The American Dream and the Public Schools
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The American Dream and the Public Schools

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The American Dream and the Public Schools examines issues that have excited and divided Americans for years, including desegregation, school funding, testing, vouchers, bilingual education, and ability grouping. While these are all separate problems, much of the contention over them comes down to the same thing--an apparent conflict between policies designed to promote each student's ability to succeed and those designed to insure the good of all students or the nation as a whole. The authors show how policies to promote individual success too often benefit only those already privileged by race or class, and often conflict with policies that are intended to benefit everyone. They propose a framework that builds on our nation's rapidly changing population in order to help Americans get past acrimonious debates about schooling. Their goal is to make public education work better so that all children can succeed.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195176030
  • 9780195176032
  • 1,431,041

Review quote

Most liberals will love this book, and most conservatives won't. But all who want to learn about American education can benefit enormously from reading it. Hochschild and Scovronick cover the most fundamental educational issues of our time, linking the problems and prospects of American education with the most basic values of our culture. The result is a big-picture analysis that is at once genuinely informative and intellectually challenging. * Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University * Pulls some important policy threads together in a constructive, persuasive way. Hochschild and Scovronick recognize the inevitable strains upon and within our democratic school systems but urge us not to lose heart: Public education, they remind us, remains the most likely route for individuals to achieve the American dream. * Theodore Sizer, University Professor Emeritus, Brown University * A book that all Americans should read and discuss. They remind us that debates about education are really debates about how we 'move the American dream from ideology to practice'. * Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education * A wonderfully vigorous defense of our public schools, which is at the same time a detailed, incisive, and illuminating analysis of everything that is wrong with them. Americans who believe in the importance of a common education for citizenship and autonomy will find in this book their political agenda. * Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, and editor of Dissent * Perceptive, well documented. * Library Journal * This well-researched, up-to-date and balanced look at hot-button issues examines all sides of the debates while not losing sight of the democratic principles of schooling. These authors have done their homework and they don't have an axe to grind. They ask readers to take seriously the challenge to create an educational system that provides genuine equality of opportunity for every child, and that might put the American dream within reach of everyone in today's multicultural America. * Publishers Weekly * Addresses nearly every educational policy issue of importance and brings a welcome balance and fairness to the debate. In their preface, they acknowledge that they began on opposite sides of several arguments. Their book, as a consequence, has helpful suggestions as to how those of us involved in educational issues can get past our fondness for beating up on anyone who disagrees with us on choice or testing or teaching styles. Among recent books on education, only one other book is as helpful to readers trying to maneuver their way through the current cafeteria food-fight of conflicting claims. * Washington Post *show more

About Jennifer L. Hochschild

Jennifer Hochschild is Professor of Government at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Afro-American Studies and the author of Facing Up to the American Dream. Nathan Scovronick teaches education policy and directs the undergraduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.show more

Rating details

50 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 6% (3)
4 60% (30)
3 30% (15)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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