Scholars who study educational equity and inequality in education, academic achievement gaps, and educational opportunity offer a variety myriad of explanations as to how or whether race has any role or impact on educational experiences, access, or opportunity. Indeed, race has been an abiding question in the social sciences and education for several decades.
Despite the debates within both fields regarding the meaning of race, the current popular sentiment among the lay public and many educational practitioners is that on November 4, 2008, America reached a post-racial moment with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. In other words, according to the post-racial discourse, race no longer matters, especially as it relates to people of color. The editors and contributors of this volume challenge this rhetoric and examine how and whether race operates in understanding how issues of access to productive opportunities and quality resources converge and impact experiences and outcomes in education. Hence, the purpose of this NSSE Yearbook is to explain how and why race is a “dynamic system of historically derived and institutionalized ideas and practices” shaped by myriad forces (e.g., power, gender, language, class, and privilege), which determine the quality of educational opportunities, experiences, and resources for people of color in the United States.