Phi Beta Cons

College Testing

Here’s a story in Florida about bringing standardized tests to higher education in the same way some of them have been brought to K-12. It mentions the U.S. Commission on the Future of Higher Education and its insistence on the need to measure student learning, one way being to have students take a low-stakes exit exam in basic skills and knowledge. The university leaders cited in the article oppose the measure, making the usual objections about the uniformity of the tests, the difficulty of settling upon test content, and the inability to measure “critical thinking.” But the attempt to find out just how much knowledge and skills young people acquire from their course work is so commonsensical a proposal that it won’t be stopped by administrators worried about the performance of their schools becoming a public issue. What could be worse, to them, than having the test scores of their graduating seniors included in the criteria of U.S. News & World Report’s college ranking, or added to the descriptions in Fiske’s guide to colleges and universities? What would make them work harder to shore up their curricula?

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Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More

If You Like Your Police, You Can Keep Your Police

The most amusing thing about the Obama v. the Squad kerfuffle is that there is not actually an inch of substantive daylight between the supposed combatants. Former President Obama does not disagree with the sentiments or objectives of Ilhan Omar et al. He disagrees with their tactic of pursuing it through a ... Read More

If You Like Your Police, You Can Keep Your Police

The most amusing thing about the Obama v. the Squad kerfuffle is that there is not actually an inch of substantive daylight between the supposed combatants. Former President Obama does not disagree with the sentiments or objectives of Ilhan Omar et al. He disagrees with their tactic of pursuing it through a ... Read More