Journal Article: Separate But Not Yet Equal: The Relation Between School Finance Adequacy Litigation and African American Student Achievement


ACHIEVEMENT gap, ACADEMIC achievement, STUDENTS -- Social conditions, MINORITY students, EDUCATION -- Finance, ACTIONS & defenses -- United States


Glen, William J.




Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


The Black-White achievement gap presents perhaps the most important issue in education. Legal actions play a role in the efforts to reduce and eliminate the gap. School finance adequacy litigation offers the most widely used legal strategy to seek fairer outcomes for children. However, the literature is sparse with regard to the impact such litigation has on student outcomes. This article addresses the extent to which adequacy litigation functions as a means of narrowing the achievement gap. It sets forth evidence showing that successful adequacy cases relate positively to African American achievement on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress assessments. However, the results also show that factors normally outside the purview of adequacy litigation, such as the racial composition of the school, also contribute to student outcomes. Therefore, it is argued that adequacy litigation offers a means for reducing the achievement gap, but that it would be more effective if combined with nonmonetary remedies, such as integrating public schools. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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