April 17, 2014
Resegregation in the American South

April 17, 2014

Saving Central: One High School’s Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 

April 16, 2014
Does Traditional College Debate Reinforce White Privilege?

Minority participants aren’t just debating resolutions—they’re challenging the terms of the debate itself.
Read more. [Image: Donna McWilliam/AP Photo]

Does Traditional College Debate Reinforce White Privilege?

Minority participants aren’t just debating resolutions—they’re challenging the terms of the debate itself.

Read more. [Image: Donna McWilliam/AP Photo]

April 15, 2014
Why Every Writer Needs Two Educations

Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven and a former college athlete, learned from Carter G. Woodson that teaching yourself is just as important as being taught in the classroom.
Read more.

Why Every Writer Needs Two Educations

Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven and a former college athlete, learned from Carter G. Woodson that teaching yourself is just as important as being taught in the classroom.

Read more.

April 14, 2014
The New Sex Education Focuses on Preventing Violence

The trend in instilling the importance of healthy relationships and mutual respect, not just how to use condoms
Read more. [Image: Summerskyephotography/flickr]

The New Sex Education Focuses on Preventing Violence

The trend in instilling the importance of healthy relationships and mutual respect, not just how to use condoms

Read more. [Image: Summerskyephotography/flickr]

April 11, 2014
Are College Degrees Inherited?

Nothing is more American than the belief in second chances. But the latest College Board/National JournalNext America Poll suggests that the choices young people make as they complete high school echo with surprising power throughout their lives.
Underscoring the stakes of the next step teenagers take after completing high school, the poll found that those who advanced immediately to some form of postsecondary education—either to a two- or four-year college or to vocational training—were more than three times as likely to report ever having obtained a degree than those who moved from high school straight into the workforce. Even counting those who are still seeking but haven’t yet obtained a postsecondary credential, the ratio remains 3-to-1.
Read more. [Image: Luis Gustavo Leme/Flickr]

Are College Degrees Inherited?

Nothing is more American than the belief in second chances. But the latest College Board/National JournalNext America Poll suggests that the choices young people make as they complete high school echo with surprising power throughout their lives.

Underscoring the stakes of the next step teenagers take after completing high school, the poll found that those who advanced immediately to some form of postsecondary education—either to a two- or four-year college or to vocational training—were more than three times as likely to report ever having obtained a degree than those who moved from high school straight into the workforce. Even counting those who are still seeking but haven’t yet obtained a postsecondary credential, the ratio remains 3-to-1.

Read more. [Image: Luis Gustavo Leme/Flickr]

April 9, 2014
How Higher Ed Contributes to Inequality

In 2011, Cornell political scientist Suzanne Mettler highlighted poll results showing a striking phenomenon: About half of the Americans receiving federal assistance in paying college tuition or medical bills believe they have never benefited from a government social program. The results are evidence of what Mettler has termed “the submerged state”—a series of policies, like tuition tax credits or federally-guaranteed student loans, that are practically invisible to citizens. That invisibility, she argues, erodes public support for the very idea of government playing an active role in people’s lives.

Now in a new book, Degrees of Inequality, Mettler reveals how, over the past 60 years, American higher-education policy has gone from being visible and effective (the GI Bill and the Pell grant program) to being invisible and inefficient ($32 billion in federal funding for for-profit colleges with abysmal graduation rates). Congressional polarization along party lines, it turns out, played a major role, as did plummeting federal and state support for four-year public universities.
I spoke with Mettler about why Republicans and reform-minded Democrats switched positions on for-profit colleges; why the liberal arts are underrated and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are overrated; and why corporate lobbyists are able to achieve so much influence in Washington for relatively little money.
Read more. [Image: Butch Dill/AP Photo]

How Higher Ed Contributes to Inequality

In 2011, Cornell political scientist Suzanne Mettler highlighted poll results showing a striking phenomenon: About half of the Americans receiving federal assistance in paying college tuition or medical bills believe they have never benefited from a government social program. The results are evidence of what Mettler has termed “the submerged state”—a series of policies, like tuition tax credits or federally-guaranteed student loans, that are practically invisible to citizens. That invisibility, she argues, erodes public support for the very idea of government playing an active role in people’s lives.

