Tagged with social class

Is Higher Education Reinforcing Inequality?

In the UK and US the growth of social and economic inequality is taking place in societies in which formal participation in higher education is at an historic high. Is higher education then responsible for the pattern of unequal earnings? If education produces human capital, which determines marginal productivity, and that determines wages – remember … Continue reading

When a Privileged Scholar Tries to Examine Privilege

About a year ago, a colleague posted a Facebook status update that linked to “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education,” by William Deresiewicz, an essay that was a few years old back then. I clicked on the link and read. Deresiewicz’s writing is lucid and interrogating, his essays have gone viral and he has just … Continue reading

Students Try to Break Taboo Around Social Class on Campus

…Last fall, Ms. Berg and two classmates started a group to raise awareness of class and to advocate for more support for low-income students. So far, the group has put on several events, including a well-attended panel: “How Public Is Our Public University?” Next academic year, organizers want to reach out to new students especially, … Continue reading

No Rich Child Left Behind

Today’s commentary comes from Sean F. Reardon, a professor of education and sociology at Stanford. Here’s a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, … Continue reading

Has Higher Education Become an Engine of Inequality?

Inequality is growing in the United States, and social mobility is slowing. A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 62 percent of Americans raised in the top one-fifth of the income scale stay in the top two-fifths; 65 percent born in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths. Education, long praised as … Continue reading

The Ph.D. Now Comes With Food Stamps

“I am not a welfare queen,” says Melissa Bruninga-Matteau. That’s how she feels compelled to start a conversation about how she, a white woman with a Ph.D. in medieval history and an adjunct professor, came to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. Ms. Bruninga-Matteau, a 43-year-old single mother who teaches two humanities courses at Yavapai … Continue reading

Class-Based Policies Are Not a Remedy for Racial Inequality

The election of Barack Obama seemed a harbinger of a postracial society, a powerful embodiment of a new, colorblind ethos, providing evidence that America had finally shed its racial baggage. For many people, the Obamas illustrated the argument that middle-class and affluent blacks had no need of race-based consideration and should be judged without regard … Continue reading

Our Economically Polarized College System: Separate and Unequal

A college education is increasingly the only path to middle-class earnings. In 1970, 74 percent of workers with a high-school education or less were part of the middle class—earning between $30,000 and $85,000 in current dollars. By 2007 that number had dwindled to 39 percent. Over the same period, people with college degrees either stayed … Continue reading

How to Boost Spending on Community Colleges

President Obama has put community colleges at the center of the effort to raise U.S. student attainment rates, yet a new report from the Delta Cost Project suggests financial support for the two-year sector is in decline.  The gross mismatch between the grand expectations for community colleges and the declining resources calls for creative thinking about how to boost … Continue reading