The Flat Earth and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future
Presented for AERA's Third Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research
Articles & Chapters
August 1, 2007
Areas of Focus:
In the knowledge-based economy that characterizes the 21st century, most previously industrialized countries are making massive investments in education. The United States ranks poorly on many leading indicators, however, primarily because of the great inequality in educational inputs and outcomes between White students and non-Asian "minority" students, who comprise a growing share of the U.S. public school population. Standards-based reforms have been launched throughout the United States with promises of greater equity, but while students are held to common standards—and increasingly experience serious sanctions if they fail to meet them—most states have not equalized funding and access to the key educational resources needed for learning. The result of this collision of new standards with old inequities is less access to education for many students of color, rather than more. This article outlines current disparities in educational access; illustrates the relationships between race, educational resources, and student achievement; and proposes reforms needed to equalize opportunities to learn.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.