Among the sub-debates in the debates over affirmative action are questions over the relative significance of race and class. A new book attempts to explore race and class simultaneously in a college setting. In Race and Class Matters at an Elite College, Elizabeth Aries explores the insights she gained by studying four groups of students at Amherst College: affluent white students, affluent black students, white students without a lot of money and black students without a lot of money.
For decades, critics of standardized testing -- and especially of the SAT -- have said that these examinations fail to capture important qualities, resulting in admissions systems that favor certain groups over others, while failing to represent test takers' full identities. And generally, these critics have said, the qualities that the SAT is best at identifying are those that wealthy white students are more likely than others to possess.
Generalities about "minority students" can easily hide specific issues related to various ethnic and racial groups -- and the ways they do and do not advance in the American educational systems. The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies, just published by Harvard University Press, is a scholarly attempt to focus on one fast-growing ethnic group.