Boys Are Not Defective Girls
I applaud my local Evansville Courier and Press for running such a politically incorrect (i.e. accurate) article in its education section.
This article chronicles what Hillary Krantz, program manager at Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, learned at a recent ...
USA Today ran a debate on offering three-year degrees as a remedy to ballooning college costs (with pro and con arguments).
Such propositions are a step in the right direction, but they do not address a fundamental flaw with college ...
I'm Glad This Student Didn't Get the Message
Head over to the NAS site for my essay, which features a (“minority”) student’s essay that — get this — argues against affirmative action. These are the students that give us hope.
It’s ironic that I read Peter Wood’s NAS article “How Will the Decline of Used-Book Stores Influence Scholarship?” in the café of my local Barnes and Noble. In his essay, Wood muses over the decline of bookstores amidst ...
The School-Sexual Harassment "Epidemic"
On Monday, USA Today reported the results of a sexual-harassment study of junior-high and high-school students:
During the 2010-11 school year, 48% of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically, according to a national ...
In my graduate class last night, a student put me on the spot by asking what I thought the future of higher education would look like. More specifically, he wanted to know how I thought the “bubble will pop.”
I'm Thankful for These Students
My essay on the NAS site reflects on the time-management issues that are created by the (sometimes) thankless job of undergraduate essay grading in a business school. It’s easy to fall into a pile of negativity when thinking about ...
Re: UNC’s Business School Makes the Top Ten!
George, I wonder how those alumni would feel if they saw some of UNC’s “featured courses” listed in that report. The first listed course that popped up was one on Innovations in Green Building.
My favorite course listed was ...
In eco-totalitarian news, the New York Times ran an article detailing school policies that advocate waste-free options for lunch. As the article implies, more is going on here than a simple offering of greener options:
“Ziplocs are the biggest misstep,” ...
In the past, video games promoted playing sports and fighting evil. But now, some kids are forgoing battling the bad guys, and instead, they are fighting real evil: carbon dioxide! According to USA Today:
In the PC strategy game Fate ...
Can We Really Teach Students to Love Reading?
Not according to Prof. Alan Jacobs of Wheaton College in the Chronicle:
The extreme reader, to coin a phrase, is a rare bird indeed. (“I have done what people do, my life makes a reasonable showing,” Lynne Sharon Schwartz writes. “...
Study: Online Students Perform Worse
In the Chronicle, Ryan Brown reports the findings of a Columbia University study which concludes that online students fail and drop out more often than those whose coursework is classroom-based.
Regarding the variables that affected performance, one of the co-authors ...
Stimulus Dollars Well Spent in Omaha
The Omaha Public Schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator, and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.
Joe Dejka describes more about this manual in his Omaha World-Herald article:
Scarlet Knights in the Red
When I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, many RU football games had more security guards and concession workers than fans in attendance. The team is now much more competitive in D-1 Football, but did that success come with a hefty ...
Free-Market vs. Compulsory Education
On Mises.org, Aaron Smith takes a hard look at the effects of state-sponsored education in the U.S. He argues that education “will only be reformed once parents and entrepreneurs are free to create real alternatives to ...
Better Business Blueprint Needed
In my essay today on the NAS site, I take issue with Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, William M. Sullivan, and Jonathan R. Dolle’s Chronicle of Higher Education article “Blueprint for a Better Business Curriculum.”
Colby et al. argue for ...
Thomas Sowell on Banks and Teachers
Thomas Sowell was in his usually brilliant form yesterday with his comparison of U.S. banks to U.S. teachers. Sowell states that one reason that banks unload foreclosed homes at a steep discount is that banks do not possess ...
Thanks for the post, Jane!
Anyone curious about business-school accreditation (and with an hour or ten to kill) can check out the income-tax-code-like documentation on the process here. Accreditation is not leaving B-schools anytime soon, but as said in political ...
Who Should Go to Graduate School?
Blind faith in the power of a degree that starts with an “M” in has its consequences. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Erin Joyce refutes some of the common reasons why people seek graduate degrees, such as:
Not getting your ...
