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The Elusive Ideal: Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Role in Boston's Public Schools, 1950-1985


reviewed by Christopher Stapel - 2006

coverTitle: The Elusive Ideal: Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Role in Boston's Public Schools, 1950-1985
Author(s): Adam R. Nelson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226571904, Pages: 2005, Year: 332
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As the federal government’s role in closing achievement gaps grows increasingly salient, so, too, does the level of conflict between federal, state, and local policy.  The strain of this conflict is felt by the policymakers, teachers, and school leaders who work to deliver equal educations to students of diverse ability levels, language proficiencies, racial groups, and social classes.  All of these stakeholders should take comfort, though, in knowing that this strain has been felt by many before them.  In light of this history, I find that Adam Nelson’s case study, The Elusive Ideal: Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Role in Boston’s Public Schools, 1950–1985, informs the contemporary practice of all who undertake the crucial task of equalizing educational opportunities. The delicate intersections of multitiered educational policies, like those described in The Elusive Ideal, perpetually shape the Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) campaign to close achievement gaps.  In recent years the policy... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 5, 2006, p. 881-885
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12132, Date Accessed: 11/21/2019 10:44:57 AM

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About the Author
  • Christopher Stapel
    Boston Community Leadership Academy
    E-mail Author
    CHRISTOPHER STAPEL is a mathematics teacher and advisor at the Boston Community Leadership Academy, a pilot high school of the Boston Public Schools. He holds an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently constructing a toolkit and resource manual for organizations serving rural sexual minority youth. In addition to urban education reform, his research interests include college access for rural students, gay and lesbian issues in education, and race and class inequality.
 
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