This book provides a critical analysis of the origins, nature, development, and transformation of the state and society historically and today, examining the class nature and social basis of politics and the state in different societal settings. The book emphasizes the centrality of class relations in explaining political power and the role of the state in class-divided societies by providing powerful theoretical and empirical analyses of themes in political sociology in an era of globalization. It examines in detail the major political issues and events of our time, and makes them relevant to the study of power and politics today. Students from many ethnic minority backgrounds and low-income families are underrepresented in American colleges and universities. This book describes and assesses educational policies and practices that seek to rectify this important manifestation of structured inequality. Inspired by a commitment to providing a pathway to college and beyond, Mehan and his team document the innovate practices developed and implemented at the nationally recognized schools created by The Center for Research in Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at the University of California-San Diego: the Preuss School, a 6-12 charter school on the UCSD campus for underrepresented minority students; and nearby schools located in economically depressed neighborhoods. Based on long-term research, Mehan's book makes important contributions to the literature on educational achievement disparities that exist-and are growing-within the United States. He sheds light on how we can improve public policy for the futures of secondary school students.