Kelly Field of the Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the bipartisan Student Right to Know Before You Go Act of 2013, which aims to provide students and parents with reliable information on earnings by program of study and state of employment, cumulative debt levels, transfer rates, and graduation rates at U.S. coleges and universities. The higher education lobby has fought similar measures in the past on the grounds that a federal “unit record” system threatens the privacy of students, and so students and parents have no reliable way of knowing, for example, how many Pell Grant recipients at a given school actually graduate within five years. This data can be anonymized, and so the privacy concerns are almost entirely a canard. But the widespread availability of reliable data on student outcomes would, for obvious reasons, represent a grave threat to colleges and universities that offer a substandard education and that leave many students with heavy debt loads and little else. Opponents of the legislation are now turning to delaying tactics — some are calling for further study to determine the data students want on outcomes, as though we will somehow discover that students don’t really care about graduation rates and debt levels and earnings by program of study after all. It could be that students would prefer to know which colleges party the hardest. I doubt it, but it’s at least possible. Yet data on things like graduation rates and debt levels and earnings are presumably of great interest to parents and to taxpayers, which seems like reason enough to pass the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, and indeed to go further in the direction of creating a unit record system.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she is confident she will be the next speaker of the House, despite a potential challenge from another congresswoman. “I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes. . . . I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House,” ... Read More
This is a column about impeachment, but first, a confession: I think I might be guilty of insider trading. At this point, I would like to assure my dear friends at the SEC that I do not mean this in any actionable legal sense, but only in principle. Some time ago, I was considering making an investment in a ... Read More
Political consultant Mark Penn wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Hillary Clinton not only will run for president again, but will prevail. He writes: “Mrs. Clinton has a 75% approval rating among Democrats, an unfinished mission to be the first female president, and a personal grievance against Mr. Trump, ... Read More
Two researchers have been forced to issue a major correction to a recent study indicating oceans have been warming at a significantly higher rate than previously thought due to climate change. The paper, published October 31 in the scientific journal Nature, suggested ocean temperatures have risen roughly 60 ... Read More
Today, across Twitter, I began to see a number of people condemning the Trump administration (and Betsy DeVos, specifically) for imposing a new definition of sexual assault on campus so strict that it would force women to prove that they were so harassed that they'd been chased off campus and couldn't return. ... Read More