A surprising array of events are arranged in four-year cycles: leap years, the Olympics, presidential elections, and many “terms of office,” including those on the Maryland State Board of Education, where I just concluded my tour of duty.
Harvard President Larry Bacow, speaking at Peking University six weeks before the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, stated that the purpose of a university is the search for truth, which “has to be discovered, revealed through argument and experiment, tested on the anvil of opposing explanations and ideas,” in short, academic freedom.
Although the recent scandal of celebrities bribing their kids into college has a relatively low impact on the main problems concerning American universities (and seems to affirm their admissions processes more than anything), it has certainly revived the conversation on all these matters.
The revelations that parents of applicants to tony universities bribed university officials to engineer their children’s admission have provoked the usual complaints of class privilege corrupting higher education’s meritocratic system and lofty mission. But those horses left the university barn decades ago. The real issue deserving of exposure and condemnation is the role of the federal government in demanding and encouraging this corruption.
A decline in birth rates in the U.S. could mean that the school-aged population will spiral downward in the next decade and beyond. Would this be a disaster for schools? Or could there be a silver lining?
It’s been hard to avoid the recent college admissions scandals, in which many rich and famous parents tried to buy their children spots at elite universities. This involved mail fraud and bribing athletic coaches and standardized test proctors, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to Dr. Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, “Improved education is the key to the future for the U.S., as our economy depends on having a highly skilled workforce.”
I’ve seen multiple YouTube videos of Q&A sessions when Dinesh D-Souza gives talks at universities. He often gets his share of hostile comments and I wondered how he would be treated at Stanford when he spoke there last month. So I watched the first few minutes of his speech and then jumped to Q&A. The talk is titled “The moral case for Trump’s wall.” It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: I’m not a fan of the wall.
The K–12 Education Task Force focuses on education policy as it relates to government provision and oversight versus private solutions (both within and outside the public school system) that stress choice, accountability, and transparency.