Mothers United: An Immigrant Struggle for Socially Just Education. Andrea Dyrness, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011, 264 pages

Cara Crandall


Andrea Dyrness, Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Trinity College, and author of Mothers United: An Immigrant Struggle for Socially Just Education, offers readers a seat at the table with five Latina immigrant women who come together in weekly meetings as Madres Unidas. This group, centered on conducting participatory research, comes into existence in response to the tensions that arise during the small schools reform movement in Oakland in 2000. These reforms aimed to engage committed educators with parents to create community-based schools as an alternative to over-crowded, poorly maintained traditional schools and to shift control for decision-making from centralized administrators to teachers and parents. But these alliances also laid bare the ways power and privilege led to the marginalizing of parents.

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