Aspiring Adults Adrift — Book Review

In times like these, data points get wielded like cudgels. Student-loan debt tops $1-trillion. As many as half of recent graduates are out of work, earn trifling wages, or have jobs that don’t require college degrees. Clearly, such numbers suggest, college isn’t worthwhile. At the same time, remedies for what ails the economy often invoke … Continue reading

Why I’m Asking You Not to Use Laptops

At a teaching workshop last week, a new faculty member asked me how I felt about students using laptops in the classroom. I replied, “I ask students not to use laptops in my classroom—unless a student tells me they need or strongly prefer a laptop to take notes (for any reason), in which case we … Continue reading

Anatomy of a Serial-Plagiarism Charge

Mustapha Marrouchi’s extensive body of work includes books, peer-reviewed articles, and online essays; literary criticism and sociocultural analysis; commentary and memoir. It’s a diverse portfolio, but if you track it closely enough, a through line emerges: Passages from other authors regularly appear, nearly verbatim, without attribution. With a sample size so large, and the echoes … Continue reading

College Students Step Up in Ferguson

The protests that have swept up Ferguson, Mo., following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, in part have been powered by the young people. Some are local and others have come there to help organize. Antonio Parker, a student at University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that he has been at protests during the day. “When … Continue reading

States Given a Reprieve on Ratings of Teachers

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing. Using language that evoked some of his fiercest critics, … Continue reading

Guiding Low-Income Hoosiers Toward College Completion Could Transform Economy

Like a crystal ball, two statistics reveal Indiana’s economic future. Political leaders rarely mention the numbers’ significance and focus instead on the state’s business-friendly tax and regulation policies. Yet, the power of those two intertwined statistics transcends the others. When it comes to the chances of average Hoosiers seeing an improvement in their quality of … Continue reading

Will Skipping College Help Women Succeed?

When the venture capitalist Peter Thiel began offering young people $100,000 to forego college in favor of coding or other scientific and technical pursuits, he helped kick off a debate about the pros and cons of the college-free path. Now one entrepreneur’s efforts are raising another question: whether encouraging kids to bypass college will actually improve … Continue reading

Too Many Poor Leaders

Just how much control do faculty members at community colleges have over their work circumstances or the decisions made in their name? I began this series of columns last month with a broad look at the challenges facing today’s two-year colleges. This month I want to focus on the issue of faculty control (or lack … Continue reading