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Alan R. Sadovnik

Rutgers University

Alan R. Sadovnik serves as Director of the Urban Educational Policy Specialization in the Urban Systems Ph.D. Program (a joint program with NJIT and UMDNJ) and Associate Director of the Rutgers-Newark Institute on Education Law and Policy. A Professor of Education, Sociology and Public Affairs he is the author of Equity and Excellence in Higher Education (1995); coauthor of Exploring Education: An Introduction to the Foundations of Education (1994, 2001, 2006); editor of Knowledge and Pedagogy: The Sociology of Basil Bernstein (1995), The Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader (2007); and coeditor of Exploring Society (1987), International Handbook of Educational Reform (1992), Implementing Educational Reform: Sociological Perspectives on Educational Reform (1995), “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education (1999), Sociology and Education: An Encyclopedia (2002), Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era (2002) and No Child Left Behind and the Reduction of the Achievement Gap: Sociological Perspectives on Federal Educational Policy (2007). He received the Willard Waller Award in 1993 from the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Education Section for the outstanding article published in the field, and American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Awards in 1995 for Knowledge and Pedagogy, in 2000 for “Schools of Tomorrow,” and in 2002 for Founding Mothers and Others. He is coeditor, with Susan F. Semel, of the History of Schools and Schooling series at Peter Lang Publishing, the Palgrave Series in Urban Education at Palgrave-MacMillan and the Schooling Around the World Series at Greenwood Press. His research interests include the sociology of education, urban educational reform and improvement, and the history of progressive education.

NEPC Publications

NEPC Review: Reform With Results for New Jersey Schools (December 2010)

Lori Drummer and Don Soifer
Reform With Results for New Jersey Schools

A report published by the Lexington Institute presents findings on the effectiveness of New Jersey’s Abbott v. Burke court decisions from the late 1990s through 2009. The report argues that the reforms ordered by the state’s supreme court failed to significantly increase student achievement despite what it terms as dramatic increases in spending. Based on these findings, the report argues that the increases in spending in these urban districts and their continued dismal student achievement rates make New Jersey, and particularly Newark, ideal for instituting a number of reforms. These advocated reforms include parental empowerment, increases in the number of charter schools, changes in teacher union contracts, and the enactment of private school choice policies (e.g., vouchers). The report cannot stand as a research document and provides little or no empirical evidence to support its critiques of Abbott or its recommendations for reform. It omits important parts of the existing research literature, such as NAEP data showing New Jersey as high performing and as closing the achievement gap. The Lexington report contains no methodology to speak of. Overall, the report has little or no use for informing educational reform in Newark, New Jersey or nationally.

Suggested Citation: Sadovnik, A.R. (2011). Review of “Reform with Results for New Jersey Schools.” Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from