Social Class, Schooling and Achievement…Again
On August 9th, 2006 New York Times reporter Diana Jean Schemo wrote a column, It Takes More Than Schools to Close Achievement Gap [PDF], which raised the issue of how much non-school factors determine student educational success. In her column she reflected on EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein’s work in Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black–White Achievement Gap. Schemo’s article generated many responses, including an important one by Chester E. Finn (see March of the pessimists), president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, in its publication, Gadfly. Rothstein has in turn written a response to Finn (a shorter version been published in Gadfly, and his
[PDF] is available as well).
Other research relevant to this debate includes the book, The Charter School Dust-up, co-written by Rothstein, and a re-analysis of the Education Trust’s data on ‘high flyers’ [PDF] by Florida State University professor Doug Harris.