Edmund W. Gordon makes good points, but I think that he must consider embracing some more "practical aproaches" at the grassroots level. He speaks of a "national effort at affirmative development of academic ability" -- in black and other underrepresented populations among high achievers. There is no evidence that such a national effort has any hope of broad-based support. The most visible effort is highly publicized resistance to affirmative action of any sort.
What is needed is creative approaches like The Black Star Project at the grassroots level. These initiatives are "our initiatives" to begin to address the challenges of under-achieving black children. Waiting for the formulation of some "national effort" will result in more black children falling behind every day.
Gordon is right about the "forms of capital for effective education." But he suffers from the rare air in The Academy. Often in academia, theory and research lose touch with practical realities. We need the research, but then we need Philip Jackson to "make it real."