A Notion at Risk

Preserving Public Education as an Engine for Social Mobility

Richard D. Kahlenberg
Release Date: September 1, 2000

The 2000 presidential campaign is ushering in a renewed focus on public education. The question is, what would be best for our children?

This volume of essays seeks to restore the notion that public education should be an engine for social mobility, a concern that animated Brown v. Board of Education and the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It identifies the leading sources of inequality-both in the home and in school-and proposes concrete public policy remedies. The authors also examine the strengths and weaknesses of summer schooling, federal aid to education, standards, teacher enhancement, charter schools, and zero tolerance policies.

The contributors include Doris Entwisle, Karl Alexander, and Linda Olson, Johns Hopkins University; Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute and Occidental College; Adam Gamaron, University of Wisconsin; Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University; Amy Stuart Wells, Jennifer Jellison Holme, Alejandra Lopez, and Camille Wilson Cooper, University of California at Los Angeles; Paul Barton, Educational Testing Service; and Ruy Teixeira, The Century Foundation.