Opportunity Lost, with a New Preface

Race and Poverty in the Memphis City Schools

  • Author(s): Pohlmann, Marcus D.
  • Series:
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2017-04-11
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $35.00 | Buy Now


In Opportunity Lost, Marcus D. Pohlmann examines the troubling issue of why Memphis city school students are underperforming at high rates. His analysis, combining both history and social science, examines the events before and after desegregation, compares a city school to an affluent suburban school, and offers critical assessments of various educational reforms.

The book lays out reforms that run the gamut from early intervention and parental involvement to increasing class size and teacher compensation, improving time utilization, and more. This new edition of a path-breaking work, which appeared in 2010, includes a new preface that outlines how the Memphis Schools have fared since the full impact of consolidation has set in. With updated statistics throughout the book to reflect the today’s situation, Pohlmann describes how certain persistent issues are as significant as ever, making the book’s searing conclusion just as relevant today.

MARCUS D. POHLMANN is professor of political science at Rhodes College. He is the author of Governing the Postindustrial City; coauthor, with Michael P. Kirby, of Racial Politics at the Crossroads: Memphis Elects W. W. Herenton; and editor of the six-volume African American Political Thought.