Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the Berkeley Review of Education, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published online and edited by students from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Review of Education engages issues of educational diversity and equity within cognitive, developmental, sociohistorical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. The BRE encourages submissions on research and theory from senior and emerging scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. To submit a paper, please click on "Submit article to this journal" in the side bar.

Spring/Summer 2014

Issue cover

Editors' Introduction

Editors' Introduction

Introduction to Volume 5, Issue 1.


Black high school students’ critical racial awareness, school-based racial socialization, and academic resilience

This research focuses on how Black high school students' perceptions of their school-based racial socialization and their racial identities impact their attitudes and dispositions toward school. The author examined the intersection of racial identity and school culture by examining how Black students describe their context-based racial identity and the racialized aspects of their schools’ cultures. The purpose of this research is to help educators who work with Black students understand how to apply a developmental psychology framework that foregrounds the importance of ecology and phenomenology and can be used to leverage the relationship between strong racial identity and academic resilience. PVEST (Spencer, 1997; 2001) provides a psychological framework for educators to both assess the differential identity formation processes of their students and how they can help students navigate the identity formation process.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
  • 2 supplemental files

Assessment tools to differentiate between language differences and disorders in English language learners

English language learners (ELLs) who are in the process of acquiring English as a secondlanguage for academic purposes, are often misidentified as having Language LearningDisabilities (LLDs). Policies regarding the assessment of ELLs have undergone many changesthrough the years, such as the introduction of a Response to Intervention (RTI) model, assessmentin both first and second languages, and utilization of supplemental assessments. The purpose ofthis study is to take stock of the assessment tools and district policies that are in place to make adifferential diagnosis. A total of 75 participants from California school districts, consisting ofspeech language pathologists, school psychologists, special educators, and paraprofessionals,completed an online survey. The results indicate that while professionals in the field utilizestandardized cognitive abilities tests, informal assessments, and bilingual language tests as part oftheir assessment battery, there is still a need for bilingual language support and a standardizedRTI model across schools and districts.

Disproportionality fills in the gaps: Connections between achievement, discipline and special education in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The focus on the achievement gap has overshadowed ways in which school systems constrain student achievement through trends of racial disproportionality in areas such as school discipline, special education assignment, and juvenile justice. Using Critical Race Theory, we reframe these racial disparities as issues of institutionalized racism. First, we examine specific education policies and laws that contribute to racialized populations becoming part of the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Second, using a state-level case study in Colorado, we illustrate through critical race spatial analysis the increasing overrepresentation of students of color as they move through the School-to-Prison Pipeline from public schools to the juvenile justice system. Finally, we discuss suggestions for improving racial equity and reducing the flow of the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

A feminist perspective on the school-to-labor pipeline

Today, women across race and class categories graduate high school and college at higherrates than men (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). According to Marxist reproduction theories, schoolsmaintain social hierarchies by academically rewarding the elite. Yet, despite educational gains,women remain materially and symbolically unequal, proving to be exceptions to reproductionframeworks (Fraser, 2009). This paper examines females’ anomalous success through a feministpoststructuralist lens (Weedon, 1987). It critiques Marxist and feminist approaches to educationalinequality for narrowly defining academic achievement and missing the effects of genderreproduction in schools. It presents an alternative understanding of academic success, one thatincorporates gender performance, by examining how the discourse of “separate spheres” informsthe dialectical relationship between schools and labor. By reviewing the theoretical, empirical,and historical accounts of schools and the labor market, the paper concludes that academicallysuccessful women perform and help reproduce a narrow version of White femininity.