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ERIC Number: EJ1105024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Torche Comment on Downey and Condron
Torche, Florencia
Sociology of Education, v89 n3 p229-230 Jul 2016
in this article, Florencia Torche, professor of sociology at New York University, reflects on the central question posed by the Coleman Report: What role do schools play in promoting equality of opportunity? The Coleman Report relied on analysis of variance and regression analysis, but over the past 50 years, social scientists have developed new tools to address this question. The counterfactual revolution has raised awareness of the bias emerging from advantaged families selecting into better schools, tracks, teachers, and peers, and it offers experiments and natural experiments to examine the causal effects of schools, and schools' instructional and organizational resources, on student outcomes. Torche maintains that although still mostly restricted to test scores, the outcomes examined are, auspiciously, expanding to other domains, including children's health and well-being and longer-term outcomes such as employment and earnings. The new findings about early human development invite a novel understanding of the role of schools in reducing the influence of the accidents of birth. Torche's own scholarship examines stratification and mobility, educational inequalities, assortative mating, and the early emergence of disadvantage over the life course. Here she comments that if the learning process starts at conception, then the early life course should be a legitimate domain of educational policy. She then suggests that compensatory policies which provide educational resources to disadvantaged children are indeed necessary, but starting earlier than age five could yield the most substantial payoffs. [For "Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality," see EJ1104970.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A