Thursday, June 5, 2014

How the American higher education system creates more economic inequality, instead of alleviating it

The Obama administration thinks the answer to soaring levels of student debt and predatory, increasingly powerful for-profit colleges is a new, government-sponsored college ratings system. The administration believes rating colleges would be simple enough: "It's like rating a blender," said an Education Department official recently. In my new Baffler post, I explain why this system is hopelessly inadequate to dealing with the problem.

I also look at a disturbing new book, Suzanne Mettler's Degrees of Inequality, which makes the case that the American system of higher education, which once provided a pathway of upward mobility for millions of Americans, is “evolving into a caste system with separate and unequal tiers” that leaves students “more unequal than when they first enrolled.”


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