"An Idea for Real Reform for Secretary DeVos"

Cut way back on the accreditation follies. I second the motion.

When faculty ask administrators why they put up with the burgeoning accreditation nonsense, their excuse is always that it’s better than direct regulation by the federal government. The government, after all, has designated accreditation by one of the monopolistic regional accrediting associations as what’s required to qualify for federally subsidized loans for students and other federal aid.

"No Thug Left Behind"

This sounds like a whole truckload of stupid.

Equity advocates’ central premise is that teachers, not students, are to blame for the racial-equity discipline gap. They claim that teachers’ biases, cultural ignorance, or insensitivity are the gap’s primary causes. The key to eliminating disparities, they maintain, is to change not students’ but adults’ behavior.

"Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"

By a self-proclaimed Liberal:

School choice is not a fantasy of right-wing ideologues. For parents of means, it is a reality. They are able to either pay for private schools or move to districts with high-quality public schools. What school choice advocates like DeVos want is simply for poor children to have the same opportunities afforded to those parents who are better off. Opportunities that, by the way, many liberal parents happily exercise for themselves.

Link via Instapundit.

"Education statistics: Figures lie and politicians figure"

Local control of education is best. Almost any aggregate statistic collected by bureaucrats can be gamed:

A researcher at University of California, Santa Barbara, though noted that “One of the criticisms I have of the graduation rate as an accountability measure, is it encourages schools and districts to discharge high-risk kids” obviously raising their graduation rates.

Where do the dumped kids go? Where do they show up in the statistics?  The answers vary. In Chicago, one of the biggest school districts in the country, investigations have found that the district is misclassifying students who enroll the above kids in these “dropout dumps” as some call it as “out-of-district transfers.” Briefly: the kids disappear from any statistics. If the transferred kid though manages to graduate — the school gets credit.

Texas reports the nation’s second-highest graduation rate and the highest in the nation for African-Americans and Hispanics. But some investigations suggest that the figures there too exclude tens of thousands of students from the dropout count, simply because schools report, with little required documentation, that students have left the country or are being home-schooled.

"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.