Read Other People's Children: The Battle for Justice and Equality in New Jersey's Schools by Deborah Yaffe Free Online
Book Title: Other People's Children: The Battle for Justice and Equality in New Jersey's Schools|
The author of the book: Deborah Yaffe
ISBN 13: 9780813542058
Edition: Rivergate Books
Date of issue: November 15th 2007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.16 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.9
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In 1981, when Raymond Abbott was a twelve-year-old sixth-grader in Camden, New Jersey, poor city school districts like his spent 25 percent less per student than the state’s wealthy suburbs did. That year, Abbott became the lead plaintiff in a landmark class-action lawsuit demanding that the state provide equal funding for rich and poor schools. Over the next twenty-five years, as the non-profit law firm representing the plaintiffs won ruling after ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court, Abbott dropped out of school, fought a cocaine addiction, and spent time in prison before turning his life around.
Raymond Abbott’s is just one of the many human stories that have too often been forgotten in the policy battles New Jersey has waged for two generations over equal funding for rich and poor schools. Other People’s Children, the first book to tell the story of this decades-long school funding battle, interweaves the public story—an account of legal and political wrangling over laws and money—with the private stories of the inner-city children who were named plaintiffs in the state’s two school funding lawsuits, Robinson v. Cahill and Abbott v. Burke. Although these cases have shaped New Jersey’s fiscal and political landscape since the 1970s, most recently in legislative arguments over tax reform, the debate has often been too abstract and technical for most citizens to understand. Written in an accessible style and based on dozens of interviews with lawyers, politicians, and the plaintiffs themselves, Other People’s Children crystallizes the arguments and clarifies the issues for general readers.
Beyond its implications for New Jersey, this book is an important contribution to the conversations taking place in all states about the nation’s responsibility for its poor, and the role of public schools in providing equal opportunities and promising upward mobility for hard-working citizens, regardless of race or class.
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Read information about the authorDeborah Yaffe, the author of Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, has been a passionate Jane Austen fan since first reading Pride and Prejudice at age ten. She joined the Jane Austen Society of North America at sixteen; owns an impressive collection of Austen-themed coffee mugs, bookmarks, tote bags and DVDs; and spends way too much time hanging around the Republic of Pemberley (www.pemberley.com) arguing over whether Anne Elliot or Captain Wentworth is more to blame for their eight-year estrangement.
As a newspaper reporter in New Jersey and California for more than thirteen years, Yaffe covered education, the law, and state government. Her first book, Other People’s Children: The Battle for Justice and Equality in New Jersey’s Schools, initially supported with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a gripping narrative history of the state’s efforts to provide equal educational opportunities to rich and poor schoolchildren.
Yaffe holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Yale University and a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University in England, which she attended on a Marshall Scholarship. She works as a freelance writer and lives in central New Jersey with her husband, her two children, and her Jane Austen Action Figure.
Follow her on Twitter (@DeborahYaffe); visit her website, www.deborahyaffe.com; and drop by the Among the Janeites Facebook page (www.facebook.com/amongthejaneites).
Photo credit: Randall Hagadorn, Titusville, NJ