Reading Questions for 4/17

  • Attewell, P. and Lavin, D. E (2012) The other 75%: College education beyond the elite, ch 4 in E..C. Langermann and H. Lewis, What is College for?: The Public Purpose of Higher Education. New York: Teacher’s College Press.
    Currently, there are 17 million undergraduates in the United States and the number is expected to reach 19 million by 2019.  With the growing enrollment rate in America, is it beneficial for colleges and its students to limit accessibility in order to create a proper learning environment?  One states, “Because of downgrading that has occurred among students, college degrees are not worth much anymore” (96). However, another states that, “Open access earned 41 billion dollars more in the year 2000 than it would have earned if broad access were rolled back” (98).
  • Why do you think women, and especially the Hispanic minority, have showed the most drastic change in regards to college enrollment?
  • Lederman, D. (2013) Affirmative Action, Innovation and the Financial Future: A survey of presidents. Inside Higher Ed, March 1.
    “7 in 10 presidents said their institutions would face budget shortfalls and increased competition for students this year, in a climate of cutbacks of state and federal aid” (2).  How would reducing student enrollment help fund the institution’s budget?
  • Do you agree with O’Connor’s decision or do you side with Justice Thomas’ dissent that Michigan could not remain a prestigious institution and admits students under a race-neutral system?
  • Bundle 1: The case of Grutter vs. the University of Michigan
    The two researchers say that even with the growing income of blacks, they are unlikely to produce the kind of impact that would be needed to do away with affirmative action and preserve the black enrollment levels that colleges want to maintain. “Income changes alone aren’t going to close the gap, even with generous assumption.” However, what if being admitted to college will help close the income gap instead of reversing the cause and effect by trying to increase income in order to close the college enrollment racial gap?
  • If Justice O’Connor realizes that racial preferences should not be given in 25 years from now, then why not implement a racial-neutral practice as soon as possible since the legality of it would still be questioned in 25 years?
  • Do you think affirmative would give preferences to racial minority or lead to their disadvantage?