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Meddling with Mettle

- Abstract

How Children Succeed:
Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
By Paul Tough
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 
256 pages

Less than a week before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fisher v. Texas, the latest case to test the constitutionality of affirmative action, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article about a meeting of college-admissions counselors. Race, it turns out, wasn’t “the four-letter-word everybody’s talking about.” Rather, it was grit. It appears that college administrators now want to test for this quality—“the habit of overcoming challenges, of learning from mistakes instead of being defeated by them”—and incorporate their findings into the application process.

About the Author

Naomi Schaefer Riley is the author of The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For.