The Evaluation of Equality of Educational Opportunity.

by James Samuel Coleman


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A reply to a critique of the U.S. Office of Education report, "Equality of Educational Opportunity." Analysis of the effects of resource inputs on student achievement levels provides a strong basis for (1) the inference that school factors are of minor importance in raising achievement levels and (2) the argument for more radical environmental changes. The report's critics maintain that the study should not have attempted analysis of outputs; rather, it should have studied inputs carefully as a minimum requirement to further research. The author counters that the report, although a compromise, accomplished its stated objectives, and, further, it redirected attention from school inputs as prima facie measures of quality to school outputs, enlarging school management concepts. As one of the first requests by Congress for research useful to social policymakers, the study yields useful experience for future social research guidelines. 43 pp.

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