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Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, informative, well documented, October 8, 2010
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This review is from: Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America (Hardcover)
The author presents a well-documented history of school desegration in Richmond. As a resident of Virginia during this time, the author presents the issues you might not have been aware of when you were only in elementary school. The author also is informative as to his insights into the courts, the judges, and the parties on both sides of the argument. The author's analysis of Detroit and Charlotte-Mecklenburg cases helped me to draw my own conclusions of how history played out over the past 50+ years and in hindsight how some ideas may have had flaws. While there was some controversy in my rural area of Virginia at this time, I was vaguely aware of the issues in the capital city. This book helped to fill in some of the gaps of not being there as well as explain the chain of events leading up to this point - many of which were before I was even born.

If you are from the right, you may not like this book. If you are middle-class and white, you might not like what you read. While the white middle-class played a major role in the transformation of Richmond, it was interesting to learn of the division within the class between "metropolitan whites" and their rural counterparts. For those that know the area, you would have to admit that Richmond has become a kind of urban "suburb" to the surrounding counties - especially Henrico County. Except for state government, law firms, and banking offices, most large retailers and shopping areas are located in the suburbs. (Department stores long abandoned downtown.) That form of economic segregation may be a subject for another author.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 10, 2015 2:34:01 PM PST
The Coleman Report's main finding was that variations in school resources had very, very minor impact on pupil achievement. Ergo, forget about education inputs and focus instead on improving education outputs.
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