Phi Beta Cons

Myths about Myths

Richard D. Kahlenberg’s “Five Myths about College Admissions” in the Washington Post is suffused with the idea that colleges want to admit only wealthy students. There may be a nugget of truth hidden in that idea, but for the most part, selective schools (and that’s all he’s writing about) want students who will add luster to their reputations. So they go after the best students. And the best students do not typically “attend public schools with high poverty rates, come from low-income families and have parents who are high school dropouts” — as do the students that he wants to see in greater numbers on elite campuses.

He appears to think that because students with these characteristics have low SAT scores, the SAT score is at fault, and because colleges don’t admit many of these students, the schools are at fault. I don’t know exactly what to make of his logic.

Jane S. Shaw — Jane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

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