Peter Sacks and I Go Another Round

On January 29, Peter Sacks, whom I recently debated over the question of whether we’ve oversold college, posted a short essay on Minding the Campus. Evidently, it was prompted by critical comments Hans Bader and I made regarding Obama’s recent higher-ed pronouncements.

Today I posted a response.

Space was limited, so I could not address every point I’d have liked to. One that I had to leave out was Mr. Sacks’s contention that large numbers of American students are being denied “the dream of a college education.” The trouble with that, as his own 1996 book Generation X Goes to College and numerous other books and articles published since then show, many of the students who go to college don’t care in the least about education. They’re enrolled because they want the credential that (they’ve been told) is necessary for getting a “good job.” They want that credential with as little effort as possible and often rebel against professors who don’t play along. They search for the courses that are the easiest. Many graduate with little or no gain in cognitive ability. Increasing the number of young people who go to college would necessarily mean digging deeper into the barrel of high-school graduates and most of those students will be even more academically weak and disengaged. College isn’t what they want or need.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More