Roger Kimball (born 1953), a notable American art critic and social commentator, is the Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and the Publisher of Encounter Books. He was educated at Cheverus High School, a Jesuit institution in South Portland, Maine, and then at Bennington College, where he received his B.A. in philosophy and classical Greek, and at Yale University. He first gained prominence in the early 1990s with the publication of his book, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Higher Education. He currently serves on the board of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the board of Transaction Publishers and as a Visitor of Ralston College, a start-up liberal arts college based in Savannah, Georgia. He also served on the Board of Visitors of St. John’s College (Annapolis and Santa Fe). His latest book, The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia, was published by St. Augustine’s Press in June of 2012.
Posts from the ‘Education’ Category
By Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr.
Why racial preferences in college admissions hurt minority students — and shroud the education system in dishonesty.
Affirmative action in university admissions started in the late 1960s as a noble effort to jump-start racial integration and foster equal opportunity. But somewhere along the decades, it has lost its way.
Over time, it has become a political lightning rod and one of our most divisive social policies. It has evolved into a regime of racial preferences at almost all selective schools — preferences so strikingly large and politically unpopular that administrators work hard to conceal them. The largest, most aggressive preferences are usually reserved for upper-middle-class minorities on whom they often inflict significant academic harm, whereas more modest policies that could help working-class and poor people of all races are given short shrift. Academic leaders often find themselves flouting the law and acting in ways that aggravate the worst consequences of large preferences. They have become prisoners of a system that many privately deplore for its often-perverse unintended effects but feel they cannot escape.
What else could you expect with a mayor like that…?
By Barbara Jones
The Los Angeles Unified board Tuesday approved a $30 million contract to buy iPads for 30,000 students, the first phase in an ambitious plan to equip every pupil with a tablet computer within the next 14 months.
The deal is a huge win for Apple, as the district expects to continue with the same vendor as it acquires the technology that can support the new Common Core curriculum launching in 2014, as well as a new online state testing system.
The plan calls for the 47 schools in Phase I to have iPads by year’s end, with the rest of the tablets purchased within 14 months.
“This is an amazing adventure we’re about to embark on, so hopefully we’re making the right choice,” said board member Tamar Galatzan. “Nothing is perfect, but we’ve made the best choice possible, based on the advice that’s out there. This is the least-expensive option and, hopefully, we’re in for a fruitful relationship.”
The vote was 6-0, with board member Bennett Kayser abstaining because he owns stock in Apple. He and Superintendent John Deasy, another Apple stockholder, left the board room during the discussion.
By Heidi Golledge
The overall unemployment rate is moving at a snail’s pace — and not always in the right direction. Particularly troubling is the stubbornness of America’s youth unemployment rate, which is still hovering over 16 percent. Even for those who do find jobs out of college in the past two years, more than 40 percent are working jobs that don’t require a degree. More than 280,000 college graduates last year were working minimum-wage jobs, according to the Labor Department. We must begin to ask ourselves: What’s keeping these hopeful workers from gainful employment?
The answer is education. A large number of the available jobs belong to the increasingly important technology sector, requiring specific technological or engineering training. Though 1.8 million students are set to graduate this year, only 16 percent will do so with degrees in science, math, or engineering, far less than their foreign counterparts. Looking at the current crop of college graduates, high-tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Intel are struggling to fill their rapidly expanding corporate rosters. As a result, they’ve naturally turned to the rest of the world to fill their needs.
Unfortunately, their hiring prospects are just as challenging when they turn abroad. Expanding companies have been limited by the federal government’s current immigration policy, which awards just 65,000 high-skilled H-1B visas to prospective workers per year. Under a new plan being floated in the U.S. Senate by the so-called Gang of Eight, the number of these visas would increase to 110,000 per year.
