- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africaby Edward B. Fiske
Synopses & Reviews
The apartheid government that ran South Africa until 1994 relied heavily on a state education system that bolstered the economic, social, and other privileges enjoyed by the country's white minority, while sharply limiting those of the nonwhite majority. White students typically attended schools with generous budgets, good physical facilities, and well-trained teachers, whereas their black, colored, and Indian counterparts were relegated to schools lacking even the most rudimentary physical and educational resources. With the election of its first truly representative government in 1994, South Africa faced the massive challenge of transforming the rigid and inequitable state education system that the new government inherited into one that would offer quality education to all persons, regardless of their race. This book describes and evaluates the strategies that South Africa pursued in its efforts to establish a new education system consistent with the country's new democratic values and its new economic and social needs. The authors focus on three central themes: the elimination of racial barriers in the state education system, the development of a unified and equitable school funding system, and the introduction of a new curriculum that embodied the precepts and goals of the new democracy. Elusive Equity is the first book to undertake a thorough examination of reforms in South Africa's post-apartheid educational system. Even though the period since South Africa began its transition to democracy is still relatively short, spanning only a decade, the pace and determination of that country's school reform make it an important case study of rapid transition.
Book News Annotation:
South Africa has made significant progress toward treating people of all races equally in education, say educational consultant Fiske and Ladd (public policy studies and economics, Duke U.), but has been less successful in promoting equity, defined either as equal educational opportunity for students of all races or as educational adequacy.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Elusive Equity chronicles South Africas efforts to fashion a racially equitable state education system from the ashes of apartheid. The policymakers who came to power with Nelson Mandela in 1994 inherited and education system designed to further the racist goals of apartheid. Their massive challenge was to transform that system, which lavished human and financial resources on schools serving white students while systematically starving those serving African, coloured, and Indian learners, into one that would offer quality education to all persons, regardless of their race. Edward Fiske and Helen Ladd describe and evaluate the strategies that South Africa pursued in its quest for racial equity. They draw on previously unpublished data, interviews with key officials, and visits to dozens of schools to describe the changes made in school finance, teacher assignment policies, governance, curriculum, higher education, and other areas. They conclude that the country has made remarkable progress toward equity in the sense of equal treatment of persons of all races. For several reasons, however, the country has been far less successful in promoting equal educational opportunity or educational adequacy. Thus equity has remained elusive. The book is unique in combining the perceptive observations of a skilled education journalist with the analytical skills of an academic policy expert. Richly textured descriptions of how South Africas education reforms have affected schools at the grass-roots level are combined with careful analysis of enrollment, governance, and budget data at the school, provincial, and national levels. The result is a compelling and comprehensive study of South Africas firstdecade of education reform in the post-apartheid period.
The first book to describe the rapid school reform pursued by South Africa as it established an education system consistent with the country's newly codified democratic values. The authors focus on three central themes: the elimination of racial barriers in the state schools, the development of an equitable school funding system, and the introduction of curricula integrating the goals of a post-apartheid South Africa. Edward B. Fiske is the former education editor of the "New York Times and Helen F. Ladd is a professor at Duke University. They are the authors of "When Schools Compete: A cautionary Tale (Brookings, 2000).
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like