Strategies for School Equity: Creating Productive Schools in a Just Society

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In the pursuit of a first-rate education for all students, America's public schools have struggled to achieve fuller racial integration and higher academic standards. Yet sharp inequities between prosperous school districts and poorer districts remain, reinforced by traditional ways of funding and administering public education. This book brings together cutting-edge ideas and strategies of prominent advocates of school equity reform. Discussing their first-hand experiences in forming coalitions, framing court cases, and dealing with state politics in New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Alabama, Kentucky, and Washington, the contributors consider what succeeded, and what failed, in the search for financial and legal remedies to educational inequity. The varied case studies of this book underscore the importance of a comprehensive approach-combining finance, restructuring, and governance reforms-for the success of a city or state school reform effort. The authors investigate how state constitutions have been used to challenge a state's financial distribution of school aid, how business and community organizations have engaged in reform efforts, and how others have negotiated legislation to achieve change. This discussion of reform strategies will interest not only those who are concerned with excellence and equity in education but also those who wish to form successful coalitions and challenge existing state policies.