Archive for the 'Higher Education' Category

The Fence Around the Ivory Tower

Steve Sailer in Taki’s Magazine from a little over a year ago:

In 2010, MIT unveiled plans to expand undergrad enrollment by six percent, which would only get it back to where it was in the 1990s.

These sorts of thing catch my attention due to the age of the Ace and Deuce. The Ivies could do wonders for this country if they would expand enrollment. It’s not just the Ivies, it’s also Rice, Stanford, Chicago and Northwestern, and on and on…

Bringing It All Back Home: Released Today in 1965

Gerard reminds us that today is the 49th anniversary of the release of  Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home.

He also has a great little story about a Cowboy and a Cop: Horseman Passing By. Go read it.

Since I’m home alone this afternoon, I’ll probably be listening to quite of bit of Dylan. The guy has an amazing catalog, which is almost pointless to say, I know. But I’ve found that each listen provides additional reward. I am also pleased to report that my listening has produced a Dylan fan in the Ace.

I bet she drives her college roommates crazy with listening to Dylan.

The Dark Power of Fraternities

One quote from the article:

Most of them are awash in alcohol. And most if not all of them are bereft of any meaningful adult supervision.” As for the risk-management policies themselves: “They are primarily designed to take the nationals’ fingerprints off the injury and deaths, and I don’t believe that they offer any meaningful provisions.” The fraternity system, he argues, is “the largest industry in this country directly involved in the provision of alcohol to underage people.” The crisis-management plans reveal that in “the foreseeable future” there may be “the death or serious injury” of a healthy young person at a fraternity function.

I read that long, and worth the time, article. The author makes a strong case that the fraternity system is deeply flawed. She also hits pretty hard on much of the problem being alcohol. Since college students can’t drink on campus at school sponsored events (most students are under 21), they will go off campus to the parties at the frat houses. The drinking age being 21, and the whole cascade of other factors the author lists, cause the crazy fraternity situation.

The drinking age should be lowered to 18. Alcohol should be deglamorized. It should be more common and less mysterious and romantic.

It is an insane public policy that will require the Deuce to register for the draft when he turns 18, but will not allow him to legally buy a beer.

It is also insane, I’m looking at you feminists, that the Deuce has to register for the draft but the Ace gets to skate on that requirement.

Go read the whole thing: The Dark Power of Fraternities – The Atlantic.

Matt Walsh

He has a terrific rant on college debt:

So he’ll amass a gigantic debt, miss out on four or five years that could be spent honing his specific skillset, and end up exactly where he could have been, and would have been, without college. Only now he’s 28 thousand dollars in the hole and half a decade behind the curve.

RTWA: Thank God I wasn’t college material | The Matt Walsh Blog.

I’m going to start sending links to the Ace. She is contemplating transferring to a school where she would have to borrow money to finance her education. It’s a bad idea, and I keep hammering on it.

College Football on New Year’s Day

From the Dallas Morning News Sports section TV listings:

College football

Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia 11am ESPN2

Heart of Dallas Bowl: North Texas vs. UNLV 11am ESPNU

Capital One Bowl: South Carolina vs. Wisconsin noon Ch. 8

Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. LSU noon ESPN

Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan State 4:00 ESPN

Fiesta Bowl: UCF vs. Baylor 7:30 ESPN

Does anyone but me spot a problem here? I can’t believe we have public, tax payer supported, institutions of higher learning with sports departments. But if we are going to have these public institutions putting on minor league football games, should we have to pay to watch them play out of town games? I don’t think this will play well with the state legislatures. Someone will complain and notice will be taken.

Out of all the schools listed above, I bet not one of them has a cash flow positive sports department. Maybe LSU. But none of the others. And I do know that Baylor is a private institution.

Elon University Offering Masturbation Course

Check it out. It’s true.

My kids won’t be attending.

The Best New Universities In America

Every year that UTD MBA gets more valuable.

Academy Fight Song

This piece has been linked all over the web, I think mostly because it has some great lines that are perfect for a blog post. When I went to read the whole essay on the state of higher education in this country, I came across this:

What actually will happen to higher ed, when the breaking point comes, will be an extension of what has already happened, what money wants to see happen. Another market-driven disaster will be understood as a disaster of socialism, requiring an ever deeper penetration of the university by market rationality.

Leftists just can tell the difference between a market the is functioning imperfectly and an industry that is overridden with bad incentives created by the government. They can’t see that the government has created barriers to entry. They can’t see, especially in the case of the author of this essay the corruption of the accrediting bodies. They look at the student loan program and recognize its evil qualities, but do not recognize that is is a creation of government.

I wonder what will happen to the liberal arts. I imagine, because we, as  a nation, are wealthy enough that there will always be liberal arts. The surviving liberal arts programs just won’t be populated with students that think the degrees will lead to a high paying job.

As is often said, go read the whole thing. Really, it’s very good.

What Has Been Read Lately

When I started this blogging effort, I was much more serious than I have been recently. When I started I did a bunch of stuff on education. I also dabbled in financial regulation. I soon gave up on anything related to kitchen design as that stuff moves at a snail’s pace and you could be current with one blog post a year. Lately I’ve been putting up stuff that, for the most part is kind of silly. There’s 10′s of millions of guys like me with a blog. There are hundreds of millions more using the Hello Kitty blogging tool. I’m not really carving out a niche here.

Anyway, here is what I’ve been reading ’round the web

There has been a bunch of stuff going ’round the web about Kashawn Campbell. I do recommend reading the original LA Times story before going on to the other posts. Education Realist is very good. Steve Sailer is his usual provocative self: Forrest Gump goes to Berkeley. As usual, many of the comments at both places are good too.

Also on the education front, there is this ridiculous piece at Slate: If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person. It is so bad that I think it might be satire:

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.

That paragraph right there is what makes me think the piece is satire. She, the author, is obviously aware that without AP calculus and other topics, there would be no internet that would allow such wide circulation of such nonsense. If it is not satire, it is the most vile piece of statist crap I’ve read in a while. Sending my kids to the Dallas schools would be child abuse. The author, naturally, does not acknowledge where our president sends his kids to school. Anyway, Sailer and his commenters have some thoughts. (Update: Just as an example: check out this interesting comment on dog whistles.)James Taranto, as usual, criticizes the logic behind the author’s argument. Angus does a down and dirty look at the numbers, to show how bad the argument is practically. But the guy who really lets the Slate author have it is Ken at Popehat. (Cute kids Ken!)

It’s Friday, so everyone should stop by and look at Friday Ephemera at David Thompson’s site. A sample:

YouTube Preview Image

You should watch that video, it’s short and funny. Those Japanese are pretty whacky!

I’m off now to find a job. I’m still looking after five months. Pretty soon I’m going to have something to say about the job market and the skills matching problem.

All 25,000 test takers fail the University of Liberia entrance exam

This is kinda’ interesting:

In a startling moment indicating either an educational system on the ropes, or a pretty significant grading error, some 25,000 Liberian students who took the admission exam to attend the state-run University of Liberia, failed. That’s every single test taker, reports the BBC.

Freshman class of zero