Ebonics: The Urban Educational Debate

Edited by: David J Ramirez, Terrence G. Wiley, Gerda de Klerk, Enid Lee, Wayne E. Wright

Related Formats:
Paperback, Hardback
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm
Price: £15.00
Price: $25.00
Price: €20.00

Controversy erupted in 1996 when the Oakland Unified School District's 'Ebonics Resolution' proposed an approach to teaching Standard English that recognized the variety of English spoken by African American students. With new demands for accountability driven by the No Child Left Behind policy and its emphasis on high-stakes testing in Standard English, this debate will no doubt rise again. This book seeks to better inform this next episode.

In Part 1, leading scholars place the debate within its historical and contemporary context, provide clear explanations of what Ebonics is and is not, and offer practical approaches schools can and should follow to address the linguistic needs of African American students. Part 2 provides original documents that accompanied the debate, including the original resolutions, legislation, organization position papers, and commentary/analyses from leading linguists. This book is written for all those whose work impacts the lives of Ebonics speakers in our public schools.

J. David Ramirez is Dean of the School of Education at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus. Dr Ramirez is a nationally recognized educational leader and the former principal investigator of the Ramirez Study (the most often cited longitudinal study on bilingual education in the US and the first national study of its kind).

Terrence G. Wiley is Director of the Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at Arizona State University. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on language policy, literacy, biliteracy, and language diversity. He currently co-edits, with Thomas Ricento, the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.

Gerda de Klerk is a doctoral student in the College of Education at Arizona State University. She has worked in language policy formulation and implementation issues in South Africa, where she was the editor of Bua!, a magazine popularizing sociolinguistic matters.

Enid Lee is the director of Enidlee Consultants. She consults internationally on anti-racist, inclusionary, and equitable education. Enid has been involved in the professional development of teachers for two decades. She is the author of over 30 publications, including Letters to Marcia: A Teacher's Guide to Anti-Racist Education.

Wayne E. Wright is an assistant professor in the Division of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He also serves as the Co-Director of the Language Policy Research Unit of the Educational Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University.

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