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Jencks Report

In 1972, Christopher Jencks and seven colleagues at Harvard's Center for Educational Policy Research published Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America. Jencks and his research team believed that liberals were misguided in their assumption that education alone could reduce poverty; therefore, they sought to discover what factors were effective in reducing income inequity. They found that family background had a major impact on cognitive skills while the quality of education had very little effect on economic mobility and income. These controversial findings received both media attention and scholarly criticism. This entry reviews the most significant findings of the report, also known as the Jencks Report, and provides a brief summary of the publicity and the critique of social ...

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