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ERIC Number: ED525540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 572
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-8715-4372-1
Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances
Duncan, Greg J., Ed.; Murnane, Richard, Ed.
Russell Sage Foundation
As the incomes of affluent and poor families have diverged over the past three decades, so too has the educational performance of their children. But how exactly do the forces of rising inequality affect the educational attainment and life chances of low-income children? In "Whither Opportunity?" a distinguished 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 one of the most important goals of public education--the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success. The most ambitious study of educational inequality to date, "Whither Opportunity?" analyzes how social and economic conditions surrounding schools affect school performance and children's educational achievement. The book shows that from earliest childhood, parental investments in children's learning affect reading, math, and other attainments later in life. This book contains six parts. Part I, Overview, contains: (1) Introduction: The American Dream, Then and Now (Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane). Part II, The Developing Child and Adolescent, contains: (2) Lessons from Neuroscience Research for Understanding Causal Links Between Family and Neighborhood Characteristics and Educational Outcomes (Charles A. Nelson III and Margaret A. Sheridan); (3) The Nature and Impact of Early Achievement Skills, Attention Skills, and Behavior Problems (Greg J. Duncan and Katherine Magnuson); (4) Middle and High School Skills, Behaviors, Attitudes, and Curriculum Enrollment, and Their Consequences (George Farkas); (5) The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor: New Evidence and Possible Explanations (Sean F. Reardon); (6) Inequality in Postsecondary Education (Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski); and (7) Educational Expectations and Attainment (Brian A. Jacob and Tamara Wilder Linkow). Part III, The Family, contains: (8) Educational Mobility in the United States Since the 1930s (Michael Hout and Alexander Janus); (9) How Is Family Income Related to Investments in Children's Learning? (Neeraj Kaushal, Katherine Magnuson, and Jane Waldfogel); (10) Parenting, Time Use, and Disparities in Academic Outcomes (Meredith Phillips); and (11) Family-Structure Instability and Adolescent Educational Outcomes: A Focus on Families with Stepfathers (Megan M. Sweeney). Part IV, Neighborhoods, contains: (12) Converging Evidence for Neighborhood Effects on Children's Test Scores: An Experimental, Quasi-Experimental, and Observational Comparison (Julia Burdick-Will, Jens Ludwig, Stephen W. Raudenbush, Robert J. Sampson, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, and Patrick Sharkey); and (13) Unpacking Neighborhood Influences on Education Outcomes: Setting the Stage for Future Research (David Harding, Lisa Gennetian, Christopher Winship, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, and Jeffrey Kling). Part V, Labor Markets, contains: (14) The Effects of Local Employment Losses on Children's Educational Achievement (Elizabeth O. Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina M. Gibson-Davis); and (15) How Does Parental Unemployment Affect Children's Educational Performance? (Phillip B. Levine). Part VI, Schools, contains: (16) The Role of Family, School, and Community Characteristics in Inequality in Education and Labor-Market Outcomes (Joseph G. Altonji and Richard K. Mansfield); (17) 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); (18) The Effect of School Neighborhoods on Teachers' Career Decisions (Don Boyd, Hamp Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Matthew Ronfeldt, and Jim Wyckoff); (19) Crime and the Production of Safe Schools (David S. Kirk and Robert J. Sampson); (20) Immigrants and Inequality in Public Schools (Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel); (21) School Desegregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap (Jacob L. Vigdor); (22) The Challenges of Finding Causal Links Between Family Educational Practices and Schooling Outcomes (Frank F. Furstenberg); (23) It May Not Take a Village: Increasing Achievement Among the Poor (Vilsa E. Curto, Roland G. Fryer Jr., and Meghan L. Howard); (24) Understanding the Context for Existing Reform and Research Proposals (Harry Brighouse and Gina Schouten); and (25) Intervening to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Students in Poverty: Lessons from Recent Work in High-Poverty Schools (Brian Rowan). A foreword and an index is included.
Russell Sage Foundation. 112 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065. Tel: 212-750-6000; Fax: 212-371-4761; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Russell Sage Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; United States
IES Cited: ED545233; ED544269; ED561224