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ERIC Number: EJ980726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Occupy Higher Education: Why Colleges Should Own the Effort to Improve Student Success
Cruz, Jose L.; Haycock, Kati
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v44 n5 p49-52 2012
As a new round of cross-national studies is showing, the US is now one of the most economically unequal of all developed countries. The top 5 percent of Americans now take home 21.3 percent of total income, while the bottom 40 percent takes home only 11.8 percent. Among OECD nations, the US has the fourth highest income inequality, exceeded only by Turkey, Mexico, and Chile. And things are getting worse. The past several years have brought a veritable economic tsunami, especially for black and Latino families, whose median household wealth has declined by 53 percent and 66 percent respectively, compared to a decline of 16 percent among whites. And it's not just worsening economic inequality: Intergenerational mobility is falling as well. The US now has one of the lowest rates of mobility in the developed world, exceeded only by Great Britain. The overwhelming question is, what matters in turning this around? Education. At the macro level, better and more equal education is only part of the answer, but at the individual level, it is the main engine of intergenerational mobility. What those in higher education do, in other words, matters a lot to individuals and their ability to contribute to the country's future. And given the current levels of economic inequality and the demographic shifts Americans are experiencing, they cannot preserve their democratic ideals without closing the educational attainment gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from their peers. The authors contend that academic leaders and faculty must own the effort to improve student success, and reformers and policymakers need to calibrate and modulate the "productivity" message, translating it into language that is consistent with the ideals of excellence and the commitment to institutional missions that characterize public higher education institutions. (Contains 13 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A