By Philip Bump
The latest edition of “Barack Obama Holds an Event with Regular Folks to Try and Get Congress to Do Something” will take place on Friday. The regular folks will be college students; the “something” this time around is preventing a doubling of the interest rate on student loans. Those college students better bring their game faces, too: If the interest rate hike isn’t prevented, college educations are about to get over $5 billion more expensive, with a lot of that cost falling on those least able to afford it.
Read the Rest @ What the $5 Billion Threat to College Loans Looks Like – Yahoo! News.
By Janet Al-Saad
NEW YORK (MainStreet) —If you’re in the market for higher education – but can’t afford the hefty price tag out-of-pocket – get ready to pay a tax on your ambition. The interest rates paid on federal student loans (especially at the graduate level) exceed those for other notes, effectively placing a tax on the most ambitious. A recent study by the New York Fed sheds light on the growing burden: Student loan borrowers are for the first time less likely to obtain mortgages or auto loans. That’s capital being diverted from ostensibly more economically productive activities to debt repayment.
… The government responded to the onerous burden of student loan debt by creating new income-sensitive federal loan repayment programs such as Income Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn. These programs enable borrowers to repay based on their earnings, capping payments at 10 or 15% of disposable income. For those having difficulty repaying on a traditional ten-year schedule, they can help reduce delinquency.
But the programs also have their drawbacks. Although all remaining debt is forgiven after 20 or 25 years (PAYE and IBR, respectively) of repayment, it still means borrowers are on the hook to the federal government for decades, often seeing their balance balloon despite making regular payments. And because these are government-run programs, collections on delinquencies can be a lot more aggressive — including garnishing wages, confiscating tax refunds and imposing hefty collection fees of up to 18.5%.
A financial bubble is where a rapid expansion in a particular market or asset is followed by a steep contraction. Prices often rise far above where they should be, considering fundamentals or intrinsic value. The aftershocks of the housing bubble still plague many Americans, but an even bigger bubble is raising red flags.
The skyrocketing price of a college education is causing an epidemic with student loans as more people rack up unsustainable amounts of debt to further their education. These loans are often bundled together and sold in a offering. While the appetite for risky assets is strong as the Federal Reserve punishes savers with low interest rates, investors are not willing to take a chance on some bonds backed by student loans.
Read the Rest @ Is the College Debt Bubble Starting to Crack? | Wall St. Cheat Sheet.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 40 percent of recent U.S. college graduates are underemployed or need more training to get on a career track, a poll released on Tuesday showed. The online survey of 1,050 workers who finished school in the past two years and 1,010 who will receive their degree in 2013 also found that many graduates, some heavily in debt because of the cost of their education, say they are in jobs that do not require a college degree. Thirty-four percent said they had student loans of $30,000 or less, while 17 percent owed between $30,000 to $50,000.
… More than half of graduates said it was difficult finding a job, but 39 percent were employed by the time they left college. Sixty eight percent said they are working full time, while 16 percent are in part-time positions.
By Adrienne Burke
Mark Zuckerberg might have been cast by the media as a Gen Y hero, but it turns out that not too many twenty-somethings want to emulate him. Most college students say they do not aspire to entrepreneurship. Asked in a recent survey if they are interested in starting a company in the next few years, more than 60 percent said “no” and only 8 percent said they are “very” interested. Only about one in five students wish their school offered entrepreneurship courses.
AfterCollege, an online career network for college students and recent graduates, surveyed 600 of its registered college students from a variety of U.S. colleges and universities. The resulting report, issued jointly today with Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm run by 29-year-old Dan Schawbel, reveals how students are developing their careers while in college. The outlook is rather grim.
According to “The Student Employment Study,” most students do take internships, but most don’t get paid for them, and most don’t get a job offer out of the deal either. Nearly half of students surveyed have not had a job interview in the past six months.
By Larry Elder
That the older Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, became a terrorist strikes one as disturbing. That younger brother Dzhokhar also became a terrorist strikes one as frightening.
