The Educator's Handbook for Understanding and Closing Achievement Gaps

Books

Joseph Murphy

  • Citations
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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Background

    Part II: Grinding up Hope: Explaining the Development and Persistence of Achievement Gaps

    Part III: Opening the Doors of Possibility: Strategies for Closing Achievement Gaps

  • Dedication

    To state-based colleagues from the Wallace Foundation who allowed me to leave a policy fingerprint or two on the field of educational leadership.

    Copyright

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    About the Author

    Joseph Murphy is the Frank W. Mayborn Chair and associate dean at Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and The Ohio State University, where he was the William Ray Flesher Professor of Education.

    In the public schools, he has served as an administrator at the school, district, and state levels, including an appointment as the executive assistant to the chief deputy superintendent of public instruction in California. His most recent appointment was as the founding president of the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy. At the university level, he has served as department chair and associate dean.

    He is past vice president of the American Educational Research Association and was the founding chair of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). He is coeditor of the AERA Handbook on Educational Administration (1999) and editor of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) yearbook, The Educational Leadership Challenge (2002).

    His work is in the area of school improvement, with special emphasis on leadership and policy. He has authored or coauthored eighteen books in this area and edited another twelve. His most recent authored volumes include Understanding and Assessing the Charter School Movement (2002), Leadership for Literacy: Research-Based Practice, PreK–3 (2003), Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement (2005), Preparing School Leaders: Defining a Research and Action Agenda (2006), and Turning Around Failing Schools: Lessons From the Organizational Sciences (2008).

    Comments

    One of the most perplexing questions in debates about education policy in the United States concerns the so-called race gap in student achievement scores. (Bali & Alvarez, 2003, p. 485)

    The persistence of the gap and the slow rate at which it is decreasing indicate the need for a careful rethinking of the problem in order to establish effective research-based intervention strategies aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating the gap. (Norman, Ault, Bentz, & Meskimen, 2001, p. 1104)

    The achievement gap is real, the achievement gap is complex, the achievement gap is stubborn; we—educators and families—must be just as stubborn and diligent in our efforts to eliminate the gap. (For, Grantham, & Whiting, 2008, p. 236)

    If life chances depend so heavily on education, it is important that educational inequalities be redressed so as to equalize opportunities in a democratic society. (Levin, Belfield, Muenning, & Rouse, 2007, p. 2)

    Achieving success in this area helps ensure that America's democratic institutions are in the hands of an informed citizenry, that its economy has a work force that can “think for a living,” and that its society is just, inclusive, humane, and reasonably harmonious. (Miller, 1995, p. 379)

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