Education

"The Coming Bipartisan Backlash to Public School Wokeness"

Let's hope so:

The backlash to critical race theory, gender ideology and what is often called "wokeness" in schools represents a rare example of bipartisan agreement during a hyper-polarized time. The backlash to critical race theory, gender ideology and what is often called "wokeness" in schools represents a rare example of bipartisan agreement during a hyper-polarized time.


"College as a Marriage Market"

I think I may have noted this once before, but if so, here it is a second time. When asked in class why people would pay such high prices to attend Ivy League schools, the great economist Armen Alchian had a ready answer: the high prices were justified by the ability to go to school with lots of other smart, ambitious people from whom you could well find an excellent marriage partner.


"'I Don't Know How Professors Teach Without Fighter-Pilot Experience'"

Missy Cummins, a full professor in three departments at Duke, on the difference between the military and academia:

Fadulu: Did you feel like your military experience prepared you for the classroom in any way?

Cummings: Absolutely, especially as a research professor at a demanding institution like MIT, where I was a professor for my first 10 years. I don’t know how people do it without having been a fighter pilot first. It’s kind of a dog-eat-dog world.

Fadulu: What do you mean by that?

Cummings: It’s very hypercompetitive, it’s very back-stabbing. In fact, in the fighter-pilot world, people are just jerks to your face. In academia, people are jerks behind your back. They’ll stab you in the back but be nice to your face. It was a little harder to negotiate the academic world. When people are jerks to your face, at least you know where they’re coming from, and you know to avoid them. People who are backstabbing you, you don’t know to avoid them. I’d prefer the person who’s a jerk to my face.

More from Prof. Cummins: "Missionary Misfits: Meet A Former Fighter Pilot, Current Autonomous Vehicles Road Warrior" and "What’s Causing the Tesla Crashes?"

 


"The Abiding Scandal of College Admissions"

The admissions process at our leading colleges and universities is either very funny or very sad. Probably a mixture of both. Here, in the Chronicle of Higher Education[!], is a look at the incredible arrogance of some the admissions folks.

For instance, one recommendation is for admissions to begin “Assessing Students’ Daily Awareness of and Contributions to Others.” It is a subtle mystery how an admissions office would discern an applicant’s daily awareness of anything, let alone of “others.” . . . .

The reformers’ big idea is to take a process defined by unwonted nosiness and presumption and make it nosier and more presumptuous. . . .

Real reform would make the process simpler and less time-consuming, less mysterious and morally presumptuous. As I mentioned above, a lottery stands out as a good option. Admissions bureaucrats faced with thousands more applicants than they can accept soon reach a level of arbitrariness. At that point, they launch an inquisition of their applicants’ souls. This makes little sense academically but allows them to stage a powerful, utterly undeserved disciplinary claim on the inner lives of teenagers — that is the abiding scandal of college admissions.