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Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1612506340
ISBN-10: 1612506348
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Restoring Opportunities: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education ought to be required reading for the White House and leaders of the 'My Brother's Keepers' project." — Eric Cooper, Huffington Post


"This is a must read for anyone desiring an understanding of the inequality that exists in the educational system as well a sensible, well-researched argument about how to improve." — H.J. Bultinck, CHOICE

From the Back Cover

In this landmark volume, Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane lay out a meticulously researched case showing how—in a time of spiraling inequality—strategically targeted interventions and supports can help schools significantly improve the life chances of low-income children.

A crowning contribution from two leading economists in the field of education, Restoring Opportunity is a passionate call to action on behalf of the young people on whom our nation’s future depends.

“Duncan and Murnane provide a no-nonsense view of the growing educational gap between the haves and the have-nots in America. They also scour the landscape to find promising solutions that provide hope for better outcomes in the future. This is a thoughtful book that should be read with the care it merits.” — Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify, and former chancellor, New York City Department of Education

“This thorough examination of our public school system provides a clear picture of some of the toughest challenges—particularly those facing low-income students—and the directions in which we need to go to fix them. This book should be on the desk of every educator and policy maker in America so we can begin to change the odds for all of America’s children.” — Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

“Anyone who cares about improving schools should read this book. Duncan and Murnane offer detailed case studies of effective programs to improve schools that can boost the life chances of disadvantaged children. The authors present a careful analysis, grounded in economics and education, of the ways to make better schooling available to all of the nation’s low-income children.” — David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education and professor of public policy, University of Michigan

Greg J. Duncan is a distinguished professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Richard J. Murnane is the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612506348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612506340
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Duncan and Murnane are professors of education at U.C. Irvine and Harvard respectively. We have a crisis in education, one hard to address sensibly in a politicized climate of well-meaning but inflexible advocacy. In clear and simple exposition, the authors point out that our schools today no longer facilitate the "American Dream" of upward mobility. Instead, children of low-income families are more likely to face economic hardships while children of high-income families have structural advantages which secure them the jobs of the future. Education was once the great leveler, but no more. The term the authors use for this fork in the road is "divergent destinies," a phrase congenial to a feudal society and deadly to a democratic one. We read regularly about income disparity in America, as wealth of "Gilded Age" or Roman patrician proportions accumulates in the accounts of the super-rich. Now we learn that the poor are closed out from rising to the middle. How long before the curse of class consciousness and class conflict become American political forces? Not long unless we address the problems this book outlines and the prescriptions it offers.

Just as its analysis of the problem is neither judgmental nor hysterical, but calmly reasoned, the solutions it offers are a blend of the best of all solutions tried. Take accountability. This book does avoids the polemics of the battlefield of "accountability." It argues for "sensible accountability." Accountability alone, as in exit tests which keep the poor from graduating, without the assistance needed to master the material one is held accountable for (and the teachers, and the schools, and the state, and the country) is destructive and not "sensible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read for all genuinely concerned education policymakers. The authors state what should be obvious but often is not, which is that the expansion - and even (may I dare!) the saturation -of opportunity will inevitably drive achievement in ways that mandated state standards that reproduce privilege never will. The book is not just well written and a must read, it allows the reader to imagine all sorts of possibilities. I highly recommend it.

Kham Kereere
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The best answer to eliminating poverty is education, nothing but the best education, to every child starting at a very early age. Greg Duncan makes his point extremely well.
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Format: Paperback
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