View all Books

No Excuses Closing the Racial Gap in Learning

By Abigail Thernstrom, Stephan Thernstrom
Simon & Schuster 2003 ISBN: 9780743204460

About the Book

Two distinguished experts on race in America offer a sober appraisal of the racial gap in education—and show how it can be overcome.

No problem in education is more important today than the gap in academic performance between African-American and Latino children on the one hand and white and Asian-American students on the other. That gap in academic skills and knowledge is arguably the central civil rights issue of our time; inequalities in the K-12 years create learning disparities that are almost impossible to overcome later on.

Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, authors of the widely acclaimed America in Black and White, analyze the problem in No Excuses. It is a problem that is as evident in affluent suburbs as it is in inner-city schools. Recent federal legislation has made the long-ignored facts unavoidable, but conventional answers like more funding are not the solution.

But this is a problem that can be solved, the Thernstroms argue. No Excuses highlights inner-city schools across the country that are models of superb education and thus beacons of hope. Carefully researched, accessibly written, and vitally important, this book offers a map of the present and a blueprint of the future that we can’t afford to ignore.

About the Author

Abagail Thernstrom is a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Eduation, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and a former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York. She is the author of several previous books, most recently America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible, written with her husband Stephan Thernstrom.

Stephan Thernstrom is the Winthrop professor of history at Harvard University and Bancroft Award-winning author of several groundbreaking books. He is a former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and was appointed to the governing body of the National Endownment for the Humanities. The Thernstroms live in Lexington, Massachusetts.



*Los Angeles Times Names No Excuses One of the Best Books of 2003

What's Wrong With America's Schools (subscription required)
by Timothy A. Hacsi, New York Times, 1-4-04

Class Acts
by Richard D. Kahlenberg, Washington Post, 11-30-03

Playing Race Card Without Apology
by Joanne Jacobs, San Jose Mercury News, 11-30-03

The Learning Gap
by Martin Morse Wooster, Washington Times 11-25-03

A Hard Look at What Works
by Mortimer B. Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, 11-24-03

Authors attempt to bridge 'Racial Gap in Learning'
by Rob Mitchell, Boston Herald, 11-23-03

Chartering the Future by Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times, 11-20-03

Another Excuse for Failure
by Thomas Bray, New York Sun, 11-10-03

The Charter Boom (subscription required)
Wall Street Journal, 11-3-03

Left Behind (fee required)
by Kim Marshall, Boston Globe, 11-2-03

The Academic Gap in Starkest Black and White
by James Traub, LA Times, 11-02-03

Educating Black Children: Why Culture Matters (subscription required)
by Stuart Taylor, National Journal, 11-1-03

Minority Report (fee required)
by Leslie Lenkowsky, Commentary, November 2003

Book Cites Role of Culture in Achievement Gap (free subscription required)
by Karla Scoon Reid, Education Week, 10-29-03

No excuses part II
by Walter E. Williams, 10-29-03

The Anti-Excusers
by Jay Nordlinger, The National Review, 10-27-03

No more excuses for the parents (subscription only)
by Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune, 10-26-03

Closing the Racial Gap in Learning: What Does Not Work (subscription required)
by Stuart Taylor, National Journal, 10-25-03

The most important book of the year
by Mona Charen, 10-24-03

How the Other Half Learns
by Peter Schrag, The Nation, 10-23-03

Review of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning
by Jay Mathews, The Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2003

No Excuses
by Walter E. Williams, 10-22-03

For lousy schools, no excuses
by Bill Murchison, 10-21-03

Asking Tough Questions, Debunking Old Answers
by Andrew Wolf, New York Sun, 10-14-03

An Attitude Gap
by William Raspberry, The Washington Post, 10-13-03

Book Explores Racial Gap in Education (fee required)
by Rich Barlow, Boston Globe, 10-12-03

''No Excuses'' for Great Teachers, Great Schools
by Lawrence Henry, The American Spectator on the Web, 10-9-03

Stop making excuses: Close the learning gap
by Matt Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, 10-8-03

Leaving black kids behind
by Rich Lowry, 10-9-03

A Lot More to Learn
by Clint Bolick, Wall Street Journal, 10-9-03

Will Anything Work?
by Nathan Glazer, The New Republic, 10-13-03 - 10-20-03

A Gap That Won't Go Away on Its Own
by William Raspberry, Washington Post, 10-6-03

Race and Education: An Exclusive Interview with Abigail Thernstrom
by George A. Clowes, School Reform News, October 2003

School performances: Part III
by Thomas Sowell, 9-26-03

The Education Gadfly 9-25-03

Review of No Excuses by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom
by Thomas Sowell, 9-24-03

Wall Street Journal, 8-29-03