This volume provides both a review and a set of essays concerned with one issue in American education - the effects of poverty and social class upon and within schools. On the one hand, equal access to education is an important American ideal, yet on the other, it has been obvious for many years that a quality education and good schools are unavailable to a large number of Americans who live in impoverished communities. The contributors offer information about student disadvantage, in particular relating to poverty, and outcomes in schools, while acknowledging the complexity of the issues and calling for more research. Each chapter acts as a progress report for a rapidly developing subfield of effort concerned with poverty, other forms of disadvantage, and education. The contributors are all outstanding scholars representing the fields of education, sociology and physiology.