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High School Achievement Hardcover – August, 1982

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (August 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465029566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465029563
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
During the 1980's, the sociology of education and much of educational research shared an obsessive concern with the comparative effectiveness and equity of public and private schools. The acrimony, obsessiveness, and duration of the debate over a seemingly simple question reflect the fact that no topic in education has not been politicized. Furthermore, it seems that the commonsense concepts and super-sophisticated methods of the social sciences are not up to the task of answering important policy questions.

One of the early and conspicuous contributions to the public/private school controversy was Coleman, Hoffer, and Kilgore's High School Achievement. Coleman and a variegated set of associates remained intensely involved with this issue until interest waned among social scientists generally. Coleman's involvement is especially fitting since he made substantial contributions to determining the agenda for social policy research over several decades. As early as 1966, he was lead author of Equality of Educational Opportunity, a controversial document that set the stage for school busing as an equity measure.

In High School Achievement, Coleman and his colleagues used the first of three waves of data from the soon-to-be-famous High School and Beyond data set. High School and Beyond was very widely used in the long exchange over public and private school quality, but it was also the wrong data set at the wrong time. High School and Beyond had been assembled by the National Opinion Research Center to do status attainment research. It contained data on students from 1015 public schools, but only 84 Catholic schools and 27 other-private schools.

Furthermore, the first wave of data was a cross-section, meaning that student pre-test scores were not available.
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