Opportunity for All

Opportunity for All A Framework for Quality and Equality in Education

Jennifer A. O’Day and Marshall S. Smith
paper, 296 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-363-5
Price: $34.00

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cloth, 296 Pages
Pub. Date: August 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-364-2
Price: $66.00

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CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2021

Drawing on decades of research, policy, and practice, Jennifer A. O’Day and Marshall S. Smith show how strategies for pursuing educational quality and equal outcomes for all students can be linked, presenting an ambitious idea of the future of American education and a comprehensive theory of change for enacting that vision.


To improve outcomes for African American, Latino, and poor students, we must build the capacity of frontline educators to address student challenges in real time as well as the school and district level systems that support them. O’Day and Smith map out practices and strategies that, if systemically implemented, will empower advocates, practitioners, and policy makers to act in tandem to drive student success. — Bob Hughes, director, K–12, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In the context of persistent doubts that schools can matter for disadvantaged children, O’Day and Smith marshal convincing evidence that how much schools can matter is largely a function of how we invest in and support children and the adults around them. — Charles Payne, Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of African American Studies and director, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University–Newark

In Opportunity for All, O'Day and Smith set the agenda for the future of school improvement. — David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor Emeritus, School of Education, University of Michigan

[The authors] outline well-researched ideas on how educators and policymakers can do better...For superintendents, this book points to true north—the best places to focus your efforts to improve learning and equity. — School Administrator

This is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the struggle to improve the quality of education and promote equal outcomes for all students in the US. — Choice

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About the Authors

Jennifer A. O’Day is an Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research. Over the past thirty years, Dr. O’Day has carried out research, advised national and state policy makers, and written extensively in the areas of systemic standards-based reform, educational equity, accountability, and capacity-building strategies. While her work has spanned federal, state, and local levels in these areas, her main focus in recent years has centered on systemic improvement at the district level. She is founder and chair of the California Collaborative on District Reform, which for thirteen years has joined researchers, district leaders, state policy makers, advocates, and funders in an ongoing, evidencebased dialogue and collective action to improve instruction and student learning for all students in California’s urban school systems. Throughout her career, Dr. O’Day has had a strong commitment to equity, with particular emphasis on serving the needs of the large and diverse population of English learners in the nation’s schools.

Marshall S. (Mike) Smith has been an associate professor at HGSE, a professor at University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education, and a professor and Dean of the School of Education at Stanford. In his early years at Harvard, he coauthored a book on the computer analysis of text, researched the effect of Head Start, and coauthored a book in inequality in America. At Wisconsin, much of his writing focused on effective schools and districts. At Stanford, with O’Day, this work expanded into the study of systemic standards-based reform and issues of quality and equity. In between university jobs, he served in five federal administrations, including roles as the Chief of Staff to the first Secretary of Education, the Under-Secretary of Education for seven years and the Acting Deputy Secretary for three and a half years in the Clinton administration and as a senior counselor to the Secretary in the Obama administration. Between the Clinton and Obama administrations, he joined the Hewlett Foundation as the Director of the Education Program where, among other issues of interest, his team funded the nurturing and going to scale of Open Education Resources. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Research Council. He is on the board of various NGOs related to education and a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

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