Rescuing “Virtue and Talents” Amidst the War on Tests

On March 28, 2022, Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the school’s plan to restore the consideration of standardized tests to its undergraduate admissions process. A heavyweight bucks against the self-destructive path of attacking merit and standards. Will more follow suit? Or, is MIT’s … Continue reading “Rescuing “Virtue and Talents” Amidst the War on Tests”


The US Test Mess

Standardized educational tests do not perfectly measure student aptitude or achievement, and no one argues that they do. But they can differ from all other available measures in two respects: their standardization and their independence of education insider control. To be truly standardized, the same content must be administered in the same manner to all … Continue reading “The US Test Mess”


Did You Know? The Negative Effects of Racial Preferences on Minority Students

Racial preferences in university admissions aim to increase the representation of minorities in higher education. Some, however, have objected to these policies and argue students should be admitted based on academic merit, not based on race. And evidence suggests that race-based admissions policies negatively affect minority students. In a 2013 article entitled “The Sad Irony … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Negative Effects of Racial Preferences on Minority Students”


The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges

Parents will go to all sorts of lengths to give their children a leg up. In Guilty Admissions: The Bribes, Favors, and Phonies Behind the College Cheating Scandal, journalist Nicole LaPorte digs into how and why parents decided to work with the “college counselor” Rick Singer. LaPorte describes Singer’s strategies to place students in highly … Continue reading “The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges”


Advancing the Radical Agenda at UNC-Chapel Hill with Sneaky Language

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles. Part I can be found here. The phrase “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” is a loaded one; it does not signify noncontroversial principles, as might be assumed, but instead describes a radical political agenda. Throughout academia, programs and standards based on DEI are proliferating at a … Continue reading “Advancing the Radical Agenda at UNC-Chapel Hill with Sneaky Language”


Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’

The members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors are charged with a solemn duty: to oversee and guide the state’s public university system. Although some of their day-to-day responsibilities might seem mundane, many of the decisions they make shape the system’s standards, values, and the extent to which the university’s dual mission … Continue reading “Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’”


A Modest Proposal for Fixing the College Modern Language Requirement

In her fine opinion piece for the Martin Center, Megan Zogby bemoans the “Quixotic” requirement that North Carolina college and university students take between two and four courses in a language such as Spanish, French, or German. This requirement, Zogby asserts, “appears to have no meaningful effect on the language proficiency of college graduates.” What is more, … Continue reading “A Modest Proposal for Fixing the College Modern Language Requirement”


Reforming Higher Ed in 2021

The year 2020 brought changes that colleges would have never made by choice. Enrollment declines, remote classes, and dramatic employee cuts (for faculty and some staff alike) were unthinkable a year ago. But, for the sake of the future, more work remains. Below are some priorities the Martin Center staff would like to see catch … Continue reading “Reforming Higher Ed in 2021”


UNC Will Not Require the SAT Next Year

On July 23, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted to temporarily waive the SAT or ACT requirement for college applicants. The vote came after UNC administrators proposed that an “emergency temporary waiver” be approved so that students who are unable to take the test due to cancellations are not negatively impacted in … Continue reading “UNC Will Not Require the SAT Next Year”


If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?

The COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t kill the SAT, but will no doubt leave it in a badly weakened condition. Both the SAT (and its close competitor, the ACT) have had to cancel administration of their tests for the last few months and, according to this Washington Post story, universities have decided that they will make … Continue reading “If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?”