Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America's Schools

Overview

An in-depth look at "the brave new world of school finance" (Education Week) and the latest struggle for equality in public education.

Final Test describes a powerful new movement that has emerged across America in recent years to bridge the wide gap still separating the achievement of African American and Latino students from their white and Asian counterparts more than half a century after Brown v. Board. In the past fifteen years, scholars,...
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Overview

An in-depth look at "the brave new world of school finance" (Education Week) and the latest struggle for equality in public education.

Final Test describes a powerful new movement that has emerged across America in recent years to bridge the wide gap still separating the achievement of African American and Latino students from their white and Asian counterparts more than half a century after Brown v. Board. In the past fifteen years, scholars, judges, and advocates for poor children have begun to develop a progressive approach to education in which public policies and funding are based on calculations of "adequacy"—what it actually takes in teachers, books, facilities, and other resources to educate each child.

While Schrag explains the legal and legislative battles for reform with great insight and clarity, he also never loses sight of the human side of the story, "describing in poignant detail the impact of funding inequities on individual students and why 'money matters' in rectifying educational inadequacies" (Advocacy Center for Children's Educational Success with Standards). As the California Journal raved, "few writers can translate complex ideas into compelling nonfiction like Peter Schrag."
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
For Schrag, the adequacy drive matters because it does not simply try to get disadvantaged communities more money; thinking about adequacy means figuring out what it would take to give all students a good education, giving them a fair chance of meeting new standards, and then coming up with enough money to actually do it. Schrag sees the court cases he looks at as merely the first step. — Timothy A. Hacsi
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580269
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Schrag served for nineteen years as editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee. He has written about schools for over forty years and his articles have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Playboy, and many other publications. The author of Paradise Lost (The New Press), a New York Times Notable Book, he lives in Oakland, California.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 What Alondra Learned 15
2 Kentucky Landmark 61
3 "A Right to the Privilege of an Education" 97
I California: "To Shock the Conscience" 97
II New Jersey: Abbottizing the Schools 111
III Ohio: The Crocodile in the Bathtub 125
IV Alabama: The Hard Ground of History 142
V North Carolina: Judge Manning's "Iron Hand" 155
VI Maryland: Barbara Hoffman's Victory 166
VII New York: "Eight Is Not Enough" 175
4 Does Money Matter? 205
5 Final Test 231
Notes 251
Sources and Acknowledgments 297
Index 303
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