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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Persistent white–black disparities in education outcomes, combined with the growing presence of Asian American and especially Latino children, will make race and ethnicity a core element of education policy in the United States in the twenty-first century. This chapter explores, without resolving, a series of questions at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and American education policy. We review research evidence on persistent racial achievement gaps, race and school choice, the impact of No Child Left Behind, urban school governance, segregation, and the role of the courts in desegregation and school finance. We find that most questions about the best policies on these topics have no clear answers for several reasons explored in the chapter. Furthermore, future research must be reconceptualized since standard assumptions about group boundaries and group interests warrant reexamination. The study of education needs better data, improved methodologies, closer attention to class dynamics, and less partisan scholarship.

Keywords: race, ethnicity, education policy, education politics, achievement gap, school desegregation, school finance, school choice, school boards

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