Measuring the Spread of DEI

A constant concern in my academic sub-field of comparative politics is how to create concepts and measurements that stand up to scrutiny when applied to several cases. When we hear someone claim that politics in Country X are “corrupt,” our first questions are “What do you mean by corruption?” and “Compared to where?” This concern … Continue reading “Measuring the Spread of DEI”

What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness

The SAT has been in the news again, this time because of the claim that test-optional policies are a way for colleges to covertly impose affirmative action. It’s true that such policies have created a two-tier system that allows colleges to accept more black and Hispanic students than would otherwise qualify for admission. But the … Continue reading “What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness”

Did You Know? Both Parties Agree that College Needs to Change

When both Republicans and Democrats agree on an issue, the issue must be rather basic. Both parties agree that inflation is not ideal. Both parties agree that literacy is important. Both parties agree that sleep is necessary for humans. But, apart from basics like these, they agree on little else. However, new research indicates that … Continue reading “Did You Know? Both Parties Agree that College Needs to Change”

America Needs Better Teachers

It’s a sad fact that many of our teachers are weak. They’re weak on knowledge of their subjects and weak on teaching technique. Unfortunately, we know little about effective professional-development programs. The major reason lies in the research on professional development itself. A major review, in 2008, of the research on professional development for teachers … Continue reading “America Needs Better Teachers”

No, There Is Not a “Neoliberal” Poltergeist in Higher Ed

Higher education suffers from a multitude of flaws. University marketing departments habitually over-promise the benefits of their degree programs to unsuspecting high-school students. Mandatory “general education” classes extract sizable tuition fees from students while delivering little discernible benefit in knowledge or critical thinking skills. A student-debt crisis leaves college graduates in the financial hole for … Continue reading “No, There Is Not a “Neoliberal” Poltergeist in Higher Ed”

The Truth About Student Mismatch

Among the arguments against the policy of admitting students to colleges because they have the right ancestry—that is, they appear to come from “underrepresented” minority groups—is the fact that it can mismatch students and schools. At least sometimes, students admitted to fulfill perceived diversity needs are far behind their classmates in academic ability and find … Continue reading “The Truth About Student Mismatch”

Did You Know? High School Graduation Rates Increased (!) During the Pandemic

While, in the last few years, higher education has seen dwindling enrollment rates, high school graduation rates have gone in the opposite direction. In fact, high school graduation rates have reportedly increased, despite, or perhaps as a result of, COVID-19. An increase in high school graduation rates is surprising considering the educational limitations that the … Continue reading “Did You Know? High School Graduation Rates Increased (!) During the Pandemic”

A Better Way to Teach Law

If you want to learn law and be a working lawyer in the United States, you have one option: earn a J.D. (Doctor of Laws) degree, which requires three years of study in law school. You’ll also need a four-year bachelor’s degree first. After being admitted to one of the 200 American Bar Association (ABA) … Continue reading “A Better Way to Teach Law”

Higher Education is Complicit in the Politicization of Science

John Staddon is an emeritus professor of biology at Duke University and, thankfully, an academician who doesn’t fear being “canceled” for voicing incorrect opinions. His latest book, Science in an Age of Unreason, abounds in such opinions. Staddon argues that science is in dire straits in America due to the way that it has become … Continue reading “Higher Education is Complicit in the Politicization of Science”

Peer-Reviewed History is Dying of Wokeness

What is the state of academic history? Take a look at the latest issue of the American Historical Review, the flagship journal of the academic discipline. It doesn’t publish bread-and-butter research articles; those go to specialist journals and fill published essay collections. Instead, its articles illustrate entire schools of historiography, using research as an entrée … Continue reading “Peer-Reviewed History is Dying of Wokeness”