Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America
How is it that, half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, educational opportunities remain so unequal for black and white students, not to mention poor and wealthy ones?In his important new book, Five Miles Away, A World Apart, James E. Ryan answers this question by tracing the fortunes of two schools in Richmond, Virginia--one in the city and the other in the suburbs. Ryan shows how court rulings in the 1970s, limiting the scope of desegregation, laid the groundwork for the sharp disparities between urban and suburban public schools that persist to this day. The Supreme Court, in accord with the wishes of the Nixon administration, allowed the suburbs to lock nonresidents out of their school systems. City schools, whose student bodies were becoming increasingly poor and black, simply received more funding, a measure that has proven largely ineffective, while the independence (and superiority) of suburban schools remained sacrosanct. Weaving together court opinions, social science research, and compelling interviews with students, teachers, and principals, Ryan explains why all the major education reforms since the 1970s--including school finance litigation, school choice, and the No Child Left Behind Act--have failed to bridge the gap between urban and suburban schools and have unintentionally entrenched segregation by race and class. As long as that segregation continues, Ryan forcefully argues, so too will educational inequality. Ryan closes by suggesting innovative ways to promote school integration, which would take advantage of unprecedented demographic shifts and an embrace of diversity among young adults.Exhaustively researched and elegantly written by one of the nation's leading education law scholars, Five Miles Away, A World Apart ties together, like no other book, a half-century's worth of education law and politics into a coherent, if disturbing, whole. It will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered why our schools are so unequal and whether there is anything to be done about it.
What people are saying - Write a review
Five Miles Away, a World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern AmericaUser Review - Elizabeth Connor - Book Verdict
Ryan (law, Univ. of Virginia Sch. of Law) tells the compelling and scrupulously researched story of two schools, one urban (Thomas Jefferson High School) and one suburban (Freeman High School ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of ...
James E. Ryan
No preview available - 2010
academic achievement attend black students Board of Education Bradley busing charter schools Chesterfield counties choice plans choice programs city schools Civil Rights constitutional dents desegregation Detroit district lines educational opportunity enrollment example federal fiscal neutrality Freeman High School goal Henrico County High School high-poverty schools Ibid increased integrated schools interdistrict Judge Merhige Justice Lewis F KIPP legislative legislatures Lewis F magnet schools massive resistance metropolitan areas middle-class Milliken NCLB neighborhood schools Nixon parents percent plaintiffs political poor students private schools public education public schools pupil race racial remain residential segregation Richmond School Board school choice school desegregation school districts school finance litigation school finance reform school funding school system socioeconomic spending standards and testing suburban districts suburban schools suburbs teachers Tee-Jay test scores tion U.S. Supreme Court urban districts urban schools Virginia voucher programs white flight white students