Educational Freedom In Urban America

About the Book

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated public schools unconstitutional. The ruling in Brown v. Board of Education set public education on a course toward equality. Yet, five decades later, schools are not equal. Minority children living in America’s inner cities suffer disproportionately from a failing education system, with black and Hispanic students dropping out of public high schools at much higher rates than whites. There is, however, reason for hope. The expansion of school choice offers new opportunities for children struggling in failing schools.

In this collection, a dozen leading scholars, educators, and reformers—including Andrew Coulson, Floyd Flake, Frederick Hess, and Paul E. Peterson—examine the legacy of Brown v. Board and its relation to the modern‐​day school choice movement. A school administrator and a charter school founder also reveal the challenges and obstacles faced by enterprising teachers in trying to help their students. Together these experts expose the modern barriers that deprive inner‐​city children of a good education and call for increased school choice as the most effective way to achieve the goals of Brown v. Board.

Educational Freedom in Urban America is essential reading for anyone concerned with the condition of our inner‐​city schools and the racial and social inequities that still exist in American education.

About the Editor

David Salisbury is director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute. He was formerly an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Florida State University and president of the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals and in USA Today, Forbes, the New York Post, and the American Spectator.

Casey Lartigue Jr. is a senior partner with the D.C. K–12 Education Initiative, a project of the philanthropic organization Fight for Children. He is a former policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom in Washington, D.C. The author of two widely quoted studies on education in the nation’s capital, Lartigue is a much sought‐​after speaker about school choice and minority education issues.

What Others Have Said

Brown v. Board of Education opened the doors of our schools to all Americans. Thurgood Marshall and all of those who represented Oliver Brown are constitutional heroes who helped make our country nobler, stronger, and better. Yet 50 years later, we face a grave legal and educational challenge: finding ways to improve education for all students. The achievement gap perpetuates racism, which will not disappear as long as educational inequality persists. This important book will help sustain and deepen the national dialogue, which is necessary for effective, long‐​term, equitable change.”

—Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education

“An exceptional contribution to the fight for educational equality in America. Florida’s experience underscores the book’s premise that school choice programs represent one of America’s best hopes for fulfilling the promise of Brown v. Board of Education.”

—Jeb Bush, governor of Florida

“An excellent examination of how Brown v. Board of Education changed the educational landscape and impacted future generations. The public would be well served if lawmakers, school board members, and educational administrators used this analysis as a resource.”

—Congressman Jeff Flake

“There’s a broad consensus that American education leaves much to be desired, but the education received by black Americans is no less than a national disgrace. Educational Freedom in Urban America is a collection of informed articles that addresses real and practical solutions.”

—Walter E. Williams, professor of economics, George Mason University

“This important book describes the vital challenges facing those who are committed to opportunity and presents tangible, realistic solutions. Foremost among the necessary reforms is parental choice, which will break the vise grip of special‐​interest control on our nation’s public schools and create real opportunities for the most disadvantaged families in our society. It presents a road map for Americans to complete the unfinished business of Brown.”

—Clint Bolick, president, School Choice Alliance”