Opportunity for All

In commemoration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we look at how to implement a more equitable—and therefore more effective—education system in the US

Opportunity for All: A Framework for Quality and Equality in Education

O’Day, Jennifer A. by Jennifer A. O’Day and Marshall S. Smith Harvard Education Press, 2020
282p index, 9781682533635 $34.00

Opportunity for All: A Framework for Quality and Equality in Education book cover. Black and red lettering, white background.

O’Day (American Institutes for Research) and Smith (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) effectively elucidate “the evolution of standards-based approaches” to education for policy makers, professors, school administrators, researchers, and parents. They argue that a more equitable and effective education system in the US is both necessary and possible, reminding readers of the significance of bringing multiple perspectives to the table to inform and pursue educational improvement. Suggesting that quality and equality are “inextricably linked,” the authors contend that moving beyond “short-term fixes and magic bullets” will require a systemic approach that incorporates a coherent standards-based policy foundation, targeted strategies to address inequality and school failure, and partnerships between schools and other child-serving agencies and community groups. As they conclude, implementing such an approach would require a “theory of change” and strategies to “leverage pressure and support for improvement in the policy, professional and public arenas.” This is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the struggle to improve the quality of education and promote equal outcomes for all students in the US.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.
N. A. Powers, Northeastern Illinois University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Education
Choice Issue: Apr 2021

Enjoy this week’s review? Check out other reviews of titles in the education subject area: