Education Articles


The Liberal Arts: Good for Both Mind and Pocketbook

2:03 PM, Dec 30, 2015
Have you heard the news? The liberal arts, whose study antedates that old peripatetic from Stagira, are in jeopardy. Read more

Clinton: 'I Wouldn't Keep Any School Open That Wasn't Doing A Better Than Average Job'

Will Hillary close half the schools?
4:02 PM, Dec 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton may be planning to close a lot of schools. At a town hall event today in Keota, Iowa, Clinton said she would keep open "better than average" schools:

"This school district and these schools throughout Iowa are doing a better than average job," Clinton told the crowd. "Now, I wouldn't keep any school open that wasn't doing a better than average job. If a school's not doing a good job, then you know it may not be good for the kids.

"But when you have a district that's doing a good job it seems kind of counterproductive to impose financial burdens on it.

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Newark's Lesson

How reform can help everyone except the students.
Dec 21, 2015

Newark, New Jersey, may have been an idyllic American pastoral in the days of Philip Roth's youth, but you wouldn't want to be a kid there in this century. Drugs, gangs, and the 70 percent single-motherhood rate aside, education had become ancillary to the purpose of Newark public schools. Described by one observer as "a candy store that's a front for a gambling operation," the money that came with control of the schools was the "prize" that urban Democrats fought to possess.

Mayor Cory Booker promised to be a new breed of Democrat and saw in the Newark schools a new kind of prize: a laboratory to test and prove the promise of radical education reform. Republican governor Chris Christie was eager to shake up the status quo and

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The Locker Room Fight Continues

The gender-war gendarmes throw their weight around.
Dec 21, 2015

Coming soon to a girls' locker room in a high school near you: the Obama administration's transgender gendarmes.

In the first action of this sort, President Obama's Department of Education steamrolled a suburban Chicago high school district into giving a student, a biological male who now identifies as a female, access to the girls' locker room.

Township High School District 211 had fought valiantly to protect the privacy rights of the girls using the locker room. But it gave up the fight after the education department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) threatened to withhold $6 million in federal aid.

This was no small fish that OCR was trying to land.

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Who Gets In, Who Doesn’t?

Dec 07, 2015

Next month the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, one of the most important cases this term. In 2008 Fisher, a white high school senior in Texas, applied for admission to the university and was turned down.

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Not on My Dime

Time to phase out subsidies for higher education?
Dec 07, 2015

At the University of Missouri, feminist professor Melissa Click cried out “I need some muscle over here!” to expel a reporter from the Concerned Student 1950 protest in a public quad. A more apt encapsulation of what conservatives feel ails academia—identity obsession, rights-curbing, self-righteous bullying—can scarcely be imagined. It’s exactly the kind of thing that might make them cry out for some muscle of their own: someone to force intellectual diversity.

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The Fairness Doctrine

Jonathan V. Last's lessons in higher education.
Nov 30, 2015

Having a decidedly anti-romantic view of college, I find myself not entirely opposed to the student radicals besieging campuses across the country.

Once upon a time, universities transmitted knowledge and formed the minds and characters of young adults. But that ended long before I arrived at Johns Hopkins in the mid-1990s.

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So You’re Getting a Ph.D.

Welcome to the worst job market in America
Nov 16, 2015

Every few years in the Northeast, biologist John Cooley gets famous—because he’s the man who discovered the mating secrets of one of the insect world’s weirdest and most-publicized species: Magicicada septendecim, the 17-year cicada. True to their name, and unlike the bottle-green “annual” cicadas that emerge in backyards every summer, the black-and-orange 17-years spend more than a decade and a half underground as larvae, and then all emerge as adults at the same time, usually in May.

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Larger Share of American Youth Living at Home

11:38 AM, Nov 11, 2015
From Kate Davidson of the Wall Street Journal, we learn of one more reason to hope for a return to four percent growth and generally good economic times.  Read more

Marco Rubio, Bad Guidance Counselor

No, welders do not make more money than philosophers.
7:32 AM, Nov 11, 2015

Maybe he is the Republican Obama after all. Like the outgoing president, Florida senator Marco Rubio is charismatic, self-assured, and intelligent, as his performance in Tuesday night’s debate displayed. Alas, also like the president, Senator Rubio harbors an anti-intellectual streak, one that is both wrong in its premises, as well as on the facts.

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The Cosby Crisis

Oct 26, 2015

If one good thing comes out of the Bill Cosby Crisis, The Scrapbook is fairly certain what it will be. For as the New York Times reported in a recent story, the 60 or so institutions of higher learning in America that have, during the past few decades, conferred honorary degrees on Bill Cosby are now agonizing about what to do. Some have chosen not to act in response to the allegations against Cosby; others have officially revoked their degrees; still more have rules against such retroactive gestures.

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How Mark Zuckerberg Got Taken for a Ride

Book Review: The Prize, by Dale Russakoff.
12:34 PM, Oct 23, 2015

On a fall afternoon in 2010, the unlikely trio of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took the stage of the Oprah show to declare their plan to remake American urban education.

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Donald Trump, Sam’s Club Republican

2:01 PM, Sep 30, 2015

Donald Trump may own some of the nation’s most chichi country clubs – they don’t let just anybody in the Mar-a-Lago! – but his base of political support comes from clubs of a different sort. Ten years after two writers took to these pages to urge Republicans to appeal to people at Sam’s Club rather than the country club, the boisterous billionaire is doing just that.

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Michelle Obama: 'Poverty Is Sexist'

8:26 PM, Sep 26, 2015

Michelle Obama introduced Bono at an event this evening in New York City. As the first lady introduced the singer-turned-icon, she repeated one of his signature lines: "povery is sexist."

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The College Scorecard: What Would Strauss Say?

1:10 PM, Sep 22, 2015

After great fanfare, and much handwringing from an anxious higher education community, the Obama administration finally launched its ballyhooed College Scorecard. It disappoints, but not, perhaps, for the reasons that many think.

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How to Make a Bad Problem Worse

Hillary Clinton’s flawed plan for student debt relief.
Aug 24, 2015

Nearly everyone recognizes that student debt has risen to a level that will be difficult to sustain, given the nation’s slow-growing economy and the sagging incomes of too many college-­educated Americans. Nearly 40 million Americans carry some form of student debt; more than 7 million are in default on their loans, and many more have missed scheduled payments. The total amount of outstanding student debt is estimated to be $1.2 trillion, with about two-thirds of this sum underwritten by the federal government.

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Japan Axes Liberal Arts in Favor of More Job Training

4:01 PM, Aug 04, 2015

Americans have long been skeptical of the liberal arts. Frequently this takes the form of a discussion of whether a degree in history or literature is “worth it” in a purely economic sense. Annual reports highlight the top-earning college majors, subtly encouraging students to forgo a class in literature or history in favor of something useful, like nursing or engineering.

Perhaps it’s a reflection of our innate American pragmatism.

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A Missed Irony

9:18 AM, Jul 06, 2015

In the July 3, 2015  “Notable and Quotable” column, the Wall Street Journal honors the school reformer, Marva Collins, who died this week at age 78, by resurrecting a 1982 opinion piece about her authored by Paul Gigot. Collins was a fearless supporter of funded tuition vouchers, and herself a celebrated teacher.

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Michelle Obama Touts Her Own Independence: I Made 'My Own Choices About My Body'

6:57 PM, Jun 29, 2015

First Lady Michelle Obama is thankful for her life. At the More magazine Impact Awards at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the first lady credits her good life--and independence--to education.

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'The Seventy Four'

4:21 PM, Jun 23, 2015

Campbell Brown has launched the http://www.the74million.org, a new online outlet dedicated to covering education. 

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A Conversation With Peter Berkowitz

8:50 AM, Jun 08, 2015

The latest Conversations With Bill Kristol featuring Peter Berkowitz:

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Bush’s Forgotten Book

Self-government begins with citizens.
Apr 27, 2015

Nowadays when you mention the book Profiles in Character to Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and, as it happens, the coauthor of Profiles in Character, he immediately cracks wise.

“You mean you actually found a copy?” he says. “A major opus. A big bestseller. How much did you pay for it? A buck? Nothing? Or did they pay you to take it off their hands?”

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Walker Camp Whacks Jeb on Affirmative Action

12:06 PM, Mar 16, 2015

Scott Walker may not be a candidate for president yet, but the Wisconsin governor’s growing political action committee staff is already going after a potential rival in the Republican primary. GOP strategist Liz Mair, CNN reports, has just signed on to consult for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC, doing outreach to bloggers and other digital media outlets. 

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The Lowdown on Higher Education

A crisis in search of better answers.
Mar 09, 2015

Scott Walker was never going to win fans among the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Four years ago, Wisconsin professors were in the state capitol protesting the governor’s plans to limit public employee collective bargaining powers. But, boy, did he make enemies this month when he proposed $300 million more in budget cuts to the state’s university and altering the words of the school’s mission. Walker has clearly made some tactical missteps in recent weeks—and the fact that he himself doesn’t have a college degree doesn’t add to his credibility.

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Walker Mocks Hillary's Ivy League Education

7:04 AM, Feb 18, 2015

Encouraged by Fox News host Megyn Kelly, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin mocked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her Ivy League degree in remarks posted to Kelly's Facebook page.

"You know," Kelly told Walker after he brough up Clinton, "she went to Yale."

Walker laughed. "All the more reason to put someone in who's a fighter, not just an Ivy Leaguer. Someone who's a fighter."

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Scott Walker Didn't Finish College. And?

8:22 AM, Feb 13, 2015

The Washington Post has a long article up about Scott Walker's formative years. It has some fine reporting, but the overall tone and headline are curious: "As Scott Walker mulls White House bid, questions linger over college exit." 

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Bush: On Offense on Education

4:19 PM, Feb 05, 2015

Jonathan Easley of The Hill writes:

In the most fiery portion of [Jeb] Bush’s Wednesday speech — his first major policy address since announcing his likely candidacy for president — he thundered about how his initiatives turned the Florida education system around.

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Report: College Graduates Lack Skills for White-Collar Jobs

11:07 AM, Jan 19, 2015

The president is proposing more higher education (at the community college level) as a cure for our economic woes.  Along with some substantial tax increases, of course.  But is more college the answer?

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Obama's 'Free' Community College Plan Could Cost $34B Per Year

7:01 AM, Jan 09, 2015

 Previewing an item from his upcoming State of the Union address, President Obama announced a "Free Community College" plan 

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A Real Education Revolution?

10:43 AM, Jan 05, 2015

The school house for American children is, increasingly, the same one where they eat and sleep and live with their parents.  As Genevieve Wood of the Daily Signal reports:

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