Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant

Everybody knows that there has recently been enough drama on the Wake County School Board to fill a book. But did you know that somebody actually filled one? In May 2009, Syracuse University professor Gerald Grant published his 226-page treatise about why the Wake County School System’s system of drawing school attendance zones to equalize the ratio of  impoverished children at each school was a policy other school systems should copy. Six months after the book was published, Wake County residents voted in a new school board majority who favored abolishing the economic diversity policy that Grant extolled.

This book is a quick read for anybody who wants background information on the unfolding political saga. A short history back to the days of segregation provides a good explanation of the national political forces that shaped the local economic diversity policy. And those who want to better understand the perspective of the School Board majority led by chairman Ron Margiotta, who previously served on a school board in the Northeast, will appreciate the contrast between Wake County Schools and the public schools in the author’s hometown of Syracuse, New York.

Just keep in mind as you are reading that author Gerald Grant is an academic. Although he said in an interview with The Independent Weekly that his two grandsons are Wake County School pupils, he clearly does not draw his conclusions as a Wake County stakeholder would. His evidence in favor of the policy hinges on test scores and a few school visits chaperoned by administrators and does not include any testimony about individual families’ experiences.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

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One Response to “Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant”

  1. Ignorant Historian » Blog Archive » Top Ten Books I Read Because Of Another Blogger Says:

    […] was recommended through my library’s book suggestion blog. There’s been a lot of to-do about bussing here. I don’t agree with the conclusions of […]

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