AERA Publishes New Book on Educational Inequality from a Global Perspective
AERA Publishes New Book on Educational Inequality from a Global Perspective

February 2024

AERA has released an innovative international volume comparing skills of students within and between cities around the world. Edited by Stephen Lamb and Russell W. Rumberger, Inequality in Key Skills of City Youth: An International Comparison examines types and causes of educational inequality in 14 cities, drawing on a variety of measurement instruments to establish a common framework. Emanating from an AERA research conference, the volume’s 16 chapters by an international group of scholars examine how well city school systems are preparing young people, particularly poor and minority youth, with the skills they will need for further study and life success.

The new volume joins two other AERA volumes with an international focus: Comparing Ethnographies: Local Studies of Education Across the Americas and Citizenship Education and Global Migration: Implications for Theory, Research, and Teaching.

The authors of the new volume rely on data that are drawn in large part from the International Study of City Youth (ISCY), an ongoing project that aims to address the shortage of comparative research on a wide range of student skills. The ISCY project covers new ground in several ways. First, it tests the strength of a conceptual framework for comparing how different institutional arrangements work, and for whom they work best, in different countries. Second, it uses the tools of international student assessment to examine the impact of these arrangements on students of similar measured ability. Finally, it uses a broad concept of student outcome, taking into account academic and nonacademic skills, which enables impact to be measured in a consistent way across different national systems.

ISCY is one of the few studies to measure the effects of different systems of school organization, program structures, and graduation pathways on student progress and outcomes, using similarly selected samples of students in a longitudinal study design.

The volume is available for purchase on the AERA website. The full table of contents can be viewed here.  For more information about the International Study of City Youth project, click here.

About the Editors

Stephen Lamb is an emeritus professor of education in the Centre for International Research on Education Systems at Victoria University and member of the National School Resourcing Board, a body set up by the Australian government to provide independent oversight of school funding. Lamb is director of the International Study of City Youth project, and his research is concerned with how well schools and education systems work, for whom they do not work well, and why.

Russell W. Rumberger is a professor emeritus in the department of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published widely in several areas of education, including education and work; the schooling of disadvantaged students, particularly school dropouts and linguistic minority students; student mobility; school segregation; school effectiveness; and education policy. He is a Fellow of AERA and a member of the National Academy of Education.