Mathematics as a Liberator

Following a growing trend in education called critical mathematics, the Seattle Public School system recently released a framework incorporating ethnic studies into their K-12 mathematics curriculum. It has a noble objective: To reduce the disparity in mathematics achievement between white students and students of color by teaching how different cultures have developed and employed mathematics … Continue reading “Mathematics as a Liberator”


The True Cost of a PhD: Giving Up a Family for Academia

In 2012, CBS noted the bleak future that awaited PhD graduates. From 2005 to 2009, American universities graduated 100,000 new PhDs but only created 16,000 new professorships. The average PhD student spends 8 years in graduate school and turns 33 years old before they graduate. Unfortunately, the outlook for PhDs hasn’t improved since 2012. More … Continue reading “The True Cost of a PhD: Giving Up a Family for Academia”


Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework

Though college leaders constantly remind the public about the value of a college degree, graduates sometimes leave without important knowledge. As Americans celebrate the 4th of July holiday, it’s a good time to reflect on just how little college students know about the Declaration of Independence and American history. The data are depressing. A 2016 … Continue reading “Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework”


Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State

Increasing teacher pay to improve teaching quality has grabbed media attention for months. But North Carolina’s General Assembly has been trying to figure out how to get better teachers into the classroom in other ways, too. Three proposed bills have a chance to make a difference. But what makes them stand out from other education … Continue reading “Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State”


The Legal Innovations Trying to Save Law School from Itself

The world of law school and the legal profession is in turmoil. This is because there are not only many market distortions at play, but because the economy is undergoing transitions. One of these distortions is the overabundance of federal aid, especially loans that allow law schools to maintain high levels of enrollment. Schools are even … Continue reading “The Legal Innovations Trying to Save Law School from Itself”


Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?

“Dartmouth falls out of an exclusive group,” declared a 2016 headline in The Washington Post just days after the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education released its 2015 classifications that moved Dartmouth College from the R-1 (that is, Research 1) to the R-2 (Research 2) category. “A Key Survey Indicates that Dartmouth May Be … Continue reading “Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?”


Science and Its Discontents: Too Few Jobs—or Too Many Scientists?

“The United States is producing more research scientists than academia can handle,” so begins a July 2016 article by respected New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata. It turns out that new PhDs in science have a hard time getting a job like their mentor’s: tenured faculty in a research university. Fifty years ago, in … Continue reading “Science and Its Discontents: Too Few Jobs—or Too Many Scientists?”


Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is now in its twenty-fourth year of existence. Originally the brainchild of then Governor Zell Miller, since 1993 this merit-based scholarship program has distributed in excess of $9 billion in lottery proceeds to about 1.7 million qualifying recipients. In order to be eligible for HOPE, which covers about 80% of tuition at … Continue reading “Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship”


Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma

Recently I attended a meeting of a committee of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors that has a mission of “setting goals for economic impact.” Higher education’s role in the economy cannot be ignored; the extent of that role is, however, highly debatable. Some people believe that academia is the place to … Continue reading “Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma”


Is Underemployment of Recent College Grads a Serious Problem?

For decades, the American higher education establishment was able to sell the idea that promoting college was sound policy because it seemed that nearly all graduates found good, high-paying jobs. But around 15 years ago, people began to notice that a rather large percentage of college grads were taking low-skill jobs with poor pay and … Continue reading “Is Underemployment of Recent College Grads a Serious Problem?”