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Schools Need ‘Opportunity Slots’ for Less-Affluent Prospects: FT

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- In redressing the imbalance between the economically advantaged and the disadvantaged, it may be well to change the focus from inequalities in outcomes to inequalities in opportunity, specifically in education, Lawrence Summers wrote in the Financial Times.

The most-effective move in that regard would be to improve public education so that “every child in the public system can learn as much and go as far” as his or her talent permits, the former U.S. Treasury secretary wrote.

“The best institutions” must undertake “the kind of commitment to economic diversity that they have long mounted” toward racial diversity, the Charles W. Eliot professor at Harvard University wrote.

While it is unrealistic to imagine that universities will not be attentive to the children of their financial supporters, perhaps “the custom could be established that for each ‘legacy slot,’ room would be made for one ‘opportunity slot,’’ Summers wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Simpson in Toronto at jsimpson12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrea Snyder at asnyder5@bloomberg.net

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