GETTING READY: The Education of a White Family in Inner City Schools by Lois Mark Stalvey

GETTING READY: The Education of a White Family in Inner City Schools

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You have only to dip into Stalvey to know that you are not going to learn anything essentially new. The book has its own authenticity and an effectiveness only a personal story can convey, but it arrives after such works as Death at an Early Age, 36 Children and the other reports, rife during the '60's, which documented the ingrained racism of white America. The WASP Stalveys were/are firm believers in integration and lived in such a Philadelphia neighborhood. Ben Stalvey's job consisted of trying to create equal opportunities in the construction trades; their three children were enrolled in the local school. In short, they practiced what they preached. Mrs. Stalvey relates her children's experiences in their integrated classrooms during the past ten years, and her own education as a highly active parent and school volunteer. She is not at all reluctant, though, to cast herself as a heroine -- dashing off from her gingerbread cookies to deal with a crisis at school or to confront the principal who invariably concedes, ""You're so right, Lois."" But there are more sensitive moments here, too -- the promising black students who looked for a while as if they would make it, only to drift away, no forwarding address. The Stalvey children themselves achieved mixed academic results but the family has no regrets. An admirable story but not an important book.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1974
Publisher: Morrow