The American Dream and the Public Schools

by Jennifer L. Hochschild, Nathan Scovronick

The American Dream and the Public Schools examines issues that have excited and divided Americans for years, including desegregation, school funding, testing, vouchers, bilingual education, and ability grouping. While these are all separate problems, much of the contention over them comes down to the same thing--an apparent conflict between policies designed to promote each student's ability to succeed and those designed to insure the good of all students or the nation as a whole. The authors show how policies to promote individual success too often benefit only those already privileged by race or class, and often conflict with policies that are intended to benefit everyone. They propose a framework that builds on our nation's rapidly changing population in order to help Americans get past acrimonious debates about schooling. Their goal is to make public education work better so that all children can succeed.

  • Oxford University Press; March 2003
  • ISBN: 9780198034865
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: The American Dream and the Public Schools
  • Author: Jennifer L. Hochschild; Nathan Scovronick
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"A wonderfully vigorous defense of our public schools, which is at the same time a detailed, incisive, and illuminating analysis of everything that is wrong with them."--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, and editor of Dissent
"Examines all sides of the debates while not losing sight of the democratic principles of schooling."--Publishers Weekly
"Addresses nearly every educational policy issue of importance and brings a welcome balance and fairness to the debate."--The Washington Post

About The Author

Jennifer Hochschild is Professor of Government at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Afro-American Studies and the author of Facing Up to the American Dream. Nathan Scovronick teaches education policy and directs the undergraduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.