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April 07, 2003

Why teenagers shouldn't trust adults, reason #2931: Elon College is proud, very proud. Why? Their press release states, "Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews names Elon #1 on his list of 'Colleges Worth Considering.'" To Elon's credit, they provide a link to the story. (Why go to the link, though, when Elon has so thoughtfully summarized the article?) But someone going to the story finds these statements by Mr. Mathews: "Based on this very informal and unscientific survey . . ." "This is, admittedly, a very fluid and idiosyncratic way to look at higher education." "I have ranked the 100 schools, but I would not put much stock in my order of merit. I did it mostly for fun."

Why couldn't the Elon PR person just have noted that Elon was mentioned on the list, without hyping the mostly phony "#1 ranking"?

More details on 20 schools in Va., Md., NC, and Pa. that Mr. Mathews rates "undiscovered gems." (NC schools listed are Elon, Guilford, Davidson, and Western Carolina.)

Last on the educational tip, check out the WaPo's "Fast Times at Asakita High." "An American arrives at a Japanese high school eager to learn the secrets of a vaunted education system and gets a very different lesson instead."

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