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Leveling the Playing Field : Justice, Politics, and College Admissions - Robert K. Fullinwider

Leveling the Playing Field

Justice, Politics, and College Admissions

Paperback Published: 1st April 2004
ISBN: 9780742514119
Number Of Pages: 280

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Leveling the Playing Field examines the admissions policies of contemporary American colleges and universities in light of the assumption that enhancing the educational opportunities of lower-income and minority students would make American society more just. It asks how current admissions policies affect the prospects of such students, and it evaluates alternative approaches. The book treats a variety of topics relevant to answering these questions. What does it mean to reward people according to merit? Is the American system of higher education a meritocracy, and should it be? How do the missions of contemporary institutions of higher education bear on admissions? What are the implications of the Supreme Court's landmark affirmative action decisions of 2003? What is the proper role and significance of standardized tests like the SAT? How does 'lower' education prepare students, or fail to, for higher education? In answering these questions, the book examines legacy preference, early admissions policies, financial aid, the test-prep industry, college counseling, and athletics, evaluating their effects on the distribution of higher education in the United States, not only for lower-income and minority students but for college-bound students in general.

Industry Reviews

This provocative, engaging, and timely book deserves a wide audience. It provides a lens through which the world of selective college admissions can be viewed in a new and insightful way.--Morton Owen Schapiro, president of Williams College and co-author of The Student Aid Game and Keeping College Affordable

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: April Is the Cruellest Monthp. 1
Another Side of the Storyp. 2
The Flux of Supply and Demandp. 4
Selectivityp. 6
The Perspective of the Collegesp. 7
Higher Education and the Enhancement of Opportunityp. 9
Justice for Whom?p. 12
Outline of the Bookp. 13
Demystifying Meritp. 17
Detecting Meritp. 18
How the Rewards of Merit Ramifyp. 21
Merit and Other Selection Criteriap. 22
The Limits of Meritp. 25
Merit and Desertp. 29
Sports: A Case Studyp. 32
The Multiple Missions of Modern Universitiesp. 39
Let a Thousand Colleges Bloom!p. 40
The Social Roles of the Modern Universityp. 42
Historical Rootsp. 44
The Facets of Liberal Educationp. 48
Constituencies and the Wholep. 52
Missions and Admissionsp. 54
Justice and Differentiationp. 56
Open Admissions and the Community Collegesp. 61
Open Admissions at CUNYp. 61
Dilemmas of Remediationp. 64
From Policy Voted to Policy Enactedp. 69
Remediation, Second Chances, and Community Collegesp. 72
How the Academically Rich Get Richerp. 75
Irrelevant Advantagesp. 76
Moneyp. 77
The Legacy of Legacyp. 82
Early Decisionp. 86
An Uneven Outbreak of Disabilitiesp. 89
College Counseling and Conspicuous Educational Consumptionp. 91
The Rich, the Poor, and the Restp. 93
The Test: Understanding the SATp. 97
The Regatta Questionp. 99
Is the SAT Fair?p. 102
Is the SAT Valid and Reliable?p. 106
How Useful Is the SAT?p. 109
Cultural Bias and Unfairness Revisitedp. 111
A Porsche Held Together with Duct Tapep. 113
Admissions Tests: Uses, Abuses, Alternativesp. 115
The SAT and Real-Life Admissions Choicesp. 115
The Real Costs: Race Revisitedp. 120
A Radically Different Approach?p. 125
Test Prepp. 130
Some Conclusionsp. 135
The SAT on Trialp. 137
A First Attack: The SAT and the Regents Scholarshipsp. 137
A Second Attack: The SAT and the NCAAp. 139
A Performance-Based Solutionp. 142
Legal Threat to the SAT?p. 144
Affirmative Action and the Legacy of Bakkep. 147
The Legal Foundationp. 148
Bakke: Fractured Law, Opaque Guidancep. 150
The Other Sidep. 155
Missed Opportunitiesp. 158
Coda: The Vagaries of Title VIp. 159
Justifying Affirmative Actionp. 165
Blind Universitiesp. 166
A Compelling Interest: The Answer Suppliedp. 169
The Link between Ends and Meansp. 175
Moral Principlesp. 179
"Treat Persons as Individuals"p. 182
"Do Not Discriminate"p. 183
A Last Word on Affirmative Actionp. 185
Sowing the Seeds of Higher Educationp. 189
Class Preferences and "X Percent Solutions"p. 189
Pre-College Interventionsp. 193
GEAR UP and College Nowp. 197
The Persistence of the Black-White Achievement Gapp. 199
Summing Up, Looking Aheadp. 205
Theory and Practicep. 205
Affirmative Action and the Missions of American Universitiesp. 207
The Use of Standardized Tests in Admissionsp. 209
Closing the Gapsp. 211
Reforms at Selective Collegesp. 213
Notesp. 217
Indexp. 259
About the Authorsp. 267
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742514119
ISBN-10: 0742514110
Series: Issues in Academic Ethics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 1st April 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.36