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Whither Opportunity?: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances (Copublished with the Spencer Foundation)

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0871543721
ISBN-10: 0871543729
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Editorial Reviews

Review

One does not often apply the term landmark to an edited volume, but this volume is a major exception to the rule. Whither Opportunity? is one of the most important compendia we have, for it examines in detail and from all conceivable angles the power of class to determine the developmental fate of America s children. From this volume, we learn that children in communities experiencing unemployment do worse in school even if their own families are safe from its reach; that test score gaps by income are larger and growing faster than the gaps between black and white; that expenditures by high-income families on enrichment of all kinds is vastly larger than what low-income families can afford. All of this adds up to a new and troubling examination of the ways in which income inequality is pressing the nation s children, youth, neighborhoods, schools, and families. I don t often use the overworked phrase, must read, but it most definitely applies to this book. --Katherine S. Newman, Johns Hopkins University

Almost all Americans state that they are in favor of equal opportunity for the next generation. But the lip service stops there. Whither Opportunity? systematically and forcefully follows low- and high-income children through the life course from birth through their labor-market outcomes. The authors suggest that at every stage in the life course low-income children have worse outcomes than do higher-income children, leading to a highly polarized future society. The myriad of studies summarized here offer compelling evidence that if we as a nation really believe in equality of opportunity, we must intervene early and often in low-income children s lives and in the schools they attend, while also addressing the rising inequality that is ultimately giving well-to-do children every advantage possible and harming low-income children. This book will be a reference source on child development, inequality, and schools for years to come. I urge you to read it and then become active in social change to better the situation of low- income children in America. --Timothy M. Smeeding, University of Wisconsin, Madison

About the Author

GREG J. DUNCAN is distinguished professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine.

RICHARD J. MURNANE is Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Product Details

  • Series: Copublished with the Spencer Foundation
  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871543729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871543721
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm using this text for a class. It is refreshing to read the most recent work in the field of inequality and education. The book primary focus tends to be on social class and less on other social divisions (race, gender, and others). But overall, it is recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book with lots of data from a variety of metrics and case studies. Great for research materials.
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By Kara on September 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Powerful research. Excellent resource to understand the affect of income inequality on families and on schools.
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Love it!
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A definite must-read by anyone studying causes and consequences of poverty on child development, concerned with rising income inequalities and its effects on educational outcomes in the U.S. I would not necessarily buy this book as a gift for someone else but this is one of the most important work I continue referring to and will be kept on my bookcase for more years to come.
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