Adjusting to new country can be trying and stressful. The brothers’ parents came to America, only to return to Russia. Tamerlan came at age 16. A widely reported quote attributed to Tamerlan from 2010 says: “I don’t have one American friend. I don’t understand them.” According to his aunt, Tamerlan became a devout Muslim. He reportedly once stood up and shouted down his imam for praising Martin Luther King. One shocked witness recalled Tamerlan yelling, “You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!”
… What about the “education,” especially in the social sciences, that Dzhokhar likely received in high school and college? Did the usual left-wing professors, who dominate in number and influence on nearly all of America’s college campuses, teach his courses? Did his instructors stress America’s imperfections and teach that racism, sexism and homophobia remain major problems in America, that America is an imperial power that dominates the world, that “Bush lied, people died” on the Iraq War, that Abu Ghraib represents our American “military culture of abuse,” which explains why so many foreigners “legitimately hate America,” etc.?
The National Association of Scholars, a self-described “independent membership association of academics,” released a report last year on the effect of academic bias in the University of California system. Because of the lopsided domination in the number of liberal humanities professors vs. the small number of conservatives in the same field, the 10 UC campuses, they write, have become “a sanctuary for a narrow ideological segment of the spectrum of social and political ideas.”
MELBOURNE, FL — An algebra instructor at Brevard Community College has been fired after an investigation by college officials found that she urged — and forced in some cases — students to sign pledge cards promising to vote for President Barack Obama in November.
Administrators in the Los Angeles Unified School District would no longer be allowed to suspend students for mouthing off or other acts of “willful defiance” under a groundbreaking school board resolution set to be proposed next week.
Amid rising national concern that harsh discipline practices disproportionately harm minority students, the resolution by board President Monica Garcia would mark the first state ban on suspensions for willful defiance… Faer said two decades of research has shown that suspending students does not improve behavior but only places students at higher risk for dropping out or running afoul of the law.
I wonder if the LAUSD ever read this study…
This report reviews existing research on the link between student disruption and academic achievement, reviews current Wisconsin statues and practices regarding student behavior, includes comments from a discussion with teachers from the state’s largest school district, and uses data from both the Department of Public Instruction and from the National Center for Education Statistics to test several hypotheses. The finding that student behavior affects student achievement at the school district level is both intuitive and well-supported by evidence.
… Ultimately, this report concludes that Wisconsin must honor its commitment to make a public education available to all of its students, but must not do so at the expense of the vast majority of pupils who do not engage in disruptive behaviors. Similarly, teachers must be supported and allowed to teach in an environment where their focus can be on student learning, not discipline.
Read the Rest @ The Impact of Disruptive Students in Wisconsin School Districts
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A high school English teacher who had students pretend to be Jew-hating Nazis in a writing assignment has been placed on leave.
The teacher at Albany High School caused a storm of criticism after having students practice the art of persuasive writing by penning a letter to a fictitious Nazi government official arguing that “Jews are evil.”
Read the Rest @ Yahoo News
The following article discusses the failing Los Angeles Unified School District, though I’m sure the parents aren’t holding up their end of the bargain either….
A Harvard study released Monday found that just 16 percent of LAUSD’s Class of 2011 passed the classes needed to attend California’s public universities, an indicator of the challenges facing the district as it makes rigorous college-prep courses a requirement for graduation.
Researchers tracked Los Angeles Unified’s Class of 2011 from the time students entered ninth grade, creating a snapshot of how many graduated four years later and how many completed the A-G curriculum. The slate of 15 classes is needed for admission to the Cal State and University of California systems and – beginning with this year’s ninth-graders – is required for graduation from LAUSD. The Class of 2016 can pass those courses with a “D” while future classes will have to get a “C” or better in order to earn credit for taking them.
… Using information provided by LAUSD, researchers found that 66 percent of students who entered ninth grade in 2008-09 were on track to graduate, but only 59 got their diploma four years later. And just 16 percent of those students completed the A-G coursework by the time they graduated, although 36 percent had started down the college-prep track as ninth-graders.
Read the Rest @ Daily News