How About Starting at the Bottom?
Perhaps I’m too cold-hearted, but I cannot sympathize with articles like this one in the New York Post or this one in my local Evansville Courier & Press — more college grads are moving home because they cannot find a job. ...
For anyone who wants to add to their limited-learning evidence collection, here’s another goodie for you. According to Sam Dillion in the New York Times:
Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of ...
Re: Correlation and Causation
Robert — thank you, all points well taken. Your articulate response is exactly what I was hoping for with my post. I certainly would not dismiss the finding, but I would recommend healthy skepticism.
I did want to add in this ...
Please Define Effective Teacher
Last week, George Will’s Washington Post op-ed focused on John Kline, the Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, and his efforts to rethink No Child Left Behind. Will is articulate as usual, but for one particular cited quote ...
UConn Star Guard Reads First Book
I love getting my daily dose of satire from The Onion, but sometimes I wonder if reality is more humorous. Consider this excerpt from a Sports Illustrated article on NCAA basketball champion UConn:
Last spring [Kemba] Walker approached UConn academic ...
How to Get Real
Dilbert creator Scott Adams had an essay in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend that chronicled his entrepreneurial ventures as a college student: “How to Get a Real Education.” Mr. Adams parlays his experiences into recommendations for teaching entrepreneurship ...
The $32,000 paid to Snooki came from mandatory student-activity fees. Needless to say, not all students were thrilled with the use of their funds.
One Snooki supporter’s comment on nj.com is worth noting: “When you pay the tuition you ...
Before You Choose That
On the NAS site, I critique a seemingly harmless Wall Street Journal article titled “Before You Choose That College.” In the article, financial advisers provide advice for parents on getting the most bang for their college bucks.
I have no ...
WGU: Credential or Education?
I am agnostic as to whether Western Governors University–Indiana will be a net gain to education in my state. Yet, I firmly disagree with the online university’s current ad campaign.
Take a look at the commercial that is ...
Wanted: Stories of Successful People Without College Degrees
In the New York Times, William Cohan opines on the the worth of college degrees by discussing individuals who became successful without the “golden ticket.” The column makes good points, but anyone who wants to give human examples of “college ...
iPads in Class: Count Me Out
The Chronicle recently ran an article titled “iPads Could Hinder Teaching.” File that title under painfully obvious.
Equipping students with technological aids in the classroom does more to distract than to facilitate. The perceived benefits of giving tablets to students ...
Paul Krugman vs. College Degrees
Instead of his usual Keynesian economics lesson, Paul Krugman discussed the decreasing worth of college degrees yesterday in his New York Times column:
What we can’t do is get where we need to go just by giving workers college ...
One of the hallmarks of grade inflation today is that a C grade is closer to a true F than it is to “average.” Thus, many students progress into upper-level courses without proficiency in the lower courses.
In two separate ...
As someone who is barely 5’8”, I marvel at how NBA players make dunking a basketball while spinning around in the air look so easy. Yet, even with my great respect for the players’ athletic abilities, Saturday’s All-Star Dunk Contest ...
Should Students' Class Schedules Be More Fixed?
In the spirit of NBA All-Star Weekend, “Highly Stressed Students and the Aimless Curriculum” by Naomi Schaefer Riley on Minding the Campus is a slam dunk.
Ms. Riley makes many articulate points concerning reasons why today’s college students lack ...
Do Colleges Care About Adrift Students?
On the NAS site, I call attention to the additional findings beyond the central thesis reported in Professors Arum and Roksa’s Academically Adrift. While much of the initial storm of publicity focused on college students’ lack of learning (measured ...
Students Need to See the World
Forward Dennis Prager’s latest column, “On Visiting My Hundredth Country,” to any college student that you know. In this essay, Mr. Prager passionately stresses the benefits of travel and enriching experiences for young people over the insular life of ...
Are Millennials Addicted to the Internet?
On the NAS site, I wrote an essay that explored whether students’ online behavior is a form of addiction.
