The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education

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The best strategies for improving the lives of low-income students are the subject of a new book called Restoring Opportunity. The volume provides “detailed portraits of proven initiatives that are transforming the lives of low-income children from prekindergarten through high school. All of these programs are research-tested and have demonstrated sustained effectiveness over time and at significant scale. Together, they offer a powerful vision of what good instruction in effective schools can look like.” Authors Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane are leading economists in the field of education.

Watch a video about the The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice — one of more than 200 small public high schools in New York City. The school emphasizes literacy across the curriculum, extensive collaboration to improve teaching and learning, and strong community partnerships that enrich the curriculum. Children who won a place in the lottery to attend a school of choice have higher graduation rates and test scores than those who applied but did not gain enrollment.

Notably, Restoring Opportunity includes a chapter, "High Schools That Improve Life Chances," that describes the New York City high school reform effort that created more than 200 new small schools. The authors say the collaboration is an example of “the hows and whys of creating and sustaining networks of high schools that do an effective job of serving economically disadvantaged youth, even those who enter ninth grade with extremely weak skills.”  It features the leadership role of Carnegie Corporation grantee, New Visions for Public Schools, and Carnegie Vice President, Michele Cahill. Read more at Harvard Education Press.