor Milner received an Early Career Award in recognition of his distinguished program of education research from the American Educational Research Association. Professor Milner has appeared on the top two hundred Edu-Scholar Public Presence Ranking, published by Education Week (#95 in 2013, #88 in 2014, and #89 in 2015). In 2012, Professor Milner was honored with The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Alumnus Award. Currently, he is editor-in-chief of Urban Education and coeditor of the Handbook of Urban Education, published by Routledge Press in 2014.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tyrone Howard

Discussion Questions

Blog Post: “Ten Teacher Recommendations in Facilitating Conversations About Race in the Classroom”

Author Interview: EdCast

Author Interview with NPR KERA

E-book available through online booksellers

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