“Class and Schools”

Date: May 13, 2004

A news conference
Thursday, May 13, 2004
National Press Club Ballroom, Washington D.C.

The stubborn achievement gap between black and white students is a key measure of our country’s failure to achieve true equality. National education expert Richard Rothstein finds that focusing on social class differences that affect learning are vital to closing that gap, according to his new groundbreaking book Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap. The book explores how differences in aspects of children’s lives such as health care quality and access, childrearing styles, and housing quality play a significant part in how well they learn and ultimately succeed. Mr. Rothstein also explores how many policy makers are so focused on tougher accountability and other school reforms that they often overlook these social differences � to the detriment of students.

Mr. Rothstein joins a panel of education and social justice experts who will discuss the black-white student achievement gap, what is really contributing to it, and the policy implications for closing that gap.


Richard Rothstein, author of Class and Schools, visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an EPI research associate.

Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University, former assistant attorney general, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, Columbia University.

Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute.

Listen to an audio recording of the event (approx. 90 min.):

View photos from this event
Class and Schools (release)