Now in a new book, Degrees of Inequality, Mettler reveals how, over the past 60 years, American higher-education policy has gone from being visible and effective (the GI Bill and the Pell grant program) to being invisible and inefficient ($32 billion in federal funding for for-profit colleges with abysmal graduation rates). Congressional polarization along party lines, it turns out, played a major role, as did plummeting federal and state support for four-year public universities.

I spoke with Mettler about why Republicans and reform-minded Democrats switched positions on for-profit colleges; why the liberal arts are underrated and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are overrated; and why corporate lobbyists are able to achieve so much influence in Washington for relatively little money.

Read more. [Image: Butch Dill/AP Photo]

April 7, 2014
Of Course Student-Athletes Are University Employees

Are college athletes university employees? It’s a question that has gripped the sports world since January, when a group of Northwestern University football players petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to form a union. The debate has only intensified since March 26, when a regional director in Chicago surprised many by granting the players’ petition.
The backbone of regional director Peter Sung Ohr’s 24-page ruling that the players are employees and thus have the right to form a union was the exhaustive description of the responsibilities and time-consuming demands of Northwestern football players. The judge said the evidence put forth by the team members, led by former quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association, showed that football “student-athletes” at Northwestern spend 40 to 50 hours a week on football-related activities for the duration of the regular season and bowl season, and have a virtual year-round commitment to the program. Thus, they are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, Ohr concluded.
Read more. [Image: Paul Beaty/AP]

Of Course Student-Athletes Are University Employees

Are college athletes university employees? It’s a question that has gripped the sports world since January, when a group of Northwestern University football players petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to form a union. The debate has only intensified since March 26, when a regional director in Chicago surprised many by granting the players’ petition.

The backbone of regional director Peter Sung Ohr’s 24-page ruling that the players are employees and thus have the right to form a union was the exhaustive description of the responsibilities and time-consuming demands of Northwestern football players. The judge said the evidence put forth by the team members, led by former quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association, showed that football “student-athletes” at Northwestern spend 40 to 50 hours a week on football-related activities for the duration of the regular season and bowl season, and have a virtual year-round commitment to the program. Thus, they are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, Ohr concluded.

Read more. [Image: Paul Beaty/AP]

April 7, 2014
How the Digital Age Has Eroded Student Privacy

In 1965, when Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her, but her protest eventually led to a landmark Supreme Court case: Tinker v. Des Moines. In their verdict, the court vindicated Tinker by saying students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The 7-2 ruling ushered in a new era of free speech rights for students. First Amendment advocates basked in the glow of the Tinker decision for decades.
However, the Internet has since complicated the meaning of the ruling, and those same advocates now worry students’ rights to freedom of speech are again under attack. Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours. Although some administrators target cyber-bullies, others punish students whose only offense is posting an online comment that the school doesn’t like.
The situation has inspired Tinker herself to tour the nation’s schools to revive student speech rights, nearly 50 years after her famous protest.
Read more. [Image: Adam Hunger/Reuters]

How the Digital Age Has Eroded Student Privacy

In 1965, when Mary Beth Tinker was 13 years old, she wore a black armband to her junior high school to protest the Vietnam War. The school promptly suspended her, but her protest eventually led to a landmark Supreme Court case: Tinker v. Des Moines. In their verdict, the court vindicated Tinker by saying students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The 7-2 ruling ushered in a new era of free speech rights for students. First Amendment advocates basked in the glow of the Tinker decision for decades.

However, the Internet has since complicated the meaning of the ruling, and those same advocates now worry students’ rights to freedom of speech are again under attack. Schools regularly punish students for online comments, even if those comments are made away from school property and after school hours. Although some administrators target cyber-bullies, others punish students whose only offense is posting an online comment that the school doesn’t like.

The situation has inspired Tinker herself to tour the nation’s schools to revive student speech rights, nearly 50 years after her famous protest.

Read more. [Image: Adam Hunger/Reuters]

April 4, 2014
Is College Really Harder to Get Into Than It Used to Be?

"The myth of selectivity, that college admissions gets harder with each passing year, is both true and untrue."
Read more. [Image: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

Is College Really Harder to Get Into Than It Used to Be?

"The myth of selectivity, that college admissions gets harder with each passing year, is both true and untrue."

Read more. [Image: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

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