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America’s educational system is an ‘aristocracy posing as a meritocracy’

Low-income kindergartners with high test scores are less likely to become well-off young adults than their higher income-peers with low test scores

Education is often sold as a great equalizer, but new research suggests it’s actually reinforcing inequality.

Roughly 30% of low-income kindergartners with high test scores wind up getting a college education and a decent-paying entry-level job, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. On the other hand, kindergartners who come from families in the highest-income households and have low test scores have a 70% chance of reaching the same education and job level.

The study’s findings provide insight into a very basic question, according to Anthony Carnevale, the director of the Georgetown center and one of the authors of the report. Does our educational system work to propel the people with the most talent to the best jobs?

The answer, according to Carnevale: “It’s not a meritocracy, it is more and more an aristocracy posing as a meritocracy.”

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