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Alum Finnigan co-authors, ‘Striving in Common: A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools'

August 23, 2018

UW-Madison alumna Kara Finnigan is the co-author of a book due out in October that’s titled, “Striving in Common: A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools.”

Finnigan received her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies in 2003, and today is a professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. The book is also written by Jennifer Jellison Holme, an associate professor of education policy in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

Striving in Common book coverAccording to a preview of the book, “Striving in Common” seeks to “build a bridge between two largely disparate, yet interconnected, conversations — those among education reformers on the one hand, and urban reformers on the other. In this carefully considered volume, the authors show how the challenges faced by urban schools are linked to issues of regional equity and civic capacity.”
Holme and Finnigan draw on examples from a range of cities, including St. Louis, Missouri, Milwaukee, Palo Alto, California, Rochester, New York, Omaha, Nebraska, and Minneapolis.  The authors “trace the policy decisions that have fostered competition for scarce resources between cities and suburbs, as well as patterns of segregation by race and income. They highlight the limited ability of technical education reforms and interdistrict desegregation programs to counter the resulting educational inequities. The authors then examine existing regional governance initiatives aimed at promoting equity and reducing inefficiency through city/suburban cooperation.”

Holme and Finnigan outline a framework for mechanisms to help students and families access better opportunities. The book concludes with a discussion of the political opportunities and challenges presented by such a strategy.
The preview adds: “At a time of increasing concern over inequality in education and society, “Striving in Common” sets forth an ambitious agenda for rethinking the parameters of education policy and connecting education reform to broader efforts at urban reform."