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Posts Tagged ‘schooling’

Efforts to increase equal opportunity in America have been frustrated for many years. Racial gaps in upward mobility persist; children of low-income families fall further behind children of affluent families. Why hasn’t progress been made since the social programs of the 1960s and ‘70s and the many school reform movements in the last decades?

Three scholars–Stanford sociologist David Grusky, Harvard political scientist Peter Hall, and Stanford psychologist Hazel Markus–have just offered a useful way to understand what has thwarted expanded equal opportunity for American youth. In the latest issue of Daedalus, they describe the rise, expansion, and operation of what they call “opportunity markets.” The idea, simply put, is that increasingly the very opportunities for children to succeed are up for sale and, of course, wealthy parents can and do buy more opportunities than less affluent parents can.

I’ll start the explanation–although the authors do not start this way–with a first axiom: parental love.

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