Moynihan Redux

Glazer, Nathan. "Moynihan Redux." Review of Shortchanging Student Achievement: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation by Mitch Pearlstein, Education Next, Summer 2012.

Excerpt: This book comes to us with a remarkable range of recommenders: Glenn Loury, Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, Eric Hanushek, Ron Haskins, Heather MacDonald, David Blankenhorn, Chester Finn, and others. It is published as part of a series edited by Education Next’s own Frederick M. Hess. To my mind it is being recommended largely for the worthy cause in which its writer has been engaged for 20 years or more—deploring the breakdown of the traditional family. It is somewhat disorderly in presenting evidence for its central argument, and the author has an odd style in which almost every statement is hedged. This is not done as a matter of scholarly caution, but rather to preempt the charge that he is making too much of his thesis and thereby discounting other explanations for the educational, and subsequent occupational and economic, failure of so many American children.

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