Book Review

Educating the Other America

Top Experts Tackle Poverty, Literacy, and Achievement in Our Schools

edited by Susan B. Neuman, Brookes Publishing, Co., Baltimore, Md., 2008, 384 pp. with index, $39.95 softcover

Given the rising number of children living in poverty in the United States, Educating the Other America: Top Experts Tackle Poverty, Literacy, and Achievement in Our Schools is an important contribution to the current education literature. Susan B. Neuman, a professor at the University of Michigan, has compiled 17 essays by leading education experts dealing with poverty and its consequences on the education and future of children who live in poverty.

Educating the Other America


The book is divided into three sections, and Neuman previews the topics to be discussed by each author. Each essay includes a long list of resources.

The essays in the “Poverty and its Consequences” section highlight programs that have successfully overcome some of the effects of poverty. In “Literacy Achievement in the Primary Grades,” the author explains the need for teacher training and its relationship to student achievement from the teacher’s perspective, attributing student academic gain to increased professional growth.

The section titled “How Instruction Can Make a Difference” explores various types of learners while discussing programs, activities and studies that have led to improved academic achievement for those in poverty. The final group of essays, “How Technology Can Make a Difference,” introduces the reader to media that can be used in school and at home to engage the learner.

The book gives the profession hope that with research, persistence and the right tools, educators can improve the academic outcome for children living in poverty.

Reviewed by Edythe B. Austermuhl, superintendent, Deerfield Township School District, Rosenhayn, N.J.