Books by David L. Kirp

Released: April 16, 2013

"Teachers, concerned parents, political leaders—Kirp's book has something for everyone, and it deserves the widest possible audience discussion."
Hopeful news from the education front. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2011

"Skeptics will argue that this is a pipe dream; despite a carefully outlined budget in the appendix, it's a valid point. However, the author provides an important, well-researched wake-up call, and any part of it that educators and lawmakers take into account is worthwhile."
A comprehensive, community-based plan for education and child development. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

An informative but unimaginative account of a trilogy of critical judicial decisions affecting zoning and subsidized housing for poor blacks in a southern New Jersey suburb. In 1969, Mount Laurel, a well-to-do suburb near poverty-ridden Camden, was flourishing. Two African-American citizens of Mount Laurel, Mary Robinson and her daughter, Ethel Lawrence, sought to assure the future of their children in this community that was poised to price them out. They proposed rezoning 32 acres for poor, mostly black families, to which Mount Laurel's mayor responded, ``If you people can't afford to live in our town, then you'll just have to leave,'' triggering 15 years of litigation. Lawrence is vividly portrayed by public policy specialists Kirp and Rosenthal, and law professor Dwyer (all at the Univ. of California, Berkeley). The remaining principals, however, are only sketchily drawn, the authors focusing more on the sociological ramifications of the complex struggle than on the human dynamics involved. To the majority of suburbanites, the phrase ``low-income housing'' implies a wave of blacks on welfare who will destroy their schools and community with drugs and violence. The residents of Mount Laurel were not merely uninterested in easing the plight of poor people who were priced out of their community, they were determined to fight for their right of exclusion despite decisions to the contrary handed down by a ``leftist judicial court with left- leaning beagles.'' But excluding blacks from suburbs like Mount Laurel, contend the authors, was relegating them to cities like Camden, bastions of poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. Replete with extensive notes and a chronology of events in Mount Laurel, Camden, and the world beyond New Jersey, this book will largely appeal to students of public policy. (14 pages b&w photos and illustrations, not seen) Read full book review >
Released: May 12, 1989

Case histories of how nine school-systems and their communities reacted when faced with a student afflicted with the AIDS virus or living with someone with AIDS. AIDS, says Kirp (coauthor, Gender Justice, 1985), has pitted deeply engrained American beliefs in the innocence of children, as well as a concern for their welfare, against equally deep gut-feelings that parents must take a stand against AIDS in the classroom because of the minuscule possibility of its accidental spread. Among the case studies: The refusal of the Oscilla, Georgia, school system to accept healthy children living with an AIDS-afflicted relative—a decision that has separated three black youngsters from their mothers; the response in Swansea, Mass., to the news that a 13-year-old boy with hemophilia had developed AIDS, culminating in an old-fashioned town meeting at which educators and health officials laid out the facts and pled his case—he was welcomed back to school. There is also the case of the California school superintendent who summarily suspended an AIDS-afflicted kindergartener who had bitten a larger child in a roughhouse. The resulting court case determined that under federal law the child had the same right to a classroom education as that mandated for the handicapped. For the many school systems facing increasing numbers of AIDS students, this book carries an important message: Educators and health officials must be open and aboveboard with teachers and parents, and prepared to mount a campaign of education and information in order to avoid the school boycotts, violence, and litigation of the recent past. Read full book review >