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"Symposium: Schools and the Achievement Gap"

Richard Rothstein writes about the causes of educational disparities between poor and minority students compared to the white middle- and upper-class students. A selection of commentaries follow.September/October 2004 issue of Poverty & Race

Almost everyone, Right as well as Left,recognizes the great disparities that currently exist between the education generally received by poor and minority students compared to that received by white middle- and upper-class students. Richard Rothstein, in his new book, Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (Teachers College/Columbia Univ. & Economic Policy Inst., 2004, 203 pp.), makes a powerful case that the income/wealth, residential, employment and other powerful disparities that characterize our society are responsible for and perpetuate these educational disparities — which in turn reinforce and perpetuate these other, larger disparities. His book makes a strong case for major economic and social reform, absent which reform in school policy and programs can have only limited benefit to those the education system now is failing. We asked him to prepare a summary of his argument, then asked a range of commentators, Left and Right, to respond to his argument, with Rothstein’s response to those eight comments closing out the symposium.

PRRAC law student intern Nicole Devero assisted in formulating and overseeing the symposium - CH


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