Education Gap Is Growing Between Rich and Poor, Recent Studies Show

The education gap between rich and poor Americans is growing, even as the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed, according to recently published analyses of long-term data cited in today’s New York Times. One study mentioned in the Times, by University of Michigan researchers, found that the imbalance between rich and poor students in college completion has grown by 50 percent since the late 1980s. The growing education gap has formed a kind of cultural divide in society, Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, told the Times. Mr. Murray, according to a Chronicle article about his new book, characterizes it as a response to his fear that a growing cultural divide between the classes threatens “the American project”—a vision of life, conceived by the nation’s founders, holding that government should restrain people from hurting one another but otherwise should leave them alone to pursue the happiness that comes from having a family and being a self-reliant, solid member of a community.

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