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The Flat Earth and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future

Abstract

"In the knowledge-based economy that characterizes the 21st century, most previously industrialized countries are making massive investments in education. The United States ranks poorly on many leading indicators, however, primarily because of the great inequality in educational inputs and outcomes between White students and non-Asian "minority" students, who comprise a growing share of the U.S. public school population. Standards-based reforms have been launched throughout the United States with promises of greater equity, but while students are held to common standard - sand increasingly experience serious sanctions if they fail to meet them - most states have not equalized funding and access to the key educational resources needed for learning. The result of this collision of new standards with old inequities is less access to education for many students of color, rather than more. This article outlines current disparities in educational access; illustrates the relationships between race, educational resources, and student achievement; and proposes reforms needed to equalize opportunities to learn."

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