As I wrote in my piece, I’m not suggesting that everyone move off the grid. Innovations like online bill-pay, Google ...
Higher Education is Not One-Size-Fits-All
I’m always happy to recognize when I agree with someone with whom I usually differ. On Sunday, Thomas Friedman offered the following statement in his column, “Serious in Singapore”:
Singapore copied the German model that strives to put everyone ...
Re: Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Camplin’s essay was well done, but there is another angle to interdisciplinary studies: Isn’t higher education itself interdisciplinary? Ideally, by the time students have reached higher education, they should be competent in mathematics, history, composition, etc. In ...
The Higher-Education Warehouse
I am currently making my way through Academically Adrift, and I cannot stop looking at these two sentences on page 55:
Only the most cynical policy analyst could advocate “college for all” without simultaneously demanding that once admitted into college, students ...
Are Sleepovers More Valuable than College Courses?
Last week, I questioned the use of team assignments in the classroom on the NAS site. In my essay, I made reference to David Brooks’s argument on 1/17 for the necessity of strong people skills for life success. Brooks suggested ...
The Folly of Team Projects
Students should be encouraged to acquire team skills through jobs, sports teams, and social/professional clubs — not through the classroom.
In his 1/17 column, David Brooks makes good points about the necessity of team skills for success in modern careers. At ...
Taking the Love of Nature a Little Too Far?
On the NAS site, Ashley Thorne raises important questions about a course at the University of Chicago called “Sustainability and Social Justice” that aims to teach students “how to achieve social justice though sustainability and increase sustainability through social justice.”
Re: Law Schools Imitate Enron
Great job, Nathan and Jane, for noting that Times article on law-school fuzzy math. What is even more troubling in that piece is the story of the young individual with $250,000 of student-loan debt. This young man’s troubles are weaved ...
Re: $200K in Debt for Her BA in Sociology
I applaud Ms. Space for putting her decisions out there for everyone to read. Her point will certainly invite criticism towards her decision-making, but hopefully her story will also be a teachable moment for those about to make their own ...
Matching Education with Jobs in Chicago
Former White House chief of staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel explained his “Colleges to Careers” program in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Monday. His idea of having community colleges team with local businesses is sorely needed, as ...
Political Bigotry in Minnesota?
Upon learning that his views on same-sex marriage may have contributed to Hamlin College officials’ denying him the opportunity to teach a business-law class, former Minnesota Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer noted:
To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. . . . ...
This semester, Georgetown University is offering a popular course titled: “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z.”
I’ve used clips from Office Space, The Office, and The Apprentice to engage a classroom, but is a whole course based on pop culture going ...
Gender-Neutral Bathrooms at Cornell
Add this one to the no big deal vs. slippery slope files. According to the Cornell Daily Sun:
The Student Assembly passed a resolution Thursday calling for the conversion of every single-stall bathroom on campus to a gender-neutral facility and ...
Re: Teaching Students How to Write
George, you’re exactly right. The only way to address writing is to give line-by-line feedback. We cannot assume that students know what good writing looks like. Every time students pass a written assignment at any level with subpar writing, ...
That's Trillion with a 'T'
The total outstanding student loans will surpass $1,000,000,000,000 this year, reports USA Today. That’s a lot of zeros.
I recently saw this Geico commerical, and I’m still uneasy about it. Geico ads are normally pretty silly, but this one goes a little too far. I know casting parents as goofballs rather than authority figures is commonplace today. ...
'An Informed Patriotism Is What We Want'
I thank a former student for directing me to this excerpt of President Reagan’s farewell address. There are many lines from the president that pertain to education that ring true today:
“Are we doing a good enough job teaching ...
Goshen College and the National Anthem
Christina Aguilera may want to consider visiting Goshen College to sing a patriotic song before sporting events, as there is no “Star-Spangled Banner” to flub. The private, Christian school has decided against renditions of the national anthem before all athletic ...
