ARTICLE: IS ACHIEVING EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY POSSIBLE? AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2011 St. John's University
Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development

ARTICLE: IS ACHIEVING EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY POSSIBLE? AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Winter, 2011

Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development

25 J. Civ. Rts. & Econ. Dev. 225

Author

Anthony Francis Bruno*

Excerpt



INTRODUCTION
 
"It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms." 1 The United States Supreme Court spoke these words in Brown v. Board of Education over fifty years ago, but equal educational opportunity remains an elusive goal for many American children. 2 Following Brown and the "legal" victory of desegregation, education advocates began a decades-long financial litigation movement to achieve educational equality - or, in many cases, at least educational adequacy - by seeking more public financing for predominately poor and minority school districts. 3 Meanwhile, researchers have long debated whether increasing school resources or hiring better teachers positively impacts student achievement. 4

This article considers the relationship between the educational "inputs" (per-pupil expenditures, teacher quality, class size, and socioeconomic factors) and "outputs" (high school graduation rates, test scores, and college-attendance rates of graduating students) of more than one hundred New York State public school districts. Section II surveys the history of the financial litigation movement, particularly in New York. Then, this article reviews previous studies that have considered the relationship between educational inputs and outputs. Section III explains the methodology for this article's statistical analysis. Section IV summarizes the findings: although socioeconomic variables overwhelmingly affect student outcomes, teacher quality factors ...
 
 
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