Whither opportunity? : rising inequality, schools, and children's life chances

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In Whither Opportunity?, a team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy examines the corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, inse...

In Whither Opportunity?, a team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy examines the corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, insecure labor markets, and worsening school conditions on K-12 education. This groundbreaking book illuminates the ways rising inequality is undermining the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success. Whither Opportunity? shows that from earliest childhood, parental investments in children s learning affect reading, math, and other attainments later in life. Contributor Meredith Phillip finds that between birth and age six, wealthier children spend significantly more time than poor children on child enrichment activities such as music lessons, travel, and summer camp. Greg Duncan, George Farkas, and Katherine Magnuson demonstrate that a child from a poor family is two to four times as likely as a child from an affluent family to have classmates with low skills and behavior problems. As a result of such disparities, contributor Sean Reardon finds that the gap between rich and poor children s achievement scores is now much larger than it was 50 years ago. Such income-based gaps persist across the school years, as Martha Bailey and Sue Dynarski document in their chapter on the growing income-based gap in college completion. Whither Opportunity? also reveals the profound impact of environmental factors on children s educational progress. Elizabeth Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina Gibson-Davis show that local job losses such as those caused by plant closings can lower the test scores of students with low socioeconomic status, even students whose parents have not lost their jobs. And David Kirk and Robert Sampson show that teacher commitment, parental involvement, and student achievement in schools in high-crime neighborhoods all tend to be low.

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Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, editors
  • New York : Russell Sage Foundation ; Chicago : Spencer Foundation, [2011]
  • ©2011
Physical Details
  • xix, 551 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780871543721, 1610447514, 0871543729, 9781610440448, 9780871543240, 0871543249, 1610440447, 9781610447515
ocn842363836, ocn922324325, ocn725295871

  • Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • The American dream, then and now / Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane -- Lessons from neuroscience research for understanding causal links between family and neighborhood characteristics and educational outcomes / Charles A. Nelson III and Margaret A. Sheridan -- The nature and impact of early achievement skills, attention skills, and behavior problems / Greg J. Duncan and Katherine Magnuson -- Middle and high school skills, behaviors, attitudes, and curriculum enrollment, and their consequences / George Farkas -- The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor : new evidence and possible explanations / Sean F. Reardon -- Inequality in postsecondary education / Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski -- Educational expectations and attainment / Brian A. Jacob and Tamara Wilder Linkow -- Educational mobility in the United States since the 1930s / Michael Hout and Alexander Janus -- How is family income related to investments in children's learning? / Neeraj Kaushal, Katherine Magnuson, and Jane Waldfogel -- Parenting, time use, and disparities in academic outcomes / Meredith Phillips -- Family-structure instability and adolescent educational outcomes : a focus on families with stepfathers / Megan M. Sweeney -- Converging evidence for neighborhood effects on children's test scores : an experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational comparison / Julia Burdick-Will [and others] -- Unpacking neighborhood influences on education outcomes : setting the stage for future research / David Harding [and others] -- The effects of local employment losses on children's educational achievement / Elizabeth O. Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina M. Gibson-Davis -- How does parental unemployment affect children's educational performance? / Phillip B. Levine -- The role of family, school, and community characteristics in inequality in education and labor-market outcomes / Joseph G. Altonji and Richard K. Mansfield -- Year-by-year and cumulative impacts of attending a high-mobility elementary school on children's mathematics achievement in Chicago, 1995 to 2005 / Stephen W. Raudenbush, Marshall Jean, and Emily Art -- The effect of school neighborhoods on teachers' career decisions / Don Boyd [and others] -- Crime and the production of safe schools / David S. Kirk and Robert J. Sampson -- Immigrants and inequality in public schools / Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel -- School desegregation and the black-white test score gap / Jacob L. Vigdor -- The challenges of finding causal links between family educational practices and schooling outcomes / Frank F. Furstenberg -- It may not take a village : increasing achievement among the poor / Vilsa E. Curto, Roland G. Fryer Jr., and Meghan L. Howard -- Understanding the context for existing reform and research proposals / Harry Brighouse and Gina Schouten -- Intervening to improve the educational outcomes of students in poverty : lessons from recent work in high-poverty schools / Brian Rowan
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