Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance

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9780199982981: Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance

While the achievement gap has dominated policy discussions over the past two decades, relatively little attention has been paid to a gap even more at odds with American ideals: the opportunity gap. Opportunity and achievement, while inextricably connected, are very different goals. Every American will not go to college, but every American should be given a fair chance to be prepared for college. In communities across the U.S., children lack the crucial resources and opportunities, inside and outside of schools that they need if they are to reach their potential.

Closing the Opportunity Gap offers accessible, research-based essays written by top experts who highlight the discrepancies that exist in our public schools, focusing on how policy decisions and life circumstances conspire to create the "opportunity gap" that leads inexorably to stark achievement gaps. They also describe sensible policies grounded in evidence that can restore and enhance opportunities. Moving beyond conventional academic discourse, Closing the Opportunity Gap will spark vital new conversations about what schools, parents, educators, and policymakers can and should do to give all children a fair chance to thrive.

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About the Author:


Prudence L. Carter is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University.

Kevin G. Welner is Professor of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Review:


"Schooling, at its best, is about creating new futures for our children. Closing the Opportunity Gap describes education as it is and provides a vision of education as it should be. The book provides a powerful critique of the educational and social policies and practices that exacerbate the widening economic disparity between rich and poor and the growing opportunity gap for too many of our nation's youth. The authors' analyses of educational inequity and their focus on opportunity to learn offer a much needed blueprint and a new social imagination about schooling in the U.S." -Kris D. Gutiérrez, Inaugural Provost's Chair and Professor of Learning Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder.


"As policymakers and education leaders seek to pick up the pieces of a public education system tattered by No-Child-Left-Behind style reform, Carter and Welner's book brings clear-eyed analyses of failure and of future possibilities. In one highly readable volume, the nation's leading scholars provide evidence-based accounts of the root causes, everyday realities, and long-term consequences of the nation's weightiest educational problem-profound inequality in and out of school. And, most important, they offer comprehensive, insightful, and useful remedies. Those seeking new concepts and strategies for creating the public schools our diverse nation desperately needs and deserves need look no further than this astonishing book."-Jeannie Oakes, Director of Education and Scholarship, Ford Foundation


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