The Opportunity Equation: How Citizen Teachers Are Combating the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools

Citizen Schools Saturday,November 1,2014
In this new book, founding CEO of Citizen Schools Eric Schwarz shares his vision for reducing inequality by pairing successful adults with low-income students. Parental wealth now predicts adult success more than at any point in the last hundred years. Too many people fix the blame on one of two convenient scapegoats: poverty or our public schools, but in fact, low-income kids are learning more now than ever. The real culprit for rising inequality, Eric Schwarz argues in The Opportunity Equation, is that wealthier kids are learning much, much more – mostly outside of school. Schwarz tells the story of how he founded Citizen Schools to bring these same opportunities to low-income children by increasing learning time in schools and harnessing the power of an army of volunteers with various skills and professional backgrounds – lawyers, engineers, carpenters, journalists, nonprofit leaders, and grandmothers who sew – in after-school apprenticeships that provide the building blocks for adult success. Citizen Schools show that some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools in its lowest-income cities can, with help, provide their students with many of the same experiences wealthy communities afford to their children.