Monday, September 22, 2014

Whom Does the Engine Train?

"In spite of our collective belief that education is the engine for climbing the socioeconomic ladder ― the heart of the 'American dream' myth colleges now are divided by wealth more than ever," Vicki Madden, a veteran teacher and instructor, observes in her New York Times op-ed. As a token student in my era, I am not surprised. As data amassed by Profs. Michael Bastedo and Ozan Jaquette reveal, only 14 percent of students in America's 193 most selective colleges come from the bottom half of her socioeconomic strata and just 5 percent from its lowest quartile. The more elite the school, the greater the gap, not only among students' financial status but the students themselves. "As the income gap widens and hardens, changing class means a bigger difference between where you came from and where you are going," Madden concludes. Ah, there's the rub. The price demanded for a better life for self and family should not be the abandonment and even betrayal of  your people, the kith and kin left behind where you came from. 

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