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Education: 2010: Strings Attached

by Frederic J. Fransen

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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 would you do? You might start by creating similar committees of correspondence to pool information and resources toward the end of producing a revolution in higher education. That is the idea behind the newly created National Review Collegiate Giving Clubs, a joint project between this magazine and the Center for Excellence in Higher Education to encourage donors to identify and fund initiatives consistent with the values underpinning our nation and our civilization.

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