Improving the Odds for America's Children

Improving the Odds for America's Children Future Directions in Policy and Practice

Edited by Kathleen McCartney, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Laurie B. Forcier; Foreword by Congressman George Miller; Afterword by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president, Children’s Defense Fund
paper, 288 Pages
Pub. Date: April 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-689-0
Price: $33.00

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Pub. Date: April 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-691-3
This landmark volume commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the Children’s Defense Fund, which has been an uncompromising champion of American youth for all of those years. Yet the book looks not to the past but at our current circumstances— and at the challenges we must meet now and in the future on behalf of our young people. The book examines critical issues—prenatal and infant health and development, early child care and education, school reform, the achievement gap, vulnerable children, juvenile justice, and child poverty—and highlights crucial practical and policy measures we need to consider and undertake if we are to better serve American children.


In the past forty years, the Children’s Defense Fund has tirelessly worked to improve the lives of children in America. There are dozens of laws on the books protecting children and supporting families that simply wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the Children’s Defense Fund. But the work on behalf of America’s children is not done. This important collection of ideas about how to improve the odds for America’s children should be required reading for policy makers across the country. — Hillary Rodham Clinton, former secretary of state and U.S. senator

In Improving the Odds for America's Children, edited by McCartney (president, Smith College), Yoshikawa (New York Univ.), and Forcier (Harvard Graduate School of Education), the importance of investing in the future of the US by investing in the most vulnerable resource--the children--is superbly and clearly substantiated through the groundwork of scientifically based research and evidence-based practices...This collection of essays on the critical issues facing America's children is a mustread for educators, child and family advocates, and policy makers at all levels. — B. A. Perrachione, CHOICE Connect

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About the Editors

Kathleen McCartney is the president of Smith College and the former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a developmental psychologist who conducts research on the effects of early childhood education policy and practice, especially for low-income children. She has published more than 150 research articles and edited several volumes, including The Handbook of Early Childhood Development (Blackwell, 2008). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Education, and the American Psychological Society.

Hirokazu Yoshikawa is the Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at New York University. He conducts research on the effects of policies related to early childhood development, immigration, and poverty reduction on children in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. He is the author of Immigrants Raising Citizens: Undocumented Parents and their Young Children (Russell Sage, 2011). He currently serves as co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network workgroup on education; he also serves as a member of the presidentially appointed U.S. National Board for Education Sciences.

Laurie B. Forcier is senior academic projects manager at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously, she was a research associate with the Program for Education and Equity Research in the Education Policy Center of the Urban Institute. She was also a member of the research team for the Congressional Commission for the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development, contributing to its 2000 publication Land of Plenty: Diversity as America’s Competitive Edge in Science, Engineering and Technology and co-authoring a paper on math and science teacher recruitment for the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Congressman George Miller

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