Document Type



Department of Education Studies

Conference End Date


Conference Title

Education, Ethnicity, and Inequality Symposium: Issues and Insights


This paper examines the effects of comprehensive educational reform initiatives in Newark, New Jersey aimed at disrupting the reproduction of educational inequalities based on ethnicity, race and social class. These programs embed school level reforms such as improvements in teacher and principal quality, curricula and pedagogic improvements, and increased learning time, with reforms aimed at outside school factors, including community and family involvement, community and economic development, and improvements in health care. The first part of the paper examines the relationships among ethnicity, race, and social class and educational inequalities, which demonstrate the differences in educational achievement among African Americans in the South, West, and Central Wards, Whites (Portuguese and Brazilian) in the east Ward, and Hispanics in the North Ward. Using GIS mapping of education, health, housing and crime data, these differences are related to the historical effect of the Newark Public Schools, since the beginnings of suburbanization and deindustrialization in the 1950s, of reproducing ethnic, race and social class inequalities. The second part of the paper examines a number of reforms aimed at reducing educational inequalities, most of which are part of an ongoing neo-liberal reform movement in the U.S. These reforms include the rapid expansion of charter schools, the closing of low-performing schools, the breakup of large comprehensive high schools into smaller schools within schools, and the use of student test scores for Value Added Models of teacher evaluation. In addition, it looks at a number of other reforms, including the Global Village Zone, based on the broader Bolder Approach developed by Pedro Noguera and Helen Ladd, which was a comprehensive model, before it ended in 2012, in five K-8 schools and Central High School, located in one of the poorest and racially segregated wards of the city and Extended Learning Time, which includes a longer and better school day and/or after school and summer programs. The paper concludes with an analysis of the limits and possibilities of these reforms to substantially decrease educational inequalities in Newark and with applications for urban education in the United States, more generally.

Conference Location

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR


Race, ethnicity, education, social class, United States, urban education

Publication Date


Place of Publication

Hong Kong SAR

KeynoteSupp.pdf (5669 kB)

Additional Files

KeynoteSupp.pdf (5669 kB)