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Black-White Test Score Gap
ISBN 0815746091 / 9780815746096 / 0-8157-4609-1
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
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Ever since affirmative action was adopted as a wide-ranging policy in education and employment, controversy has surrounded it. Opinions have flown thick and fast, but there has been little hard evidence to support either side. The prosaically named Black-White Test Score Gap, a collection of essays on the subject, attempts to rectify this situation. As one authority after another weighs in, it becomes increasingly clear that the causes of African Americans' inferior scores on standardized tests have less to do with nature and everything to do with nurture (or lack of it). Not surprisingly, conditions such as poverty and lack of opportunity at the beginning of a child's life seems to have terribly detrimental effects on test scores and thus the chance to go to school or find a well-paying job later on. Editors Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips have done a good job of selecting both the topics and the contributors for this often contentious, always fascinating study of affirmative action. [via]