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?”


Why Do American Universities Lead the World in Scientific Research?

Miguel Urquiola is professor and chair of the department of economics at Columbia University. His special field is education and his book Markets, Minds, and Money: Why America Leads the World in University Research is about American higher education—its history, its relationship to higher education in Europe, and the trajectory it has followed from the … Continue reading “Why Do American Universities Lead the World in Scientific Research?”


The Right College: Students Using Data to Find Their Best Match

Which college a student chooses to attend is a major decision that can affect the rest of their life. What students want to study, what they can afford to pay, and cultural fit can all influence their choice. Throughout the process, students have all sorts of vague information, but providing them with data specific to … Continue reading “The Right College: Students Using Data to Find Their Best Match”


Did You Know? For Shape of Post-Virus Higher Ed, Watch Public Colleges

Doomsday predictions for higher education are a dime a dozen. The grandest claims expect “a handful of elite cyborg universities” to reshape a college education. Less-dire guesses see an end to the “buffet” of programs, extracurriculars, and university revenues common today. And pre-coronavirus visions of the future expected a variety of disruptions that failed to … Continue reading “Did You Know? For Shape of Post-Virus Higher Ed, Watch Public Colleges”


As Budgets Tighten, Colleges Still Vulnerable to Ransomware

Colleges and universities around the country are proving to be easy prey to hackers with ransom demands. In Massachusetts, Cape Cod Community College was defrauded of $800,000 last year, while Colorado’s Regis University paid an undisclosed amount to regain access to their files after a ransomware attack—and still did not get access back. Ransomware is … Continue reading “As Budgets Tighten, Colleges Still Vulnerable to Ransomware”


Look Beyond Citation Counts to Kickstart Scientific Innovation

In scientific research, new ideas have become harder to find. Innovation has fallen compared to 50 years ago. Rather than a fear of “too much change,” many researchers worry about stagnation. One argument suggests that the low-hanging fruit of scientific research has already been picked. Older scientists made the major breakthroughs, and younger scientists now … Continue reading “Look Beyond Citation Counts to Kickstart Scientific Innovation”


University Researchers Search for Solutions to Coronavirus Pandemic

Here at the Martin Center, we often criticize university research. Rightly so. We have noted that academic journals are too expensive. We’ve argued that the publishing process itself is incoherent and slow. And that the peer review process fails to adequately vet new research. We’ve shown that the funding process for scientific research often leads … Continue reading “University Researchers Search for Solutions to Coronavirus Pandemic”


‘Some College, No Degree’ Jobs and the Trouble with the Credential Treadmill

The types of jobs available before and after the Great Recession starkly differ. With the after-effects of the economic slowdown thanks to the coronavirus, the pattern could be repeated. Many of the jobs usually held by less-educated Americans before the recession have disappeared, while workers with at least some college education disproportionately occupy growing industries, … Continue reading “‘Some College, No Degree’ Jobs and the Trouble with the Credential Treadmill”


Higher Education Will Never Be the Same—And That’s Not All Bad

The coronavirus, combined with the public and private reactions to it, has affected every aspect of Americans’ lives, including the ways they learn. From pre-K to graduate seminars, many classes are moving online for the duration of the pandemic and perhaps beyond. That may spur pedagogical reforms that will lead to the creation of more … Continue reading “Higher Education Will Never Be the Same—And That’s Not All Bad”


To Tamp Down the Coronavirus, Traditional Higher Ed Goes Online

In the span of a few days, coronavirus has upended American higher education. More than 400 colleges have canceled classes or moved them online to slow the virus’s spread. While some schools hope that the shift will be temporary, others have confirmed that in-person classes and events will be canceled for the rest of the … Continue reading “To Tamp Down the Coronavirus, Traditional Higher Ed Goes Online”