Achieving Educational Equality: Assuring All Students an Equal Opportunity in School

By Buono, Bruce J. | Multicultural Education, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

Achieving Educational Equality: Assuring All Students an Equal Opportunity in School


Buono, Bruce J., Multicultural Education


ACHIEVING EDUCATIONAL EQUALITY: ASSURING ALL STUDENTS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN SCHOOL By Herbert Grossman Springfield, IL, 1998. $48.95 cloth; $35.95 paper. ISBN 0398068844

-Review by Bruce J. Buono

Herbert Grossman is a distinguished educator and well-published author. He has accrued teaching experience inthe classroom and estensively at the university level. He has significant experience teaching abroad as well as in the United States. His Achieving Educational Equality provides examples of problems in the way governments, schools, and universities support education that leads to unequal opportunities for students to succeed. He also provides some recommendations to correct these inequalities.

Grossman begins his section on government with what is almost a primer on educational and social injustice across many societies: China, Australia, Great Britain, and America. It could almost serve as a review of literature except the introduction doesn't provide much in the way of references for the comments made.

What starts out looking like a reference book of studies that have identified education injustices is, in fact, more than that, and less. It is more in that Grossman follows each section with"Personal Experiences" that support his opinion on why inequities exist. It is less because the chapters provide little hard statistics on how wide the disparities are in educational opportunities. It appears that the data may exist elsewhere in some ofhis previous writings or additional studies, but without the information available to the reader there is not much upon which to base an opinion.

According to Grossman, some of the contributions to educational inequality made by governments include under-educating for political control (knowledge is power),brainwashing,ethnic and linguistic domination, and prejudice. Narrowing his perspective from the world to national level, the author zeros inon financial inequities in poor sections versus rich areas ofthe United States. This familiar inequity leads to poor equipment and textbooks as well as poorer quality teachers. He supports methods that could equalize the spending for poorer districts and equalizing the pay for qualified teachers in these districts. This could be accomplished by having the federal government provide scholarships and incentives to those who agree to work in these areas as well as recruiting and subsidizing teachers of color during their course of study. …

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