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On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States


reviewed by Donald Earl Collins — 2006

coverTitle: On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States
Author(s): Stephen L. Morgan
Publisher: Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA
ISBN: 080474419X, Pages: 241, Year: 2005
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Cornell sociologist Stephen L. Morgan explores a fundamental question that has puzzled sociologists of education for more than three decades: How and why do students decide to enroll in postsecondary education? Morgan’s first book is a tour-de-force that purports to explain why previous sociological models attempting to answer this question have fallen short. He asserts, and rightly so, that established explanatory models on educational attainment cannot account for “whether or not students’ beliefs about their future prospects are responsive to changes in incentives” (p. 4). Nor do other models factor in the long-term impact of changes in beliefs on both commitment to enrolling in higher education and the end level of educational attainment. Morgan begins by summarizing the literature on educational attainment, noting that the Black-White postsecondary educational attainment gap has remained the same whereas the college enrollment gap has narrowed since the early 1980s. Although sociologists of education have identified... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 5, 2006, p. 815-818
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12123, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 2:52:24 AM

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About the Author
  • Donald Collins
    Academy for Educational Development
    E-mail Author
    DONALD EARL COLLINS is a freelance writer who has written on the topic of multiculturalism and African American identity for more than a decade. He has published articles in Black Issues in Higher Education, Gannett Suburban Newspapers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, History of Education Quarterly, The Washington Post, Radical Society, and Academe. His book Fear of a “Black” America (2004) focuses on multiculturalism, fear, and the African American experience Outside of his work as a writer, Donald Collins possesses a combination of academic and nonprofit management experience. He is the Deputy Director of Partnerships for College Access and Success with the Center for School and Community Services at Academy for Educational Development in Washington, DC. He had previously served as Assistant Director of the New Voices Fellowship Program at AED, a program for emerging leaders in the social justice field. Dr. Collins has also taught as an adjunct professor in African American History and American Education Reform at Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, and is an adjunct at George Washington University. Dr. Collins has a Ph.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University.
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