The Conclusion attempts to change the basic terms of the trans-Atlantic discussion about “failing ghetto schools.” While recalling several of the book’s core empirical findings, the main goal here is to demonstrate how we can confidently and collectively move beyond debate defining assumptions about unambiguously racialized, highly explicit, and somehow oppositional interpretations. Fleshing out further his Elias, Bourdieu, Katz, and Collins-inspired framework, Paulle argues that situationally embedded and primordially felt responses to toxic stress fuel the devastation of high poverty schools and threaten the health of our cities. If we finally stop dodging and mischaracterizing what we are up against—if we arrive at nothing less than a new way of thinking and speaking about the ongoing suffering and occasional victories in the worst of our worst schools—we can reduce the risk of more pseudo-solutions and deal more wisely and compassionately with the educational experiences of the poorly born.
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