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All Education Commentary

How George W. Bush Benefited From Affirmative Action

TCF fellow, Richard D. Kahlenberg has been mentioned in a Huffington Post article about affirmative action within higher education.

The current public debate and wave of articles about how colleges can do a better job of providing access to students from low-income families -- including my own article, "Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic" (with Richard Kahlenberg) in Friday's New York Times -- reminds me that for over a century, most colleges have had an affirmative action policy for rich, well-connected white kids. It is called "legacy" admissions.

Former President George W. Bush was an affirmative-action beneficiary, at Yale University and then at Harvard Business School. But that didn't stop him from opposing affirmative action based, in part, on race. Bush once said that considering applicants' race in college admissions "amounts to a quota system that unfairly rewards or penalizes prospective students based on their race."

Read the full article.

Tags: university admissions, legacy admissions, inequality, higher education, diversity in education, college system, affirmative action for the rich, affirmative action

Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic

TCF senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg has co-written an article for the New York Times about diversity within higher education.

Education is supposed to be America’s primary engine for social mobility, but growing economic inequality is vividly reflected in our nation’s top colleges. At the nation’s most selective 193 colleges and universities, affluent students (those from the richest socioeconomic quarter of the population) outnumber economically disadvantaged students (those from the bottom quarter) by 14 to 1.

To shine light on this issue, The New York Times recently published a new index of selective colleges, measuring their commitment to socioeconomic diversity. Some colleges, such as Amherst and Harvard, have made considerable progress in opening their doors to low-income students, while others have done less well.

Read the full article.

Tags: university admissions, higher education, higher ed, equality, diversity in education, diversity, college students

The state of community and technical college in Minnesota

TCF fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg has been quoted in an article about community and technical colleges in Minnesota on MPR News.

Over the past month, we've talked about many facets of higher education--from MOOCs to liberal arts institutions. Today we're talking about other important post-secondary options: community and technical colleges.

Community colleges are pillars of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. They train technicians for jobs in leading-edge industries and grant associate's degrees that let students finish the last half of their higher education at a four-year institution. While the gap in economic well-being between college graduates and those with only a high school diploma grows ever wider, community colleges serve as gateways for the underrepresented and the working class.

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Tags: higher education, graduation rates, community colleges, community college, college system, college students, college education

Arise America - 28/08

TCF fellow, Richard D. Kahlenberg has appeared on Arise America to talk about socioeconomic diversity at selective colleges.

Watch the full story.

Tags: university admissions, universities, diversity in education, diversity, diverse education, college students, college education, college diversity

Community college district tries full slate of innovations, all at once

The Century Foundation has been cited in a PBS Newshour story about community colleges.

Hidden at the edge of an industrial park near the Phoenix airport, housed in a handful of utilitarian buildings with no grassy quadrangles or ivy crawling up red brick, Rio Salado Community College doesn’t look much like a typical higher-education institution.

It doesn’t act like one, either.

Read the full article.

Tags: community colleges, community college and career training, community college, college education




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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