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Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap Paperback – May, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1932066098 ISBN-10: 1932066098

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Economic Policy Institute (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932066098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932066098
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

... powerful volume that needs to be read by scholars, policy makers, and practitioners who have the capacity to shape tomorrow. -- From the preface by Arthur E. Levine, president, Teachers College, Columbia University

About the Author

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a visiting lecturer at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also the author of The Way We Were? The Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (Century Foundation Press 1998).

Customer Reviews

Quick, easy read and great for those who have an interest in education.
Alessa A. Podolak
I was not disappointed but those who seek feasible proposals to remedy the problem will not find it here.
Bill Murphy
I liked reading this book, complex ideas are presented in simple language that is easy to understand.
Tanushree Rawat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Edward Fiske on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Class and Schools" is a perceptive study of what we can - and cannot - expect public schools to do on their own to narrow the black-white achievement gap. Rothstein is particularly astute in his descriptions of the subtle cognigitive and psychological skills that middle class students bring to school and how these skills serve them well, particularly in the upper grades. He also offers a critique of the "outlier" literature that draws overly broad conclusions from the fact that some schools serving disadvantaged students are effective. Many, if not most, readers will take issue with Rothstein over his policy recommendations, but anyone thinking seriously about the achievement gap will have to confront the major points that he makes and the evidence behind them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Chris Gelenter on December 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity to listen to Richard Rothstein speak in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2006. I spoke with him for about 20 minutes after his presentation. Most educators who read his book miss out on many of his messages. There are several. It is more than just a book about Race in Education. He does an excellent job of portraying the differences between traditional public schools and charter schools. He writes at length about how difficult it is to legislate systemic change from any level. He also talks about socio-economics and opportunities and their effect on public education. Many educators agree with Rothstein that the breakdown of the American family is one of the leading systemic problems in American Public Education. There are also many inherent problems with government incompetence and corruption in terms of nationally legislating public education. When Rothstein spoke he was very honest that he was a researcher and not a practitioner in education. But yet his arguments are very compelling. Anybody who thought that this book was just about Race probably needs to sit down and read it again.
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By Brianne Monahan on December 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the title suggests, Richard Rothstein's "Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap" approaches the topic of persistent educational gaps in achievement for minority and white students from a comprehensive, thorough lens.
First, Rothstein presents schools and school models that have been held up as exemplars for closing achievement gaps--and states why there is often more than meets the eye in these examples. He includes discussion of Dr. William Sanders' Tennessee value-added assessment system of evaluating schools and teachers (which fails to acknowledge that the best teachers often choose not to teach at the lowest performing schools, contributing to selection bias). He also discusses the Heritage Foundation's "No Excuses" model which employs a hard-lined approach to student outcomes (poverty is not an excuse for poor results) in typically selective charter schools. Again, Rothstein cautions the issue of selection bias in these results; because children and their parents must apply to attend, the students served in these schools are likely those who would have experienced better outcomes in traditional schools. These are just a few of the examples Rothstein gives to illustrate that, despite appearances, there is no quick fix to the achievement gaps.
Rothstein also presents the implications of the increased use of standardized testing in exacerbating racial and SES achievement gaps. Standardized testing creates a somewhat arbitrary definition of proficiency, and cannot measure valuable skills and abilities such as creativity.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I liked reading this book, complex ideas are presented in simple language that is easy to understand. Rothstein talks about the achievement gap between lower class and middle class black and white students in America. He explains the limitations of considering schools as the only place where reforms can happen. He claims that socio- economic factors (like different practices at home and even different healthcare plans) have a much larger role to play in education than genetics and the kind of school the students attend. He offers a critique to the outlier schools that "beat the demographic odd". His suggestions to the solution of achievement gap are more community oriented and focus on the root of the problem. All in all, I recommend this book for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge about different perspectives on the achievement gap in America. It provides an interesting insight on the role of schools and communities.
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By Mila kell on September 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book of rare honesty - addresses the issues many dare not to tackle.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alessa A. Podolak on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really takes a look at the different "reasons" behind the Black-White Achievement Gap, because let's face it there still is one and when we talk about "poorer" familes, they tend to make up much of the black population. The book takes into account the very reasons why it is difficult for those who end up in the low achievement bracket, to make their way up the ladder. Quick, easy read and great for those who have an interest in education.
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