Who’s afraid of critical race theory (or anything that sounds like it)?

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For a lot of conservatives, “critical race theory” is a dangerous concept that will pollute the vulnerable minds of children in schools. And because actual sightings of critical race theory in schools are so rare, groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation are warning us of its other insidious names, like “diversity” and “identity.” What … Continued

Do you learn anything useful in college?

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I’ve been out of school for nearly 40 years. I’ve been contemplating the value of college through the lens of my adult children’s experience. Some of the skills I learned have been useful. The content, though, has been mostly useless. This song has been going through my head: When I think back on all the … Continued

What we really should be teaching: statistics, science, math, media, code

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The pandemic and our elections have revealed America’s weak spot: ignorance. Too many in the populace can’t reason, can’t think straight, can’t differentiate opinion from reality, can’t identify bias, and have no context for what they consume. “This is a consequence of the poor education system in our country.” That is the applause line. But … Continued

Every exam should be open book

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Now there is software to keep students who are taking exams remotely from checking online resources. This is stupid. In the 2020s, students’ ability to recall facts without access to resources is irrelevant. It in no way reflects what they will need to know or do in any future situation. Computer science students should take … Continued

Columbia students need answers. Lee Bollinger delivers mumbles.

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It’s a terrible time in higher education. Nobody really knows if students will be coming back on campus in the fall. They need clarity. Columbia University president Lee Bollinger’s communications aren’t providing it. I have a college student at home right now — like every other student, mine wants to know what next fall will … Continued

Kids at home? Here are a few tips from a successful homeschooling family.

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My wife and I homeschooled our two children. One has now graduated Tufts University, magna cum laude, and the other is studying computer science at the University of Massachusetts. They’ve grown into smart, moral, and caring people. Here’s a little of what we learned from schooling them that may help you survive the next few … Continued

A great rejection

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I just read one of the best rejection letters ever. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this, but Sara Davis, a Post-doc at Skidmore in psychology, claims she received it when applying for an academic position. Here’s the text of the rejection: The faculty position you applied for at [redacted] attracted over 65 candidates. … Continued

Indiana University provost’s statement declares war on its own professor

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The Indiana University’s business school has a professor named Eric B. Rasmusen. Lauren Robel, the schools’ provost, just issued a statement that he’s a racist, sexist, homophobe but they can’t fire him. This could only happen in academia. Go ahead, read the statement: On the First Amendment This message was sent to the Kelley School … Continued