In China, there are now more than 200 Waldorf elementary schools, filled with the children whose parents are looking for a more child-centered alternative to the test-driven state education system. Why can't Chinese schools be more like American schools? Meanwhile, in America, Stephen Pinker argues that Harvard and other elite universities are wasting their resources on athletes and musicians, and should select students by standardized test scores, the way Chinese colleges do. Why can't American schools be more like Chinese schools?
With recognition software making the use of recycled term papers impractical, a new service is now allowing students to hire unemployed professors to write term papers from scratch.
Indian tech entrepreneur and engineer Navin Kabra was dubious when the B.E. students he was advising told him that publishing papers at conferences were a requirement for graduation - a requirement shared by M.E. and M. Tech students in India. When an 'international engineering conference' came to Pune, he submitted two fake papers - one generated using SCIgen and one interspersed with random references to pop culture. Both were accepted - and one was published after Navin paid for the publishing fees (haggled to a 50% discount). Since the expose, the University of Pune has clarified that publishing for Masters students is recommended but not mandatory, more conference fraud has been uncovered, and Navin's still investigating publishing requirements for Bachelors students.
Bard College has introduced a new admissions criteria: No consideration of SAT scores or grades. Students can now submit four 2500 word essays and be admitted if their work is judged to be of B+ or better quality by faculty. Is this system just waiting to be gamed?
Washington Monthly examines the rapid increase in the numbers of middle managers at universities and the correlation to the rampant increase in tuition costs at American universities.
Over the past couple of weeks, Wonkblog has examined the fast rising cost of college tuition in the United States and its effects on society. [more inside]
In the realm of higher ed, law schools are at the forefront of finding creative ways to maximize revenue. Georgetown Law has pioneered an academic Ponzi scheme where they are able to essentially use the Federal loan money given to new students to pay for public interest law graduates' loans.
A large portion of scientific research is publicly funded. So why do only the richest consumers have access to it?
Income based repayment is touted as a solution to rapidly rising college costs in the US. But there is a hefty tax bill looming for people who take advantage of this program.
After several failed attempts against other schools, a lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson School of Law for providing misleading employment data to prospective students is moving forward.
The Hathi Trust, a partnership between 66 universities and 3 higher education consortia, is breathing a little easier now that Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of New York's Southern District has found that the Trust was within its fair use rights to allow Google to scan member library holdings, and then making the resulting files available for the reading impaired, and for use in search indexing and data mining. While this is excellent news for the educational institutions involved, it doesn't completely exonerate Google's role in the scanning project. It's notable that just last week Google abandoned it's own fair use claim in settling a different case involving the same book scanning project. Of the four factors used when considering fair use cases, Judge Baer ruled on the side of the Hathi Trust on all four.
Many people say that a law degree enables the holder to do virtually anything. Am Law Daily explores the logical fallacies behind this statement.
Discover Magazine posted a couple of blog entries about the law school scam as a cognitive bias and why law school tuition isn't more dispersed.
A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.
Today, President Obama signed an executive order which places stricter disclosure requirements on recruiters for for-profit schools looking to recruit veterans and soldiers. The move comes amid growing concern among state and federal legislators that for-profit educational institutions are doing more harm than good and are employing predatory recruiting practices especially on veterans who are exiting the military and looking to improve their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. [more inside]
More Universities Should Shut Down Their Computer Science Programs
Because of President Obama's desire to remake the community college system into a vanguard of job retraining and the general willingness of community colleges to take up that mantle, there is currently some soul searching about the role of the community college system. The American Association of Community Colleges, in a report titled, "Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation's Future", lays out a plan for a future community college system much different than what exists today: "Now, there's a focus on accountability," says Walter Bumphus, president of the AACC. "We were founded on the premise of being open-access institutions, but recently there's been a pivot to focus more on student success. There's a focus not just on having them transfer [to four-year schools, but on getting them into the workforce."(US News and World Report) [more inside]
There has been an increasing outcry over the bleak job prospects facing law school graduates. Paul Campos, author of the "Inside The Law School Scam" blog, argues that continued high enrollment at law schools may be due to "lemming psychology".
Want your new law school to get accredited by the American Bar Association? Be prepared to jump through some hoops.
Professor Herwig Schlunk of Vanderbilt University explores whether a law degree is a good investment today. (SSRN link) [more inside]
Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein (previously) argues that the majority of research by literary academics has no meaningful value. [more inside]
Over the past couple of months, there have been a series of scandals that have rocked the legal education community. First, there were tandem lawsuits against Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and New York Law School for misrepresenting jobs data. Then, Villanova University and the University of Illinois were found to be fudging their employment numbers. A legal team is now preparing to sue 15 different law schools because of misrepresentations made to students regarding job and salary data.
“He was making a comment both about culture at Wash U. and the representation of Wash U. by the PR department.”
"Wash U Photo Captions" back online after copyright challenge. Washington University in St Louis redesigned their website, and senior Alex Christensen found the photos kinda cheesy. So he started the Wash U Photo Captions Tumblr to poke fun. ("On Thursday mornings, the nerds are allowed to leave the lab.") But Tumblr shut it down, citing copyright violations, until Christensen got legal help. Now it's back, with gems like this and this. [more inside]
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce released a study comparing the economic value of different college majors.
Wired article based on the New Liberal Arts Previously on Metafilter, here and here, but now being published in Wired, not just Snarkmarket. Part of a cyclical trend in some corners of the smart set to suppose that college needs a complete reinvention. Look, the New Liberal Arts. These starry-eyed future watchers bring up the very old proposal that higher education is outdated, outmoded and not preparing our students for their lives in the future. They may get their wish, but they might not like the new world without liberal arts 1.0
"By their drugs shall ye know them." I always thought that nootropics would change the face of the academy, but it turns out scholars are getting high on Adderall. Is that so bad? Well, it's an addictive amphetamine, and it's supposedly cheating when students to take advantage of chemical assistance. Plus, boredom is good for you. [more inside]
Lost bag! Reward if found! Returned! But it's a fake! Finally someone took the advice to GYOFB. But it's a fake! Students at CUNY's Hunter College in a class sponsored by the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition produced the blog and related guerrilla marketing activities related to counterfeiting last spring. But "while a television viewer is aware that he or she is watching advertising, those viewing the blog or her posters at Hunter thought they were learning about the experiences of a real student — not a class project crafted by an industry association (that was sufficiently proud to boast about it)." Reports Inside Higher Ed.
Harvard may ignore early decision and attempt to enroll students who have agreed to matriculate elsewhere. Is this the beginning of the end of early decision?
Want college aid? Bush insists on total disclosure about prior drug use. "The thing that struck me was the Bush administration stance that a non-answer means you're guilty is ironic, since he spent the entire campaign not answering the question about cocaine," Hlinko said. "I don't care if he did coke 30 years ago, but this is hypocritical." I don't dislike Bush to the same degree as some of you, but this pisses me off.