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Recommended Readings

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Published: 12/21/2007

Since 2005, the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University has hosted an annual equity symposium to advance the conversation on how we can close the achievement gap and have real equal opportunity for all.

The following are recently published books that have stemmed from these conversations that we recommend to anyone interested in educational equity issues. The descriptions of the books come from the publishers.

The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education
Clive Belfield and Henry M. Levin, eds., Brookings Institution Press 2007 c. 304 pp 
While the high cost of education draws headlines, the cost of not educating America's children goes largely ignored. “The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education” remedies this oversight by highlighting the private and public costs of inadequate education. In this volume, leading scholars from a broad range of fields—including economics, education, demography, and public health—attach hard numbers to the relationship between educational attainment and such critical indicators as income, health, crime, dependence on public assistance, and political participation. They explore policy interventions that could boost the education system's performance and explain why demographic trends make the challenge of educating our youth so urgent today. Improving educational outcomes for at-risk youth is more than a noble goal. It is an investment with the potential to yield benefits that far outstrip its costs. “The Price We Pay” provides the tools readers need to analyze both sides of the balance sheet and make informed decisions about which policies will pay off.


Moving Every Child Ahead: From NCLB Hype to Meaningful Educational Opportunity
Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolff, Teachers College Press 2008 c. 208 pp.
Foreword by Susan Fuhrman
Here, for the first time, is the essential volume on NCLB. In “Moving Every Child Ahead,” Michael Rebell—education law scholar and foremost authority on the educational rights of children who led the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) in its constitutional challenge to New York’s education finance system—and his colleague Jessica Wolff examine the federal No Child Left Behind Act through the lens of educational equity. In compelling and readable fashion, they make specific recommendations for revisions to the law.

Acting as a counterbalance to the current unworkable law, this book proposes a more realistic way to achieve NCLB’s inspiring vision by ensuring the right to “meaningful educational opportunity” for all students.

  • A “must-read” during the debate about the reauthorization of NCLB, this timely volume.
  • Advances a practical and visionary benchmark for measuring and ensuring the quality of public education.
  • Recommends ways that NCLB might be reauthorized with more meaningful provisions to serve students in poverty, in and out of schools.
  • Tackles specific provisions in NCLB head-on, such as the popular, but impossible, goal of 100% student proficiency by 2014
  • Provides a credible alternative vision to ensure that all children will learn in accordance with challenging academic standards.