Paper: The Rhetoric and Reality of Gap Closing (Stephen J. Ceci & Paul B. Papierno)

The rhetoric and reality of gap closing—when the “have-nots” gain but the “haves” gain even more.

Many forms of intervention, across different domains, have
the surprising effect of widening preexisting gaps between
disadvantaged youth and their advantaged counter-
parts—if such interventions are made available to all stu-
dents, not just to the disadvantaged. Whether this widening
of gaps is incongruent with American interests and values
requires an awareness of this gap-widening potential when
interventions are universalized and a national policy that
addresses the psychological, political, economic, and
moral dimensions of elevating the top students—tomor-
row’s business and science leaders—and/or elevating the
bottom students to redress past inequalities and reduce the
future costs associated with them. This article is a first step
in bringing this dilemma to the attention of scholars and
policymakers and prodding a national discussion.

interesting points no doubt.

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