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The voucher debate has been both intense and ideologically polarizing, in good part because so little is known about how voucher programs operate in practice. In The Education Gap, William Howell and Paul Peterson report new findings drawn from the most comprehensive study on vouchers conducted to date. Added to the paperback edition of this groundbreaking volume are the authors' insights into the latest school choice developments in American education, including new voucher initiatives, charter school expansion, and public-school choice under No Child Left Behind. The authors review the significance of state and federal court decisions as well as recent scholarly debates over choice impacts on student performance. In addition, the authors present new findings on which parents choose private schools and the consequences the decision has for their children's education. Updated and expanded, The Education Gap remains an indispensable source of original research on school vouchers. "This is the most important book ever written on the subject of vouchers."—John E. Brandl, dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota "The Education Gap will provide an important intellectual battleground for the debate over vouchers for years to come."—Alan B. Krueger, Princeton University "Must reading for anyone interested in the battle over vouchers in America."—John Witte, University of Wisconsin
"The findings shed new light on how existing voucher programs affect students' educational experiences, covering factors such as school climate, class size, homework, resources, and test scores. They also reveal the impact of voucher programs on racial segregation, school-family communication, political tolerance, community social capital, parental satisfaction, and children's self-esteem."--BOOK JACKET.
The achievement gap between white students and African American and Hispanic students has been debated by scholars and lamented by policymakers since it was first documented in 1966. The average black or Hispanic secondary school student currently achieves at about the same level as the average white student in the lowest quartile of white achievement. Black and Hispanic students are much less likely than white students to graduate from high school, acquire a college or advanced degree, or earn a middle-class living. They are also much more likely than whites to suffer social problems that often accompany low income. While educators have gained an understanding of the causes and effects of the education achievement gap, they have been less successful in finding ways to eliminate it—until now. This book provides, for the first time in one place, evidence that the achievement gap can be bridged. A variety of schools and school reforms are boosting the achievement of black and Hispanic students to levels nearing those of whites. Bridging the Achievement Gap brings together the findings of renowned education scholars who show how various states, school districts, and individual schools have lifted the achievement levels of poor and minority students. The most promising strategies include focusing on core academic skills, reducing class size, enrolling students in more challenging courses, administering annual achievement assessment tests, creating schools with a culture of competition and success, and offering vouchers in big-city school districts. While implementing new educational programs on a large scale is fraught with difficulties, these successful reform efforts offer what could be the start of widespread effective solutions for bridging the achievement gap.
While it is quite clear that black and Latino students in general, and poor black and poor Latino students in particular do not do as well as white students in school, the road to real solutions to this very important and vexing problem is far from clear. Some champion vouchers and charter schools as the ideal solution, despite strong data suggesting that neither is particularly effective. Others point to smaller classes. Increasingly scholars and politicians support more accountability on the part of teachers, despite the reality that teachers do not have a great deal of control over much that influences performance. This book addresses the various “solutions”, and suggests that any solution to the gap that ignores the role of families is limited at best, and misguided at worst. The book details an effort to help poor black and poor Latino families learn to do the things necessary to help their children to do better in school, and argues that this family centered approach, while complicated, should be considered along side the school centered efforts.
The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government is an historic undertaking. It contains a wide range of essays that define the important questions in the field, evaluate where we are in answering them, and set the direction and terms of discourse for future work. The Handbook will have a substantial influence in defining the field for years to come. The chapters critically assess both the key works of state and local politics literature and the ways in which the sub-field has developed. It covers the main areas of study in subnational politics by exploring the central contributions to the comparative study of institutions, behavior, and policy in the American context. Each chapter outlines an agenda for future research.
This volume brings together the most current empirical research on two important innovations reshaping American education today-voucher programs and charter schools. Contributors include the foremost analysts in education policy. Of specific significance is cutting-edge research that evaluates the impact of vouchers on academic performance in the New York City, Washington, D.C., and Dayton, Ohio, school systems. The volume also looks beyond the American experience to consider the impact of market-based education as pioneered by New Zealand. Contributors also take stock of the movement's effects on public schools in particular and public opinion at-large. With thorough summaries of the existing research and the legal issues facing school choice, Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education will be key to readers who want to stay current with the burgeoning debates on vouchers and charter schools. Contributors include Terry Moe (Stanford University and the Hoover Institution), Gregg Vanourek (Yale University), Chester E. Finn Jr. (Manhattan Institute and the Fordham Foundation), Bruno V. Manno (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Michael Mintrom and David Plank (Michigan State University), Helen Ladd (Duke University), Edward Fiske (former New York Times columnist), Jay P. Greene (Manhattan Institute), William G. Howell (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Patrick J. Wolf (Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution), Mark Schneider, Paul Teske, Sara Clark, and S. P. Buckley (SUNY-Stony Brook), Robert Maranto (Villanova University), Frederick Hess (University of Virginia), Scott Milliman (James Madison University), Brett Kleitz (University of Houston), Kristin Thalhammer (St. Olaf College), Joseph Viteritti (New York University), Paul Hill (University of Washington and Brookings Institution), and Diane Ravitch (New York University and Brookings Institution).
How is it that, half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, educational opportunities remain so unequal for black and white students, not to mention poor and wealthy ones? In his important new book, Five Miles Away, A World Apart, James E. Ryan answers this question by tracing the fortunes of two schools in Richmond, Virginia--one in the city and the other in the suburbs. Ryan shows how court rulings in the 1970s, limiting the scope of desegregation, laid the groundwork for the sharp disparities between urban and suburban public schools that persist to this day. The Supreme Court, in accord with the wishes of the Nixon administration, allowed the suburbs to lock nonresidents out of their school systems. City schools, whose student bodies were becoming increasingly poor and black, simply received more funding, a measure that has proven largely ineffective, while the independence (and superiority) of suburban schools remained sacrosanct. Weaving together court opinions, social science research, and compelling interviews with students, teachers, and principals, Ryan explains why all the major education reforms since the 1970s--including school finance litigation, school choice, and the No Child Left Behind Act--have failed to bridge the gap between urban and suburban schools and have unintentionally entrenched segregation by race and class. As long as that segregation continues, Ryan forcefully argues, so too will educational inequality. Ryan closes by suggesting innovative ways to promote school integration, which would take advantage of unprecedented demographic shifts and an embrace of diversity among young adults. Exhaustively researched and elegantly written by one of the nation's leading education law scholars, Five Miles Away, A World Apart ties together, like no other book, a half-century's worth of education law and politics into a coherent, if disturbing, whole. It will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered why our schools are so unequal and whether there is anything to be done about it.

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