Phi Beta Cons

Reforming Higher Ed Requires More Than Perestroika

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I review Prof. Robert Zemsky’s book Making Reform Work.

Zemsky, who served on the Spellings Commission, has been called “higher education’s best critical friend.” Unfortunately, the book doesn’t really get at the structural problems that beset higher education, problems that ensure escalating costs coupled with woeful results. I liken Zemsky’s analysis to that of Soviet economists under Gorbachev’s perestroika — devising methods to make the central planning system work a little better, but not arguing that central planning itself is the problem.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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