A Broad and Devastating Offensive Against Racial Preferences

Last year, advocates of racial preferences in California, where they’d been banned  since 1996, attempted to change the law so that state colleges and universities could again give admission advantages to certain groups. Despite outspending opponents by about 15-1 and with backing from big business, labor, and other organizations, the effort at repealing racial neutrality … Continue reading “A Broad and Devastating Offensive Against Racial Preferences”


Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist

During the last year, many universities throughout North America have declared “anti-racism” to be their official policy. Consider this sample of quotations. “We must ask how Princeton can address systemic racism in the world, and we must also ask how to address it within our own community.” —Christopher L. Eisgruber, president, Princeton University. “The University … Continue reading “Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist”


‘Core’ Academics Neglect Social, Emotional Learning—Music Education Can Change That

One of the most important aspects of our society is educating our children to properly function within it. While the education system is centered around the “core” academics, research in recent decades has suggested that Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has unrealized benefits for academic prowess and well-being. SEL is “the process through which children … Continue reading “‘Core’ Academics Neglect Social, Emotional Learning—Music Education Can Change That”


The Overhyped College Dropout ‘Scandal’

About 40 percent of Americans who enroll in college drop out before earning a certificate or degree. A high percentage of those who drop out are from poor families; they attended K-12 schools where academic standards were low and students who really tried to learn faced peer rejection for “acting white.” Still, some graduate and … Continue reading “The Overhyped College Dropout ‘Scandal’”


Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement

Using Advanced Placement (AP) courses to fulfill college requirements has long helped college students save both time and money. But there are varying opinions about the value of AP courses and exams, with some arguing that they do not match the rigor of introductory college courses they replace. This disagreement sometimes leads to inconsistency in … Continue reading “Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement”


A Dreamer of the Golden Dream: Jerry Brown’s Future for Higher Education

The title of this article alludes to Joan Didion’s famous essay about “love and death in the golden land,” a cautionary tale about the wreckage left behind when dreams collide with reality. Historically, California has always attracted dreamers and today one of the state’s biggest dreamers is Governor Jerry Brown, who once said, “A politician … Continue reading “A Dreamer of the Golden Dream: Jerry Brown’s Future for Higher Education”


Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?

On Valentine’s Day, The University of North Carolina System released “Leading on Literacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Preparation Across the University of North Carolina System.” For me, it was not love at first sight. “Leading on Literacy” represents the latest effort by the UNC System to address the shortcomings of teacher education programs generally and literacy … Continue reading “Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?”


The Conservative Case for Community Colleges, Part I: To Parents

For many parents, the prospect of sending their kids off to college can be daunting. If the price tag alone doesn’t scare them silly, there are more than enough stories about campus rape culture, fatal binge drinking, the opioid crisis, snowflake syndrome, attacks on free speech, and lack of due process to keep parents awake … Continue reading “The Conservative Case for Community Colleges, Part I: To Parents”


How Common Core Damages Students’ College Readiness

As Massachusetts was considering signing on to a national curriculum and testing plan called Common Core, one of its lead writers gave a presentation to its state board of education. Even Common Core advocate Professor Jason Zimba agreed this national program would prepare students “for the colleges most kids go to, but not for the … Continue reading “How Common Core Damages Students’ College Readiness”


The New College Cheating: Why Not Buy Your Degree?

Like hospital “superbugs” that grow increasingly deadly and difficult to kill, cheating by college students keeps morphing into new and more virulent forms. Notes hidden away under a shirt cuff during an exam or plagiarizing a few paragraphs to pad a paper are minor league stuff compared with the new kinds of cheating that students … Continue reading “The New College Cheating: Why Not Buy Your Degree?”