The study of the relationship between economic inequality and educational opportunity has been guided by at least three assumptions. First, education is a crucial factor in improving one's social and economic status. Second, the quality of schooling one receives is related to the degree of social and economic success one achieves. And, third, the society has some level of responsibility for the type and quality of schooling available to its citizens. Following a description of the historical context of the relationship of education to economic inequality, this entry discusses two opposing perspectives from which that relationship has been interpreted. To conclude, several key legislative decisions and educational reform movements related to economic inequality and the schools are summarized here.

Historical Context

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