As a history major, I learned the importance of locating and reading multiple perspectives about an event or topic. Early in my career, I began reading a British publication, The Economist, for its non-U.S. perspective on current events and other topics. When I opened the June 12, 2021 issue of The Economist, I found an article titled “The reading wars” and subtitled “American schools teach reading all wrong.”
Many years ago, I was a consultant in the management advisory services division at Price Waterhouse. With experience using computer modeling software from my MBA curriculum, I was assigned to a number of engagements building financial projections for businesses, large and small.
In last week’s Washington Post, former Chronicle of Education Editor Jeff Selingo wrote an opinion piece about Harvard and its peers and their continued low admission rates. According to Mr. Selingo, some of these institutions’ alums may view the low, single-digit admissions rates as a confirmation of their alma maters’ popularity and prestige. He believes that these numbers are signs of institutional failure.
“It’s the economy, stupid!” was Bill Clinton strategist James Carville’s directive to keep his presidential campaign staffers on message during his successful 1992 run for the presidency. While I chose not to use a paraphrase of that slogan in my recent post about Caitlin Flanagan’s article stating that private schools in the U.S. have become obscene, perhaps I should have.
For the better part of the last decade, there have been proposals for free education at community colleges. As recently as December 23, President Biden pledged to provide tuition-free community college for all.
In a newly issued report, the National Student Clearinghouse reported that the total of 3.7 million new undergraduate degree earners was flat in the 2019-2020 academic year for the first time in eight years. Even more alarming, while the total numbers remained the same, the number of first-time graduates decreased 1 percent (26,000), while non-first-time completers continued to increase by 2.7 percent.
In a recent Forbes article titled “This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid,” Susan Adams introduces her readers to Chegg, the most valuable edtech company in America. Chegg’s capabilities to assist students with cheating are so well known that Ms. Adams reports that students refer to the act of accessing Chegg’s website as “chegging.”
Finding a website rich in data is a dream for a quantitative-oriented person. In my recent article about Texas 2036, I wrote that the organization’s mission is “to enable Texans to make policy decisions through accessible data, long-term planning and state-wide engagement.” I reviewed the Texas 2036 site further and found a number of interesting data reports.
In Monday’s Inside Higher Ed, Nic Ducoff (co-founder of Edmit) penned an opinion piece questioning the approach of some organizations that have attempted to calculate the ROI of college. Mr. Ducoff writes that most approaches include cost and earnings, but how those variables are determined impacts the result and how the result is presented to prospective students impacts the influence it will have on their decision making. I could not agree more.
Campus Technology magazine published an article last week entitled “25 Ed Tech Predictions for 2021.” In this article, Dian Schaffhauser solicited various opinions from education and industry leaders for trend opinions and comments.