Saturday, February 16, 2013

college class

This article has some interesting tidbits on transparency and economic class in higher education. I understand and relate to these issues, particularly the way in which lower income white students face enormous obstacles when seeking to gain admittance to elite universities although this is a contested issue, too, and we need to recognize the "enormous obstacles" experienced by everyone these days, or most everyone save for the economic elites.

And smack in the middle of the article, the author acknowledges clearly why, most likely, little or nothing, will be done about it:

"Addressing class inequality is more expensive than addressing racial and gender inequities because low-income students need financial aid, which may mean smaller budgets for libraries or faculty salaries."

And this anecdote pretty much sums up why recent American Presidents have avoided the topic entirely:

"Class issues popped up periodically in public discussion but never gained traction. In the mid-1990s, when President Bill Clinton briefly suggested shifting the basis of affirmative-action policies from race and gender to class 'because they work better and have a bigger impact and generate broader support,' civil-rights and women's groups killed the idea. While Clinton was right that public opinion supported a class-based approach, no organized constituency championed preferences for the poor and working classes."

Somehow, to move forward, we have to bring all concerned parties, which in the case of accessible, affordable college education is all of us, to the table and clarify why this sort of "either him or me" is not good for anyone.

Meanwhile, college grads are getting better and better at becoming eligible for food stamps, and their economic prospects remain "grim."

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