In his new book, Eric Hanushek delivers the smack down on Johnathan Kozol who has been insisting these many years that the funding gap between middle class and inner city schools was the cause of the achievement gap between white and minority kids. Thus, to erase the achievement gap all we had to do was eliminate the funding gap:
In both Savage Inequalities and its 1995 successor, Amazing Grace, Kozol described the once beautiful and successful Morris High School in the Bronx as “one of the most beleaguered, segregated and decrepit secondary schools in the United States. Barrels were filling up with rain in several rooms. . . . Green fungus molds were growing in the corners” of some rooms, and the toilets were unusable. Kozol wrote that it would take at least $50 million to restore Morris’s decaying physical plant and suggested that the white political establishment would never spend that much money on a ghetto school. The city actually did spend more than $50 million to restore Morris High School after the publication of Savage Inequalities, though Kozol had not a word to say about it when discussing Morris in the second book. Of course the newly gleaming building had no perceptible effect on the academic performance of the students.