My rating:Â 4 of 5 stars
The US at one time was distinguished for its commitment to universal primary and secondary education. And since World War 2, through the GI bill, the Pell Grant program, federally backed student loans, and government support of higher education, the opportunity for college education was put within reach for nearly all Americans, no matter what social class they came from.
Suzanne Mettler argues that during these years, this was accomplished by the creation of policies that formed a â€œpolicyscapeâ€ conducive to making this dream accessible to all. She contends that, just like the landscape around oneâ€™s home, the â€œpolicyscapeâ€ requires continued maintenance in order to accomplish its desired outcomes.
What this book does is chronicle how, beginning in the 1980s a series of broader changes combined with sporadic maintenance of the policyscape has created a growing divide between the elite who can afford higher education at prestigious or flagship universities, and the rest of American society. Even for those from these backgrounds who do enroll, the story is one of increasingly high student debt, falling graduation rates, and growing default rates on loans. [Read more…] about Book Review: Degrees of Inequality