Magazine October 18, 2010, Issue

Education: 2010: Strings Attached

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Suppose you were living in the American colonies in the 1760s and had painfully concluded that your governing institutions were no longer serving you and your neighbors. What would you do? The colonists created “committees of correspondence” to share their grievances, pool their efforts, and respond in concert. These committees laid the groundwork for the Boston Tea Party and other, more aggressive actions, culminating in the American Revolution.

What if the behemoth were not the British Empire, but the $375 billion–a–year U.S. higher-education industry? Suppose you concluded that certain aspects of it were failing American students and needed dramatic reform. What

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