This provocative book asks a simple question: since we know that middle class schools tend to work best, why not give every child in America the opportunity to attend a public school in which the majority of students come from middle class households? Economically integrated schools, the author argues, will do far more to promote achievement and equal opportunity than vouchers, standards, class size reduction, or any of the other leading education proposals on the left and right that seek to make “separate but equal” schools work. Building on two recent education trends—the decline in racial desegregation as a legal tool and the movement toward greater public school choice—All Together Now provides a blueprint for creating schools that educate children from various backgrounds under one roof. Concurring with the concerns of voucher proponents about the unfairness of trapping poor kids in failing schools, the book provides a practical, viable, and legally sound plan for promoting economic and racial integration among public schools.
Richard D. Kahlenberg is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, where he writes about education, equal opportunity, and civil rights. He is the author of four books, including Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2007) and All Together Now: Creating Middle Class Schools through Public School Choice (a Century Foundation Book published by Brookings, 2001). He is also the editor of four more, including America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education (Century Foundation Press, 2004) and Public School Choice vs. Private School Vouchers (Century Foundation Press, 2003).