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

Paperback | May 22, 2013

EditorPrudence L. Carter, Kevin G. Welner

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While the achievement gap has dominated policy discussions over the past two decades, relatively little attention has been paid to a gap that is 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 fair opportunities to be prepared for college. By obsessively focusing on measuring achievement, the nation's policymakers have made little progress in measuring or addressing inequitable opportunities. Policy therefore failsto engage with the challenges, supports, and resources that lead to improvements in student learning. The achievement gap has not arisen by coincidence; children learn when they have opportunities to learn, and gaps in opportunities have led to gaps in achievement. Moreover, students' learningexperiences and outcomes are deeply affected by many factors outside of the immediate control of schools.Closing the Opportunity Gap brings together top experts who offer evidence-based essays that paint a powerful picture of denied opportunities. They also describe sensible, research-based policy approaches to enhance opportunities. They highlight the discrepancies that exist in our society and in ourpublic schools, focusing on how policy decisions and broader circumstances conspire to create the opportunity gap that leads inexorably to the outcome differences that have become so stark. The volume makes a compelling case that American educational policy must move beyond the conventional focus onachievement and opens a discussion about the common sense ways schools can and should give all American children more equitable opportunities to thrive.

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While the achievement gap has dominated policy discussions over the past two decades, relatively little attention has been paid to a gap that is 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 ever...

Prudence Carter is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Dr. Carter's primary research agenda focuses on cultural explanations of academic and mobility differences among various racial and ethnic groups. Her most r...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:May 22, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199982996

ISBN - 13:9780199982998

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of Contributors1. Kevin G. Welner and Prudence L. Carter: Achievement Gaps Arise from Opportunity Gaps2. Gloria Ladson-Billings: Lack of Achievement or Loss of Opportunity?Part One: Overcoming the Obstacles We Create for Children3. Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe: Educationalizing the Welfare State and Privatizing Education: The Irony of Recent School Reform4. Gary Orfield: Going to the Roots: Race, Housing, and School Inequality Costs and Possible Solutions5. Richard Rothstein: Why Children from Lower Socioeconomic Classes, on Average, Have Lower Academic Achievement than Middle-Class ChildrenPart Two: Overcoming the Obstacles We Create for Schools6. Linda Darling-Hammond: Inequality and School Resources: What it Will Take to Close the Opportunity Gap?7. W. Steven Barnett and Cynthia E. Lamy: Achievement Gaps Start Early: Preschool Can Help8. Yong Zhao and Christopher Tienken: How Common Standards and Standardized Testing Widen the Opportunity Gap9. Janelle Scott and Amy Stuart Wells: A More Perfect Union: Reconciling School Choice Policy with Equality of Opportunity GoalsPart Three: Overcoming the Obstacles We Create for Teachers10. Prudence L. Carter: Student and School Cultures and the Opportunity Gap: Paying Attention and Engaging Better11. Patricia Gundara: Meeting the Needs of Language Minorities12. Karolyn Tyson: Tracking, Segregation, and the Opportunity Gap: What We Know and Why It Matters13. Barnett Berry: Good Schools and Teachers for All Students: Dispelling Myths, Facing Evidence, and Pursuing the Right StrategiesPart Four: Solutions/Conclusion14. Clive Belfield and Hank Levin: The Cumulative Costs of the Opportunity Gap15. Michele Moses and John Rogers: Enhancing a Nation's Democracy through Equitable Schools16. Prudence L. Carter and Kevin G. Welner: Building Opportunities to AchieveNotes ReferencesIndex