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Lost In The Meritocracy

Author : Walter Kirn
ISBN : 9780385529266
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 34. 40 MB
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A New York Times Notable Book A Daily Beast Best Book of the Year A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year From elementary school on, Walter Kirn knew how to stay at the top of his class: He clapped erasers, memorized answer keys, and parroted his teachers’ pet theories. But when he launched himself eastward to an Ivy League university, Kirn discovered that the temple of higher learning he had expected was instead just another arena for more gamesmanship, snobbery, and social climbing. In this whip-smart memoir of kissing-up, cramming, and competition, Lost in the Meritocracy reckons the costs of an educational system where the point is simply to keep accumulating points and never to look back—or within. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Lost In The Meritocracy

Author : Walter Kirn
ISBN : 9780307279453
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 65. 53 MB
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Chronicles a long, strange trip through America's ivy-covered temples of higher learning where standardized tests, class rankings and gamesmanship stand in the way of true intellectual fulfillment, and reveals the psychic costs of our advance-or-else educational system.

Lost In The Meritocracy

Author : Walter Kirn
ISBN : 9780385521284
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76. 32 MB
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Chronicles the author's trip through American higher education, where standardized tests, class rankings and gamesmanship stand in the way of true intellectual fulfillment, revealing the psychic costs of the American educational system.

Twilight Of The Elites

Author : Chris Hayes
ISBN : 9780307720474
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 80. 59 MB
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A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy. Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it. Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives. Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.

Programmed Inequality

Author : Marie Hicks
ISBN : 9780262035545
Genre : Computers
File Size : 33. 30 MB
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How Britain lost its early dominance in computing by systematically discriminating against its most qualified workers: women.

The Tyranny Of The Meritocracy

Author : Lani Guinier
ISBN : 9780807078129
Genre : Education
File Size : 20. 50 MB
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A fresh and bold argument for revamping our standards of “merit” and a clear blueprint for creating collaborative education models that strengthen our democracy rather than privileging individual elites Standing on the foundations of America's promise of equal opportunity, our universities purport to serve as engines of social mobility and practitioners of democracy. But as acclaimed scholar and pioneering civil rights advocate Lani Guinier argues, the merit systems that dictate the admissions practices of these institutions are functioning to select and privilege elite individuals rather than create learning communities geared to advance democratic societies. Having studied and taught at schools such as Harvard University, Yale Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier has spent years examining the experiences of ethnic minorities and of women at the nation's top institutions of higher education, and here she lays bare the practices that impede the stated missions of these schools. Goaded on by a contemporary culture that establishes value through ranking and sorting, universities assess applicants using the vocabulary of private, highly individualized merit. As a result of private merit standards and ever-increasing tuitions, our colleges and universities increasingly are failing in their mission to provide educational opportunity and to prepare students for productive and engaged citizenship. To reclaim higher education as a cornerstone of democracy, Guinier argues that institutions of higher learning must focus on admitting and educating a class of students who will be critical thinkers, active citizens, and publicly spirited leaders. Guinier presents a plan for considering “democratic merit,” a system that measures the success of higher education not by the personal qualities of the students who enter but by the work and service performed by the graduates who leave. Guinier goes on to offer vivid examples of communities that have developed effective learning strategies based not on an individual's “merit” but on the collaborative strength of a group, learning and working together, supporting members, and evolving into powerful collectives. Examples are taken from across the country and include a wide range of approaches, each innovative and effective. Guinier argues for reformation, not only of the very premises of admissions practices but of the shape of higher education itself. From the Hardcover edition.

Methland

Author : Nick Reding
ISBN : 1608191567
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24. 25 MB
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Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more true than in the small towns of the American heartland. Methland is the story of the drug as it infiltrates the community of Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), a once-thriving farming and railroad community. Tracing the connections between the lives touched by meth and the global forces that have set the stage for the epidemic, Methland offers a vital and unique perspective on a pressing contemporary tragedy. Oelwein, Iowa is like thousand of other small towns across the county. It has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy and an out-migration of people. If this wasn't enough to deal with, an incredibly cheap, long-lasting, and highly addictive drug has come to town, touching virtually everyone's lives. Journalist Nick Reding reported this story over a period of four years, and he brings us into the heart of the town through an ensemble cast of intimately drawn characters, including: Clay Hallburg, the town doctor, who fights meth even as he struggles with his own alcoholism; Nathan Lein, the town prosecutor, whose case load is filled almost exclusively with meth-related crime, and Jeff Rohrick, who is still trying to kick a meth habit after four years. Methland is a portrait of a community under siege, of the lives the drug has devastated, and of the heroes who continue to fight the war. It will appeal to readers of David Sheff's bestselling Beautiful Boy, and serve as inspiration for those who believe in the power of everyday people to change their world for the better.

Class Clowns

Author : Jonathan A Knee
ISBN : 9780231543330
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41. 72 MB
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The past thirty years have seen dozens of otherwise successful investors try to improve education through the application of market principles. They have funneled billions of dollars into alternative schools, online education, and textbook publishing. They have, with surprising regularity, lost their shirts. In Class Clowns, professor and investment banker Jonathan A. Knee dissects what drives investors’ efforts to improve education and why they consistently fail. Knee takes readers inside four spectacular financial failures in education: Rupert Murdoch’s billion-dollar effort to reshape elementary education through technology; the unhappy investors—including hedge fund titan John Paulson—who lost billions in textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin; the abandonment of Knowledge Universe, Michael Milken’s twenty-year mission to revolutionize the global education industry; and the story of Chris Whittle, founder of EdisonLearning and a pioneer of large-scale transformational educational ventures, who continues to attract investment despite decades of financial and operational disappointment. Although deep belief in the curative powers of the market drove these initiatives, it was the investors’ failure to appreciate market structure that doomed them. Knee asks: What makes a good education business? By contrasting rare successes, Knee finds a dozen broad lessons at the heart of these cautionary case studies. Class Clowns offers an important guide for public policy makers and guard rails for future investors, as well as an intelligent exposé for activists and teachers frustrated with the repeated disappointments to shake up education.

The Myth Of Meritocracy

Author : James Bloodworth
ISBN : 9781785900761
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 75. 53 MB
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The best jobs in Britain today are overwhelmingly done by the children of the wealthy. Meanwhile, it is increasingly difficult for bright but poor kids to transcend their circumstances. This state of affairs should not only worry the less well-off. It hurts the middle classes too, who are increasingly locked out of the top professions by those from affluent backgrounds. Hitherto, Labour and Conservative politicians alike have sought to deal with the problem by promoting the idea of 'equality of opportunity'. In politics, social mobility is the only game in town, and old socialist arguments emphasising economic equality are about as fashionable today as mullets and shell suits. Yet genuine equality of opportunity is impossible alongside levels of inequality last seen during the 1930s. In a grossly unequal society, the privileges of the parents unfailingly become the privileges of the children. A vague commitment from our politicians to build a 'meritocracy' is not enough. Nor is it desirable: a perfectly stratified meritocracy, in which everyone knew their station based on 'merit', would be a deeply unpleasant place to live. Any genuine attempt to improve social mobility must start by reducing the gap between rich and poor. PROVOCATIONS is a groundbreaking new series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Sharp, intelligent and controversial, Provocations provides insightful contributions to the most vital discussions in society today.

The Big Test

Author : Nicholas Lemann
ISBN : 0374527512
Genre : Education
File Size : 65. 83 MB
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Surveys the history of educational testing in the United States, and discusses the ideas, the people, and the politics behind the system.

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