Striving in Common

Striving in Common A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools

Jennifer Jellison Holme and Kara S. Finnigan
paper, 168 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-252-2
Price: $31.00

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In Striving in Common, Jennifer Jellison Holme and Kara S. Finnigan seek to build a bridge between two largely disparate, yet interconnected, conversations—those among education reformers on the one hand, and urban reformers on the other. In this carefully considered volume, the authors show how the challenges faced by urban schools are linked to issues of regional equity and civic capacity.


If you read only one book about educational inequality, make it this one! With solid theory, strong evidence, and compelling examples, Holme and Finnigan decimate conventional narratives blaming schools and expecting them to remedy problems deeply rooted in the history and structures of regional inequality. Even better, they offer an astute policy framework and political strategies to tackle inequality at its source. — Jeannie Oakes, senior fellow, Learning Policy Institute, and presidential professor emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles

After decades of education policies overly focused on tackling the education achievement gap by changing schools, it’s become clear that changing schools alone will not suffice. The debate now shifts from one over whether schools can or cannot ‘do it alone’ to more fertile questions about what else needs to be addressed. Striving in Common puts a needed spotlight on the critically important roles of housing, region, place, and race, correcting what the authors label the ‘misdiagnosis’ of educational failure and countering with a new diagnosis as well as a plan for treatment. — Jeffrey R. Henig, series editor, Education Politics and Policy

Holme and Finnigan have written one of the strongest and most important education policy books we have read in a long time. — Wagma Mommandi and Katherine Schultz, Teachers College Record

Striving in Common provides a strong argument for analyzing education inequality within the context of inequitable housing, health, and economic policies. — Education Review

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About the Authors

Jennifer Jellison Holme is associate professor of education policy in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research agenda focuses on the politics and implementation of educational policy, with a focus on the relationship between school reform, equity, and diversity in schools. Her work is particularly centered on the ways in which patterns of racial and ethnic stratification interact with educational policies to shape opportunities, experiences, and outcomes for students. She has researched and published on school desegregation, school choice, high-stakes testing, and teacher turnover. Holme earned her PhD in Education Policy from UCLA, her EdM in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her BA in Sociology from UCLA.

Kara S. Finnigan, a professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, focuses on educational policy implementation, racial equity, and urban education. Finnigan has written extensively on the topics of low-performing schools and high-stakes accountability, district reform, desegregation, and school choice. Her research blends perspectives in education, sociology, and political science and employs both qualitative and quantitative methods, including social-network analysis and GIS mapping. Beyond her research on interdistrict integration and regional equity that is the focus of this book, her recent work examines the role of social networks in the diffusion of research evidence at the school and district levels, as well as community engagement and advocacy around educational change. Finnigan began her work in education as a substitute teacher in Anchorage, Alaska. She received her PhD in Education Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her MA in Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

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