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Improving the odds for America's children: Future directions in policy and practice

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McCartney, Kathleen; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu & Forcier, Laurie B.
Book / booklet
Publication Date: 
2 Apr 2014

Ordering information (Harvard University Press)

Related link:

Recipe for children's success spelled out by expert panelists, Harvard Gazette, 14 Apr 14


Book description

This landmark volume commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the Children's Defense Fund, which has been an uncompromising champion of American youth for all of those years. Yet the book looks not to the past but at our current circumstances- and at the challenges we must meet now and in the future on behalf of our young people. The book examines critical issues-prenatal and infant health and development, early child care and education, school reform, the achievement gap, vulnerable children, juvenile justice, and child poverty-and highlights crucial practical and policy measures we need to consider and undertake if we are to better serve American children.

An invaluable survey of the conditions facing American youth-and a call to action at the local, state, and national levels-Improving the Odds for America's Children is an urgent, informative, and inspired volume that addresses shortcomings and challenges we cannot afford to ignore. Contributors include Sara Rosenbaum, Partow Zomorrodian, Jack P. Shonkoff, Joan Lombardi, Deborah Jewell- Sherman, Jal Mehta, Robert B. Schwartz, Jerry D. Weast, Greg J. Duncan, Richard J. Murnane, Michael S. Wald, Jane Waldfogel, Robert G. Schwartz, Laurence Steinberg, Arloc Sherman, Robert Greenstein, Sharon Parrott, and Eric Dearing.

About the Authors

  • Kathleen McCartney is the president of Smith College.
  • Hirokazu Yoshikawa is the Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at New York University.
  • Laurie B. Forcier is senior academic projects manager at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Foreword by Congressman George Miller. 
  • Afterword by by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president, Children's Defense Fund.