The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy

The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy

by Richard D. Kahlenberg (Editor)


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The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy by Richard D. Kahlenberg

Almost fifty years ago the Coleman Report, widely regarded as the most important educational study of the twentieth century, found that the most powerful predictor of academic achievement is the socioeconomic status of a child's family. The second most important predictor is the socioeconomic status of the classmates in his or her school. Until very recently, the importance of this second finding has been consciously ignored by policymakers, and the national education debate has centered on trying to "fix" high-poverty schools by pouring greater resources into them, paying educators more to teach in them, or turning them into charter schools. At the local level, however, eighty school districts educating four million students now consciously seek to integrate schools by socioeconomic status.

The Future of School Integration looks at how socioeconomic school integration has been pursued as a strategy to reduce the proportion of high-poverty schools and therefore to improve the performance of students overall. It examines whether students learn more in socioeconomically integrated schools—and pre-K programs—than in high-poverty institutions and explores the costs and benefits of integration programs. The book also investigates whether such integration is logistically and politically feasible, looking at the promises and pitfalls of both intradistrict and interdistrict integration programs. Finally, it examines the relevance of socioeconomic integration strategies being pursued by states and localities to the ongoing policy debates in Washington over efforts to turn around the nation's lowest-performing schools and to improve the quality of charter schools.

Contributors include Stephanie Aberger (Expeditionary Learning), Marco Basile (Harvard University), Jennifer Jellison Holme (University of Texas–Austin), Ann Mantil (Harvard), Anne G. Perkins, Jeanne L. Reid (Teachers College), Meredith P. Richards (University of Texas–Austin), Heather Schwartz (RAND), Kori J. Stroub (University of Texas–Austin), and Sheneka M. Williams (University of Georgia).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870785221
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 02/27/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,267,674
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Richard D. Kahlenberg is a senior fellow for education at The Century Foundation. He is the author of All Together Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools through Public School Choice (Brookings Press, 2001) and the editor of Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions (The Century Foundation Press, 2010) and Rewarding Strivers: Helping Low-Income Students Succeed in College (TCF Press, 2010).

Table of Contents

Foreword Janice Nittoli v

1 Introduction: Socioeconomic School Integration Richard D. Kahlenberg 1

Part I The Benefits and Costs of Socioeconomic Integration

2 Housing Policy Is School Policy: Economically Integrative Housing Promotes Academic Success in Montgomery County, Maryland Heather Schwartz 27

3 Socioeconomic Diversity and Early Learning: The Missing Link in Policy for High-Quality Preschools Jeanne L. Reid 67

4 The Cost-Effectiveness of Socioeconomic School Integration Marco Basile 127

Part II The Logistics and Politics of Socioeconomic Integration

5 The Challenge of High-Poverty Schools: How Feasible Is Socioeconomic School Integration? Ann Mantil Anne G. Perkins Stephanie Aberger 155

6 Can NCLB Choice Work? Modeling the Effects of Interdistrict Choice on Student Access to Higher-Performing Schools Meredith P. Richards Kori J. Stroub Jennifer Jellison Holme 223

7 The Politics of Maintaining Balanced Schools: An Examination of Three Districts Sheneka M. Williams 257

Part III Socioeconomic Integration and the Washington Education Policy Debate

8 Turnaround Schools and Charter Schools that Work: Moving Beyond Separate But Equal Richard D. Kohlenberg 283

Appendix: Local Education Agencies Employing Socioeconomic Status in Some Fashion in Student Assignment, with Corresponding Student Populations in Parentheses 309

Notes 313

Index 373

About the Contributors 395

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