Why the Canon Wars Still Matter

Like an overlong proxy war, the “canon” skirmishes of the 1980s and ’90s no longer feature in the media, though the conflict persists. As in a battle over this or that town, the ongoing war might manifest as a fight over particular books, but the real disagreement exists between competing visions for humanity and society. … Continue reading “Why the Canon Wars Still Matter”


ECU Makes the Secret Hurt Visible

Is higher education the highest priority for East Carolina University, or is the institution just pushing a political narrative? On August 19th, ECU held its 2022-23 faculty convocation, and the Martin Center was able to attend via livestream. The speeches and events that transpired were eye-opening and revealed much about the path ECU is encouraging … Continue reading “ECU Makes the Secret Hurt Visible”


Why Blacks Must Be Responsible for Closing the Racial Achievement Gap

It’s no secret that black students fare poorly on the academic achievement scale. Their scores on standardized achievement tests, their academic performance while in school, and their rates of enrollment and graduation lag far behind their white and Asian counterparts. The persistence of this achievement gap is harmful to society. But how can we close … Continue reading “Why Blacks Must Be Responsible for Closing the Racial Achievement Gap”


Did You Know? College Closures Are On the Rise

In the past few years, colleges have been closing their doors like never before. 607 colleges either closed or merged from 2014 to 2020, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. 2018-19 saw far and away the most college closures since data began to be tracked. In that academic year alone, 236 … Continue reading “Did You Know? College Closures Are On the Rise”


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”


NIL Chaos Hits College Athletics

Since the Supreme Court’s 2021 ruling in NCAA v. Alston, collegiate sports have been roiled with confusion and a lack of clarity regarding name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules. When the NCAA was forced to dramatically shift its stance on athletes’ compensation, state officials, university systems, and individual colleges hastily assembled NIL guidelines for their … Continue reading “NIL Chaos Hits College Athletics”


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”


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”


Gov. Cooper’s Race-Preferences Brief is Inherently Discriminatory

On August 1st, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina submitted an amicus brief siding with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in its attempt to use race as a factor in university admissions. The amicus brief comes at a time when the future of affirmative action is being litigated in the Supreme Court. A group … Continue reading “Gov. Cooper’s Race-Preferences Brief is Inherently Discriminatory”


Inflation Will Hit Universities Hard

It is indisputable that the U.S. faces the worst inflation in 40 years, an outcome that seemingly no one was predicting a few years ago. The impact on Americans of rapid, unanticipated price increases varies. Retired citizens living on interest income from bonds and fixed pensions are badly hurt, for example, while some others, including … Continue reading “Inflation Will Hit Universities Hard”