Malkin Schools Damon on Schools
Michelle Malkin responded to comments made by public-school utopian Matt Damon. Earlier this week at the Save Our Schools march in Washington D.C., Mr. Damon made headlines by attacking standardized testing, along with making other statements such as:
Why Do Today's Students Hate Reading?
On Mises.org, Neil Tokar hypothesizes about why today’s students resent reading and what will result from that resentment.
Mr. Tokar traces this issue back to a lack of phonics-first reading education early on in students’ academic careers. He ...
I imagine that the scholarship winning tweet for the question, “what makes you an exceptional Tippie Full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire?” would be something like:
I support workplace multiculturalism, egalitarianism, and social justice — I hate capitalism! #GoHawkeyes #Obama2012
Great quote, George. I have one from earlier than that:
Perhaps we are not fully aware of the extent to which instruction and education are accepted as being essentially the same thing. I think you would find, if you looked ...
Re: College Pays Off, But It Is Inefficient
Nathan hit the main critiques of the Leonhardt NY Times article, but I have to emphasize one additional point. Mr. Leonhardt categorizes college degrees as financial “investments” throughout his article. I’ve used that phrase figuratively to describe developing one’...
Re: Colleges Ignore the Most Basic of Skills
Professor Sperber is spot-on in portraying the problem of poor student writing. Teaching writing does need an “overhaul,” not a class here and there. Yet, I’ll argue that there is a missing element to the solution — one that is ...
Higher Levels of Student Debt = Higher Self-Esteem?
On the New York Times site, Ann Carrns cites an Ohio State study that will leave some readers scratching their heads. According to the study:
The more college loans and credit card debt that young adults age 18 to 27 have, the ...
President Bush on School Yearbook's 'List of Worst People of All Time'
A middle-school yearbook in Arkansas included a list titled the “Top 5 worst people of all time.” The list reads:
1. Adolf Hitler
2. Osama Bin Laden
3. Charles Manson
4. George W. Bush
5. Dick Cheney
After outraged parents complained, the school responded sensibly — covering ...
We Need Other Ways to Win
Before there was Academically Adrift, there was Other Ways to Win: Creating Alternatives for High School Graduates by professors Kenneth Gray and Edwin Herr.
In Other Ways to Win, Gray and Herr question the college-for-all stance by noting that college ...
Business Schools Need to Emphasize Their Great Books
On the NAS site, I discuss the mediocre quality of business textbooks and argue for professors to adopt a business version of Great Books.
Today’s business textbooks are chock full of PC shenanigans and racial bean-counting, but beyond those ...
Class of 2011, Most Indebted Ever
That is the case according to a Wall Street Journal article by Mark Whitehouse. This year’s graduating class will average $22,900 in student-loan debt.
I would stop here, but the article also presents a defense of student-loan debt that is ...
Re: Hand-Wringing over the Exuberance?
This is Twitter at it’s finest — a series of tweets from Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall after the bin Laden killing, courtesy of ESPN.com:
What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE ...
Correlation Does Not Equal Causation
According to a recent article in USA Today, “students who work more than 15 hours a week in high school show lower rates of college completion.”
So does that mean that high-school students should not work? USA Today seems to think ...
Last week, George Leef and Duke Cheston argued that all graduation rates are not equal. In that column, they ended with this salient point:
Keep in mind that colleges don’t graduate their students. Students graduate themselves by doing what ...
David Glenn lobbed a grenade into business education with his article, stating something in public that many have uttered in private for years.
The article contains points that echo the ones put forth by Arum and Roksa’s Academically Adrift — ...
Dress Codes for Professors
Kudos to Robert Weissberg on Minding the Campus for advocating more formal attire for professors.
I learned the hard way that I commanded greater respect from students when I stopped dressing casually on teaching days. I now get tons of “...
I know that yesterday I wrote about times when it may be worth it to pay more for a college. But, that doesn’t make this USA Today cartoon any less amusing.
Arm Yourself With the NAS Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 5th Edition
Spend some time checking out the 5th edition of the Sustainapedia on the National Association of Scholars site. This Encyclopedia of Sustainability contains key names, terms, books, colleges, and organizations that are related to the sustainability movement in higher education. ...
