In this essay review, O’Brien reviews two recent books that explore contemporary efforts to close the American black/white educational achievement gap. In Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America’s Schools, Peter Schrag chronicles on-going efforts to enlist the power of the courts to effect equal educational opportunity through court-ordered remedies. Richard Rothstein, in Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap, looks to social science, educational and social reform for potential solutions to the problem. O’Brien concludes that neither litigation nor educational reform is sufficient to provide universal access to high quality education in the U.S.
This article was origianlly published as O'Brien, MT, Essay Review: Final Test and Class and Schools, Educational Studies, 40(1), 2006, 77-83. Original journal available here. Copyright Taylor & Francis.