Free equal opportunity Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
Welfare states, family inequality, and equality of opportunity
Recent philosophical work has similarly undercut the sharpequality/adequacy distinction and shows how the two ideals are closelyintertwined in the pursuit of educational justice. These approaches(e.g., Satz 2007; Anderson 2007) argue that adequacy in education hasa relative and comparative component because the educational thresholddepends on the knowledge and skills that others have, and so it isnecessarily a moving target. For example, what it takes to serve on ajury, or to have an adequate opportunity for college, depends on theknowledge and skill levels of others. This “relational”approach to adequacy can respond to one of the strongest concernsproponents of equality raise: that because many of the benefits ofeducation are positional, which is to say, their value depends uponone’s position relative to others, equality is the rightdistributive principle for educational opportunities. The meritocraticdistribution of jobs, where the most qualified candidate is appointed(rather than the individual who is merely well-qualified), ensuresthat positionality is decisive in many cases. Conceptions of adequacythat are attentive to relevant comparative claims can address thisissue and thereby deflate the tension between adequacy and equalityapproaches to distributing educational opportunities.
Socioeconomic inequality in access to high-status …
Whatever one believes about the appropriate scope and content of civiceducation, a pressing issue is students’ extremely uneven accessto educational opportunities that prepare them for participatorycitizenship. Meira Levinson’s recent work on the “civicachievement gap” highlights this corollary to the much-morediscussed achievement gap and underscores vast inequalities acrossstudent groups in terms of what youth know about how government works,and their ability to participate effectively in civic life (Levinson2012). These low rates of participation and engagement also haveconsequences for how the interests of the poor are treated. Indeed,even if one rejects equality of opportunity in this domain, there isample evidence that many societies are not doing enough to enabletheir poorer and less educated citizens to effectively and competentlyparticipate in public life.