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Making the Rhetoric Real


On April 29, 1992, the faculty of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA were stunned and angry as they watched their city’s tenuous social contract go up in smoke just hours after the jury delivered its not guilty verdict in the Rodney King beating trial. Their anger turned to action over the next three years to create a new center—Center X—to directly address issues of race, poverty, and inequality in schools. In this paper, Jeannie Oakes chronicles the founding of Center X and details the strategies it created to transform the fields of teacher education, induction, and professional development—a broad-based collaborative effort to make the rhetoric about social justice and multiculturalism real.

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