The Opportunity Gap: Achievement and Inequality in Education

Harvard Educational Review (2007)

Abstract

_The Opportunity Gap_ aims to shift attention from the current overwhelming emphasis on schools in discussions of the achievement gap to more fundamental questions about social and educational opportunity. The achievement gap looms large in the current era of high-stakes testing and accountability. Yet questions persist: Has the accountability movement—and attendant discussions on the achievement gap—focused attention on the true sources of educational failure in American schools? Do we need to look beyond classrooms and schools for credible accounts of disparities in educational outcomes? The essays in this book reintroduce the overlooked central issue in educational inequity: the lack of opportunity that many social groups face in our common quest for educational attainment. In a series of wide-ranging and carefully nuanced essays, _The Opportunity Gap_ casts much-needed light on the vexed relationship between society and education—and on the crucial, persistent role that education plays in addressing social ills. Contributors include Gilberto Q. Conchas, Raewyn Connell, Pat English-Sand, Linda May Fitzgerald, Patresa Hartman, Jeff Howard, Mieko Kamii, Rafa M. Kasim, Christopher Kliewer, Robert A. LeVine, Sarah E. LeVine, Jodi Meyer-Mork, Robert Parris Moses, Sonia Nieto, Donna Raschke, Stephen W. Raudenbush, Ray C. Rist, Beatrice Schnell-Anzola, Irene Serna, Susan McAllister Swap, and Amy Stuart Wells; with an afterword by Ronald F. Ferguson.

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