Education

"Poison Ivy: Not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy"

Unexpectedly strong words from The Economist.

AMERICAN universities like to think of themselves as engines of social justice, thronging with “diversity”. But how much truth is there in this flattering self-image? AMERICAN universities like to think of themselves as engines of social justice, thronging with “diversity”. But how much truth is there in this flattering self-image? . . .

Mr Golden shows that elite universities do everything in their power to admit the children of privilege. If they cannot get them in through the front door by relaxing their standards, then they smuggle them in through the back. No less than 60% of the places in elite universities are given to candidates who have some sort of extra “hook”, from rich or alumni parents to “sporting prowess”. The number of whites who benefit from this affirmative action is far greater than the number of blacks.


"North Carolina Releases NCAA's Third, Yes Third, Notice of Allegations In Academic Fraud Case"

Good summary of the recent development. Key paragraph:

This debacle has been going on for over half a decade and still no end is in sight. What is mystifying is the NCAA sending out three notices, adding, deleting and then reinserting allegations when candidly this case is not as complicated as many are making it out to be. It is academic fraud, it is extra benefits provided to athletes, and all of it was done in an attempt to keep (primarily) football and men's basketball athletes eligible to gain a competitive advantage. It is major NCAA violations. This is not a shocking scenario. Schools have been doing this for years and will continue to do it unless faculty take charge of its role as guardians of the curriculum, but I digress.


"Tennis Great Andre Agassi Serves Up School Buildings to 69 Charters — and Counting"

Andre is one former athlete who's making a big difference.

Why go this route, business instead of philanthropy?

I think it’s a function of scalability and it’s a function of sustainability. I think if you want to treat a problem in society, the government or philanthropy does just fine, and I think it’s a very important part, and I still have a huge working foundation that does that. But if you want real scalable change, you’ve got to figure out how to bring a lot of people to the table to create a win that makes it scalable and sustainable.

This is our 69th school. It took me 15 years to build one philanthropically, and it’s taken me four years to build 69, [with] 36,000 school seats. I like the economy of scale.

Link courtesy of my older daughter.