Excellence vs. Equality

Excellence vs. Equality : Can Society Achieve Both Goals?

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Excellence vs Equality: Can Society Achieve Both Goals? explores the issues faced by societies attempting to preserve democratic ideals and the common good in an era of incommensurate wealth and opportunity. As differences in advantage and ability affect the relationships between institutions and the people who comprise them, the book argues that political and social compromise is needed to prevent economic inequality from threatening the well-being and mobility of the less able and less fortunate. Topics include globalization, technology, innovation, talent and meritocracy, higher education, big business, labor unions, and social justice within educational and workplace settings. The author raises perennial and ever-prescient questions regarding how to balance excellence and equality, and how to reduce inequality around the world.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 526g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138940895
  • 9781138940895

About Allan C. Ornstein

Allan C. Ornstein is Professor of Education and Social Policy at St. John's University, USA. He is a former Fulbright-Hayes Scholar and author of 60 books and 400 articles.show more

Review quote

"Excellence vs. Equality challenges us to consider a potential tradeoff between two socially valued goals and the strategies to address them jointly as well as the consequences of failing to do so. Ornstein presents historical, philosophical, technological, and empirical insights on the imperative and its policy options. For example, can universal identification and nurturing of talent from infancy through adulthood combine to promote excellence and greater equality? This well-written book provides an engaging and thoughtful perspective for social action." Henry M. Levin, William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA "Allan Ornstein asks the reader to think about questions related to wealth and class, innovation and technology, and excellence and equality. Can society provide equality of opportunity for ordinary folks or will opportunity be reserved for those from inherited wealth and privilege? To what extent does society reward talent and merit while providing for those with average or less-than-average abilities and skills? Alternatively, he concludes that performance and pay should be based on people serving and helping the common good and common purpose, not a free market or survival of the fittest mentality. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with fairness, social justice, and/or growing inequality in the U.S. or around the world." William Owings, Professor of Finance, Old Dominion University, USAshow more

Table of contents

Introduction - Excellence vs Equality: Consider This Chapter 1 - The Search for Talent * Geography and "Smart" Thinking * Reaffirming the Best and Brightest * A Changing World: Globalization and Technology * Brain Drain Counts * Tech Companies and Tech Workers * Talented Workers and Big Data * The New American Dream * Centers of Creativity * Conclusion Chapter 2 - Excellence, Equality and Education * Definitions and Labels * The Early Role of the Schools * The Common School Movement * The Conservative Perspective * IQ Testing and Scoring * Do Schools Make a Difference? * The Coleman Report * The Jencks Study * The Duncan Model * The Unaccounted Factors: Luck * Aptitude vs. Achievement * Education and Economic Opportunity * The Hazards of Merit * Conclusion Chapter 3 - Socio-Economic Class and Mobility * Measures of Inequality * A Just Society * Power, Privilege and Elite Institutions * A Change in Meritocracy * Excellence vs. Equality * Educational Opportunity and Mobility * Economic Opportunity: Old Ideas, New Ideas * Different Talents, Different Rewards * The Role of Government * Merit and Achievement * Merit and Human Capital * Winning at All Costs * Conclusion Chapter 4 - Innovation and Human Capital * Outsourcing Middle-Class Jobs * The Global Village * Tech Society, Tech Expertise * The Role of Innovation * China and India - and the Future * The Rise of Asia * Growing Inequality in America * Conclusion Chapter 5 - Beyond Excellence: The Rich, Superrich and the Rest of Us * The Value of a College Education * Hard Work, Competition and Free Markets * Fat Cats: Old Money vs. New Money * Wealth vs. Work * Ruling the World * Hard Times for Labor * Profits vs. Wages * Where the U.S. is Heading * Conclusionshow more