Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PRIVILEGE - July 23, 2009

The UK New Labour is finally showing some signs of being a labor party. They are looking into the question of who makes it into university and how it happens. There are several features to this issues; one of the chief ones is that of who grows up expecting to go there. These people spend a large part of their childhoods thinking not of whether they will go, but where. A child who ends up at a minor college may think of himself as only a marginal success, not to mention one that goes to a former trade school. Children that grow up with less expectation are even more victims to the boredom that legendarily afflicts elementary school pupils. Recent increases in tuition charges make the goal even more remote for people who do not have much money, especially those who are not so poor that an unwilling State will pay their passage. That is most of the working class. These children tend to lack test manuals, college entrance books and test priming. Many have no parental help in preparing themselves for the university selection marathon. Of those who do make it into a strong college, the graduates of modest schools do better, when grouped by test scores, than those from private or U preparatory schools. As a result, the entrants to prosperous jobs tend to come increasingly from upper class families, and the new charges tend to help them be barred from even trying. The attempts to balance out these factors are increasingly attacked by higher class families as reverse discrimination. And it is so also in US, where even state-assisted universities are deemed inaccessible to families with below-average wages. And in these there are many with genuine talent who are condemned by their parents’ circumstances of to be excluded from seeking prosperous jobs.

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