Yale Law School is allowing students to check out a “therapy dog” named Monty just like a library book. Students can check out pooch from the library for 30 minutes at a time.
According to Blair Kauffman, the law librarian: “It ...
Does the Future of Books Look Like the Past?
College Degrees and Active Civic Engagement
“How will reading The Federalist Papers help me get a job?”
That question floats through the minds of many students when they are assigned something that they think is inapplicable to their daily lives. One of the consequences of the ...
WSJ Acknowledges Poor MBA Student Writing Skills
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal ran a short piece that focused on employers’ acknowledging the poor writing skills of many MBA students and the associated response by B-schools.
Yes, writing skills are a problem, but I caution against Wharton’s ...
Some Students Actually Want to Write Better
It is no secret that a college degree does not certify good writing skills. Recently in the Chronicle, Mark Bauerlein explored some reasons why this is the case.
After reading hundreds upon hundreds of college-student essays, I’ve become a ...
Why I Feel For Non-Traditional Students
I enjoy highlighting the bright contributions of my students. Consider the following essay that a student wrote in response to a class discussion:
The idea that an undergraduate education in management will prepare one to manage or that any college ...
Tell Me What I Should Know
I had the opportunity to speak to a group of students over the weekend on what it means to be educated instead of credentialed. It was a refreshing experience to speak with truly motivated students. If all college students were ...
More Pathways to Prosperity Needed
On the NAS site, Ashley Thorne reported on the findings of a Harvard Graduate School of Education report, “Pathways to Prosperity,” and the accompanying response by the AAUP. This Harvard report focused on the need for additional options for higher ...
Perhaps I did not get this memo. I do not share Ben & Jerry’s politics, but I do enjoy their deliciously fattening ice cream. Yet, apparently it is fashionable to combine junk food and politics.
NAS President Peter Wood (on ...
Re: The Overselling of Ph.D.s
Wisdom from The Simpsons (Great find, Joanne Jacobs!):
Take That, Political Correctness!
Courtesy of Dennis Prager at Townhall.com:
Why does the name Florida State Seminoles offend Indians? One caller to my radio show once responded to that question by asking me how I would feel as a Jew if some team ...
The Advantage of Non-Careerist Disciplines
Thanks to Mark Bauerlein for allowing me to guest post on the Chronicle’s Brainstorm blog. In my essay, I figuratively compare business to the liberal arts by anthropomorphizing the two disciplines into fictitious athletic coaches. I argue that for ...
Re: Evidence that the Bubble is About to Burst?
This is just one man’s opinion, but I cannot overstate the importance of that Telegraph article for the future of higher education, especially if “school leaver entry schemes” become more widely adopted by top companies.
Google recently announced that ...
A Realistic Look at For-Profit Colleges
NAS President Peter Wood recently published an excellent four-part series exploring the future of for-profit higher education (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). These articles make excellent points that defend these publicly vilified institutions; Dr. Wood’s arguments are especially ...
Re: How Much Is Faculty Research Worth?
George’s socialism analogy for academic research is spot on. I doubt many “lower tier” journals would exist if faculty publications were not a crucial part of performance evaluations.
Individuals unaware of the publishing game would be astounded at the ...
Re: Berkeley Chancellor Ties Loughner to Immigration Reform
It was only a matter of time before someone from the ivory tower decided to play Six Degrees of Sarah Palin with public comments. Speaking of hate, I wonder how many cars in Berkeley still have “Buck Fush” bumper stickers ...
A Glimpse Into Our Future?
Kudos to the New York Times for running this article on the plight facing young, educated Europeans in a poor job market: “Europe’s Young Grow Agitated Over Future Prospects.”
The article is chock full of quotables pertaining to the ...
Higher Ed: The Next Generation
Questioning whether degrees are oversold can be easy, but cracking the foundation of college is only part of reform. We need more narratives of alternatives to the traditional college options that appears to be the only option for many.