Restoring Opportunity

Author: Greg J. Duncan
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781612506340
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Whither Opportunity

Author: Greg J. Duncan
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447514
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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As the incomes of affluent and poor families have diverged over the past three decades, so too has the educational performance of their children. But how exactly do the forces of rising inequality affect the educational attainment and life chances of low-income children? In Whither Opportunity? a distinguished team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy examines the corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, insecure labor markets, and worsening school conditions on K-12 education. This groundbreaking book illuminates the ways rising inequality is undermining one of the most important goals of public education—the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success. The most ambitious study of educational inequality to date, Whither Opportunity? analyzes how social and economic conditions surrounding schools affect school performance and children’s educational achievement. The book shows that from earliest childhood, parental investments in children’s learning affect reading, math, and other attainments later in life. Contributor Meredith Phillip finds that between birth and age six, wealthier children will have spent as many as 1,300 more hours than poor children on child enrichment activities such as music lessons, travel, and summer camp. Greg Duncan, George Farkas, and Katherine Magnuson demonstrate that a child from a poor family is two to four times as likely as a child from an affluent family to have classmates with low skills and behavior problems – attributes which have a negative effect on the learning of their fellow students. As a result of such disparities, contributor Sean Reardon finds that the gap between rich and poor children’s math and reading achievement scores is now much larger than it was fifty years ago. And such income-based gaps persist across the school years, as Martha Bailey and Sue Dynarski document in their chapter on the growing income-based gap in college completion. Whither Opportunity? also reveals the profound impact of environmental factors on children’s educational progress and schools’ functioning. Elizabeth Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina Gibson-Davis show that local job losses such as those caused by plant closings can lower the test scores of students with low socioeconomic status, even students whose parents have not lost their jobs. They find that community-wide stress is most likely the culprit. Analyzing the math achievement of elementary school children, Stephen Raudenbush, Marshall Jean, and Emily Art find that students learn less if they attend schools with high student turnover during the school year – a common occurrence in poor schools. And David Kirk and Robert Sampson show that teacher commitment, parental involvement, and student achievement in schools in high-crime neighborhoods all tend to be low. For generations of Americans, public education provided the springboard to upward mobility. This pioneering volume casts a stark light on the ways rising inequality may now be compromising schools’ functioning, and with it the promise of equal opportunity in America.

Hope and Despair in the American City

Author: Gerald Grant
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674053923
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Hope and Despair, Gerald Grant compares two cities - his hometown of Syracuse, New York, and Raleigh, North Carolina - in order to examine the consequences of the nation's ongoing educational inequities. The result is an ambitious portrait - sometimes disturbing, often inspiring - of two cities that exemplify our nation's greatest educational challenges, as well as a passionate exploration of the potential for school reform that exists for our urban schools today.

Methods Matter Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Author: Richard J. Murnane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199780315
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Educational policy-makers around the world constantly make decisions about how to use scarce resources to improve the education of children. Unfortunately, their decisions are rarely informed by evidence on the consequences of these initiatives in other settings. Nor are decisions typically accompanied by well-formulated plans to evaluate their causal impacts. As a result, knowledge about what works in different situations has been very slow to accumulate. Over the last several decades, advances in research methodology, administrative record keeping, and statistical software have dramatically increased the potential for researchers to conduct compelling evaluations of the causal impacts of educational interventions, and the number of well-designed studies is growing. Written in clear, concise prose, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies that have evaluated the causal impacts of important educational interventions, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each study, and provide heuristic explanations that are also broadly accessible. Murnane and Willett offer strong methodological insights on causal inference, while also examining the consequences of a wide variety of educational policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad. Representing a unique contribution to the literature surrounding educational research, this landmark text will be invaluable for students and researchers in education and public policy, as well as those interested in social science.

Spin Cycle

Author: Jeffrey R. Henig
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610442857
Format: PDF
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One important aim of social science research is to provide unbiased information that can help guide public policies. However, social science is often construed as politics by other means. Nowhere is the polarized nature of social science research more visible than in the heated debate over charter schools. In Spin Cycle, noted political scientist and education expert Jeffrey Henig explores how controversies over the charter school movement illustrate the use and misuse of research in policy debates. Henig's compelling narrative reveals that, despite all of the political maneuvering on the public stage, research on school choice has gradually converged on a number of widely accepted findings. This quiet consensus shows how solid research can supersede partisan cleavages and sensationalized media headlines. In Spin Cycle, Henig draws on extensive interviews with researchers, journalists, and funding agencies on both sides of the debate, as well as data on federal and foundation grants and a close analysis of media coverage, to explore how social science research is "spun" in the public sphere. Henig looks at the consequences of a highly controversial New York Times article that cited evidence of poor test performance among charter school students. The front-page story, based on research findings released by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), sparked an explosive debate over the effectiveness of charter schools. In the ensuing drama, reputable scholars from both ends of the political spectrum launched charges and counter-charges over the research methodology and the implications of the data. Henig uses this political tug-of-war to illustrate broader problems relating to social science: of what relevance is supposedly non-partisan research when findings are wielded as political weapons on both sides of the debate? In the case of charter schools, Henig shows that despite the political posturing in public forums, many researchers have since revised their stances according to accumulating new evidence and have begun to find common ground. Over time, those who favored charter schools were willing to admit that in many instances charter schools are no better than traditional schools. And many who were initially alarmed by the potentially destructive consequences of school choice admitted that their fears were overblown. The core problem, Henig concludes, has less to do with research itself than with the way it is often sensationalized or misrepresented in public discourse. Despite considerable frustration over the politicization of research, until now there has been no systematic analysis of the problem. Spin Cycle provides an engaging narrative and instructive guide with far-reaching implications for the way research is presented to the public. Ultimately, Henig argues, we can do a better job of bringing research to bear on the task of social betterment.

