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Home > News > Research News > Equality of Educational Opportunity: A 40-Year Retrospective

Equality of Educational Opportunity: A 40-Year Retrospective

December 18, 2006

Equality of Educational Opportunity, the 1966 landmark study by James Coleman and colleagues, persists as a seminal source for continuing research on schools and student achievement. Three main findings of the Coleman report are still evident in the U.S. today. A new research paper by Adam Gamoran and Daniel A. Long takes a look at what things are like 40 years on.

Following marked reductions in racial isolation during the 1970s and 1980s, segregation increased during the 1990s, and on some indicators, levels of segregation are nearly as high today as they were in 1966. Although Blacks today are less likely to study in all-Black schools, most are still enrolled in schools with predominantly minority populations. Black-White achievement gaps are smaller today than they were at the time of the Coleman report, but they are no smaller today than they were in 1990, and they remain substantial. More information is available here. xxx