cover of book

Three to Get Ready: The Education of a White Family in Inner City Schools
by Lois M. Stalvey
University of Wisconsin Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-299-15394-6 | eISBN: 978-0-299-15393-9
Library of Congress Classification LC5131.S65 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 370.193480973

How do our schools take bright, active, ordinary children, who happen to be poor and black, and turn them into ill-educated and violent delinquents? Lois Stalvey’s book will show you how it is done. In 1962, the Stalveys, a middle-class white family, moved from Omaha to an integrated urban neighborhood in Philadelphia, where the three children enrolled in public schools. For twelve years, Lois Stalvey watched her children and their predominantly African American classmates as both a parent and a volunteer teacher. What she saw was shocking. When her own children misbehaved or had learning problems, they were granted patience and understanding. In contrast, African American children were treated, by both black and white teachers, as naughty, dangerous, obstinate, or stupid. Though more than twenty years have passed since the first publication of this book, the tragedy is that the message Lois Stalvey shares with her readers can only be more important today. “Why bother moving children’s bodies around to achieve integrated education,” she asks, “if, like the children in our school, they cannot escape teachers with segregating eyes?”

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