Final Test

The Battle for Adequacy in America’s Schools

An in-depth look at “the brave new world of school finance” (Education Week) and the latest struggle for equality in public education

“The beginning of wisdom about fixing our schools.” —The New York Times Book Review

Final Test describes a powerful new movement that has emerged across America in recent years to bridge the wide gap still separating the achievement of African American and Latino students from their white and Asian counterparts more than half a century after Brown v. Board. In the past fifteen years, scholars, judges, and advocates for poor children have begun to develop a progressive approach to education in which public policies and funding are based on calculations of “adequacy”—what it actually takes in teachers, books, facilities, and other resources to educate each child.

While Schrag explains the legal and legislative battles for reform with great insight and clarity, he also never loses sight of the human side of the story, “describing in poignant detail the impact of funding inequities on individual students and why ‘money matters’ in rectifying educational inadequacies” (Advocacy Center for Children’s Educational Success with Standards). As the California Journal raved, “few writers can translate complex ideas into compelling nonfiction like Peter Schrag.”


“This thoughtful and insightful book shows what’s being done to fulfill the promise America made to itself almost fifty years ago.”
—Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
“Schrag raises important questions: Who decides what’s adequate? And what happens when adequate funding fails to produce adequate progress?”
American School Board Journal

Books by Peter Schrag

Paradise Lost
California’s Experience, America’s Future

Peter Schrag

Goodreads Reviews