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All Education Commentary

Students question use of legacy admission

April 14, 2014 BY: Richard D. Kahlenberg TOPICS: Education

In the Brown Daily Herald, TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg is cited for his work on affirmative action and fairness in college admissions.


But no research or evidence supports the premise that alum parents are more likely to give to a college if their children also attend, said Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation who focuses on education issues.

Read the full article here.

Tags: richard kahlenberg, equality, college admissions, affirmative action

How Higher Ed Contributes to Inequality

April 11, 2014 BY: Suzanne Mettler TOPICS: Education

TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler is the subject of a recent article in The Atlantic about her book Degress of Inequality and her research on "the submerged state."


Now in a new book, Degrees of Inequality, Mettler reveals how, over the past 60 years, American higher-education policy has gone from being visible and effective (the GI Bill and the Pell grant program) to being invisible and inefficient ($32 billion in federal funding for for-profit colleges with abysmal graduation rates). Congressional polarization along party lines, it turns out, played a major role, as did plummeting federal and state support for four-year public universities.

Read the full article here.

Tags: the atlantic, suzanne mettler, submerged state, student debt, higher education, for profits, degrees of inequality

Good News for Low-Income Students

April 11, 2014 BY: Richard D. Kahlenberg TOPICS: Education

In the Chronicle for Higher Education, TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg writes about the vulnerabilities of affirmative action in university admissions processes.


In Fisher, the Supreme Court supported the goal of racial diversity but sought to steer universities away from explicit racial preferences. The Court ruled that colleges bear “the ultimate burden of demonstrating, before turning to racial classifications, that available workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.” Race-neutral strategies include plans that provide a leg up to economically disadvantaged students of all races, policies that admit all students at the top of their high-school class (irrespective of SAT and ACT scores), that reduce reliance on legacy preferences, that create partnerships between universities and high-poverty high schools, and the like.

Read the full article here.

Tags: richard kahlenberg, low-income students, higher ed, fisher v texas, chronicle of higher education, affirmative action

‘Controlled choice’: Does mixing kids based on family income improve education?

April 11, 2014 BY: Richard D. Kahlenberg TOPICS: Education

TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg discusses controlled choice for K-12 in Deseret News.


Students from low-income families benefit from going to schools with more affluent students, says Richard Kahlenberg, a fellow at the Century Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., policy think tank that supports the proposal. Schools with higher-income kids tend to attract better teachers, Kahlenberg says. They also have more conscientious parents and peers with higher aspirations, both of which change the social dynamics and aspirations of kids from less privileged backgrounds.

Read the full article here.

Tags: socioeconomic integration, richard kahlenberg, low-income students, education reform, controlled choice

Lessons Learned

April 11, 2014 BY: The Century Foundation TOPICS: Education

Josh Wyner, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, cites The Century Foundation's community college equity study.

Read the full article here

Tags: josh wyner, higher ed, education policy, community college, century foundation, achievement gap

Suzanne Mettler sees higher ed ‘caste system’

April 4, 2014 BY: Suzanne Mettler TOPICS: Education

This month, the Cornell Chronicle (Cornell University) highlights TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler's latest book, Degrees of Inequality.


Government at the federal and state levels, for starters. And Congress – for enabling for-profit colleges that devour disproportionate levels of federal education aid while dumping debt-laden, degreeless students into an unimpressed job market – catches plenty of blame.

“Federal student aid has become less effective in promoting opportunity,” Mettler wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. “Presidents beginning with Bill Clinton introduced costly new tax policies to help with tuition, but these have failed to improve access for the less well-off.”

Read the write-up here.

Tags: suzanne mettler, student aid, politics, polarization, partisan politics, for profits, degrees of inequality, cornell




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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