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