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Richard Rothstein Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Keeping Jobs In Fashion: Alternatives To The Euthanasia Of The U. S. Apparel Industry (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Photographic Case Studies in Gastroenterology (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prosperity Gap: A Chatbook of American Living Standards (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way We Were?: The Myths and Realities of America's Student Achievement (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Can Public Schools Learn From Private Schools: Case Studies in the Public and Private Nonprofit Sectors (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Korean Economy at the Crossroads (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Richard Rothstein is an American academic, historian, an emeritus senior fellow of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and the University of California’s Haas Institute. He is best known as the author of the socio-historical book “The Color of Law,” which is an analysis of the way the American government through housing policies segregated the United States. He tells of the history of local, state, and federal levels created policies that segregated metropolitan areas across the United States and in doing so created racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that require remediation since they violate the Constitution. While it was the novel “The Color of Law” that made him a household name, he had written other novels before. “Grading Education” take s a look at how accountability is flawed and needs to be looked at afresh while “Class and Schools” analyzes policies that could be put in place to reform the economic social and educational policies towards closing the White-Black achievement gap. His book “The Way We Were” was his earliest attempt at busting the realities and myths that inform student achievement in the United States, which he further analyzes in “The Charter School Dust-Up” and “All Else Equal.”

Richard Rothstein was prompted to write “The Color of Law” while he was studying education policy which was his primary area of specialization. He came to realize that it was impossible to solve educational problems while schools were still segregated. His research found that schools are even more segregated than in the past 50 decades since they are located in segregated neighborhoods. Policies have also made it impossible to implement desegregation plans, which he discovered were explicitly racist. According to the Supreme Court, school segregation from residential segregation is an accident. It does not arise from government policy but rather from demographic trends, private prejudice, income differences, and a desire by people to live with people who look like them. With that assertion, the court ruled that since the government was not responsible for residential segregation it is also not responsible for coming up with explicit policies that encourage desegregation. Rothstein thus began researching the view of the Supreme Court through history and discovered that it did not hold water. His works are thus a way to communicate his findings of issues of race, segregation, and inequality.

“The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein is a groundbreaking story that tells of the racial segregation in most American cities. Richard Rothstein who is an expert on housing policy critiques the theory that cities in the United States came to be segregated through factors that the government has nothing to do with. He says that it is a myth that income differences, individual prejudices, or the actions of private organizations such as real estate agencies and banks played no role in segregating neighborhoods. He dismisses de facto segregation and argues for de jure segregation. Rothstein asserts that the policy and legal decisions passed by federal state and local governments promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to perpetrate segregation to the present day. Through extensive research and extraordinary revelations which has been called brilliant, he tells a story that started in the 1920s beginning with racial zoning. This was de jure zoning as African Americans in their millions had to live in segregated areas as they came from the South and moved into the cities in the North. Referencing “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” he asserts that all through the 1950s policies by the government were responsible for the creation of most of the neighborhoods steeped in poverty that endure to this day. Rothstein then expands his research and tells of how government policies resulted in the demolition of once integrated neighborhoods and the creation of neighborhoods that were then officially segregated. Even as urban areas experienced a rapid deterioration, the suburbs were booming as the government-subsidized construction companies if they built neighborhoods that were not to be sold to African Americans. Finally, he analyzes how prosecutors and police upheld the standards using brute force to ensure black families did not move into white neighborhoods.

In the book “Class and Schools,” Richard Rothstein analyzes the white-black and middle-to-low income achievement gaps with a different lens. He analyzes how social class has a critical role in shaping learning outcomes when learners get into the school system for the first time. He goes on to analyze issues of safety, health, and income and how they affect students throughout their school lives. Even the income and racial gaps that adults face also have an impact on students. Many young people look up to their elders and since many people in segregated areas do not show any evidence of a payoff from education, this may be detrimental to the ambitions of the student. To reverse such influence, there needs to be extensive school reform alongside labor and social policy transformation. Higher expectations and a few dedicated and inspiring teachers may not be enough to change anything. Rothstein believes that school reform needs to be bolstered by a wide-ranging compensatory program right from the kindergarten, summer, and after school programs. He asserts that accountability which may result in schools doing their best will solve some of the issues but ultimately more needs to be done. His novel is thus intended to provoke a broader discussion on how to address the inequalities inherent in the United States particularly starting with education.

“Grading Education” by Richard Rothstein analyzes the effectiveness of policies that have been enacted to ensure accountability in schools. He asserts that many policies such as “No Child Left Behind” have been destructive, as they have set irresponsible expectations, misidentified successful and failing schools, and narrowed the curriculum without achieving much. He asserts that schools need to be held accountable for broad outcomes such as emotional and physical health, appreciation of the arts, critical thinking, basic skills and knowledge, and preparation for skilled employment. He describes a design of education and accountability that builds on capacities already in place, emphasizes professional evaluation, and relies on higher-quality testing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Richard Rothstein

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