Academic journal article The International Journal of African Historical Studies

Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Academic journal article The International Journal of African Historical Studies

Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Article excerpt

Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa. By Edward B. Fiske and Helen F. Ladd. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004. Pp. xvi, 269. $32.95/£24.00.

South Africa is in the midst of "efforts to fashion a racially equitable state education system" as part of the broader "transformation process" of the postapartheid era. The authors of this study, educational consultant and writer Edward B. Fiske and Duke University public policy studies and economics professor Helen F. Ladd, set out to describe South Africa's educational transformation strategies and to assess how successful they have been in making the country's educational system more racially equitable. They measure racial equity in terms of equal treatment (or "race-blindness"), equal educational opportunity, and educational adequacy.

After an introductory chapter that explains the purpose and the approach of the book, a second chapter briefly reviews South African history from the perspective of its racial dimensions. The third and fourth chapters respectively cover the central role of education under apartheid and the educational aspirations of the African National Congress as it took over the government in 1994. …

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