Our Kids

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476769907
Format: PDF, Docs
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A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

Ain t No Makin It

Author: Jay MacLeod
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429975082
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This classic text addresses one of the most important issues in modern social theory and policy: how social inequality is reproduced from one generation to the next. With the original 1987 publication of Ain?t No Makin? It Jay MacLeod brought us to the Clarendon Heights housing project where we met the `Brothers? and the `Hallway Hangers.? Their story of poverty, race, and defeatism moved readers and challenged ethnic stereotypes. MacLeod?s return eight years later, and the resulting 1995 revision, revealed little improvement in the lives of these men as they struggled in the labor market and crime-ridden underground economy. The third edition of this classic ethnography of social reproduction brings the story of inequality and social mobility into today?s dialogue. Now fully updated with thirteen new interviews from the original Hallway Hangers and Brothers, as well as new theoretical analysis and comparison to the original conclusions, Ain?t No Makin? It remains an admired and invaluable text. Contents Part One: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers as Teenagers 1. Social Immobility in the Land of Opportunity 2. Social Reproduction in Theoretical Perspective 3. Teenagers in Clarendon Heights: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers 4. The Influence of the Family 5. The World of Work: Aspirations of the Hangers and Brothers 6. School: Preparing for the Competition 7. Leveled Aspirations: Social Reproduction Takes Its Toll 8. Reproduction Theory ReconsideredPart Two: Eight Years Later: Low Income, Low Outcome 9. The Hallway Hangers: Dealing in Despair 10. The Brothers: Dreams Deferred 11. Conclusion: Outclassed and Outcast(e)Part Three: Ain?t No Makin? It? 12. The Hallway Hangers: Fighting for a Foothold at Forty 13. The Brothers: Barely Making It 14. Making Sense of the Stories, by Katherine McClelland and David Karen

Urban Education in the United States

Author: J. Rury
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1403981876
Format: PDF, Docs
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Urban Education in the United States examines the development of schools in the large cities of the USA. John Rury, a well-known historian of education, introduces and highlights the most significant and classic essays dealing with urban schooling in this collection. Urban Education in the United States will provide an introduction to critical themes in the history of city schools and will frame each section with an overview of urban education research during particular periods in US history.

A Short History of Europe

Author: Antony Alcock
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230500935
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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'Antony Alcock's A Short History of Europe ... offers a straightforward, meticulously researched account; one which provides the student with clear and detailed analysis. Future generations of undergraduates and postgraduates alike will have cause to be grateful for a stimulating introduction to a major area of European studies.' - J.E. Spence, Associate Fellow, Royal Institute of International Affairs Alcock examines the historical development of Europe from the Greek city states through to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European integration. He also analyses: the rise of Christianity, the contributions of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the rivalry between the Papacy and Holy Roman Empire, and the consequences for the rise of states, European domination of the world following the voyages of discovery, continental royal absolutism and British political liberty, the impacts of the French and Industrial Revolutions, the two world wars, the integration process since 1945 and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Achieving Anew

Author: Michael J. White
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447034
Format: PDF, ePub
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Can the recent influx of immigrants successfully enter the mainstream of American life, or will many of them fail to thrive and become part of a permanent underclass? Achieving Anew examines immigrant life in school, at work, and in communities and demonstrates that recent immigrants and their children do make substantial progress over time, both within and between generations. From policymakers to private citizens, our national conversation on immigration has consistently questioned the country’s ability to absorb increasing numbers of foreign nationals—now nearly one million legal entrants per year. Using census data, longitudinal education surveys, and other data, Michael White and Jennifer Glick place their study of new immigrant achievement within a context of recent developments in assimilation theory and policies regulating who gets in and what happens to them upon arrival. They find that immigrant status itself is not an important predictor of educational achievement. First-generation immigrants arrive in the United States with less education than native-born Americans, but by the second and third generation, the children of immigrants are just as successful in school as native-born students with equivalent social and economic background. As with prior studies, the effects of socioeconomic background and family structure show through strongly. On education attainment, race and ethnicity have a strong impact on achievement initially, but less over time. Looking at the labor force, White and Glick find no evidence to confirm the often-voiced worry that recent immigrants and their children are falling behind earlier arrivals. On the contrary, immigrants of more recent vintage tend to catch up to the occupational status of natives more quickly than in the past. Family background, educational preparation, and race/ethnicity all play a role in labor market success, just as they do for the native born, but the offspring of immigrants suffer no disadvantage due to their immigrant origins. New immigrants continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, though with less prevalence than native black-white segregation. Immigrants who arrived in the 1960s are now much less segregated than recent arrivals. Indeed, the authors find that residential segregation declines both within and across generations. Yet black and Mexican immigrants are more segregated from whites than other groups, showing that race and economic status still remain powerful influences on where immigrants live. Although the picture is mixed and the continuing significance of racial factors remains a concern, Achieving Anew provides compelling reassurance that the recent wave of immigrants is making impressive progress in joining the American mainstream. The process of assimilation is not broken, the advent of a new underclass is not imminent, and the efforts to argue for the restriction of immigration based on these fears are largely mistaken.