Phi Beta Cons

Higher Education? Is a Devastating Critique of American Higher Ed

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I review Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus. The book has been getting a great deal of attention — and deserves it.

To put the authors’ case in a nutshell, college and university education in the U.S. (with a few exceptions) costs much more than it needs to and delivers much less education than it should. It’s a splendid deal for administrators and tenured professors, but bad for the rest of us, who foot the bills, and especially the students, who get little education of lasting value.

Do we have the beginnings of a Left-Right convergence here? The critique Hacker and Dreifus give echoes themes familiar to people who have read Charles Murray and Thomas Sowell. (In fact, Sowell blasts Hacker’s book Money in his Intellectuals and Society, but they’re in agreement on the waste and folly of our higher-ed system.)

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

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