See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Is Greater Diversity the Silver Lining of the Law School Implosion?

Not so long ago, law school was a growth industry, with new schools being created and enrollments going ever higher. What a turnaround there has been over the last five years. Enrollments of first-year students are back where they were 40 years ago. Some law schools have had to lay off some faculty members and […]

Shameless: “Too Big to Fail” Argument Hauled Out for Higher Ed

You know that something is really in trouble when the defenders of that something have to resort to jaded and intellectually feeble arguments in favor of it. For quite a few years, I have been convinced that higher education is in trouble, because it costs so much and often delivers so little, but a recent […]

Finally! A College That Works

For those of us who survey the landscape of higher education in America, the scenery is for the most part pretty bleak: students who don’t really learn much, professors who are happy to just go through the motions, administrators who feather their nests while pretending to do useful work, and so forth. Many schools are […]

Crying wolf over college “undermatching”?

In a recent piece published by the American Enterprise Institute, “Let’s not underestimate undermatch,” author Awilda Rodriguez claims that undermatching, which she describes as “the phenomenon where students do not attend a college or university that they could have gained admission to, based on their academic abilities,” is a serious problem. For quite a few […]

Another Dissenting Voice on Obama’s College Rating Idea

Recently, Lindsey Burke wrote that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, a deep-dyed liberal, understands that the Obama administration’s proposal for a new federal rating scheme for colleges would be a bad idea. I recently came across another voice of opposition in a most surprising place. Writing in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Vinton Thompson, president […]

DOES HIGHER ED FEAR ACCOUNTABILITY?

Recently, I found myself embroiled in a controversy with an extraordinarily abrasive professor who evidently found any criticism of the higher education establishment to be intolerable – in particular, this Forbes article of mine. To him, my argument that we’re in a bubble with rising costs but declining educational results was “ignorant,” as proven by […]

There’s No “Best” Percentage of College Graduates

In his first major address to Congress, President Barack Obama announced a goal for the United States of becoming (again) the nation with the highest percentage of college graduates in the world. An influential think tank, the Lumina Foundation, wants us to achieve a goal of having 60 percent of Americans with “high-quality [two- or […]

HOW COLLEGES DUMB-DOWN DEGREES

You Can Graduate from College without Learning Much By George Leef In their promotional materials, colleges usually pay lip service to the ideal of an education that is both broad and deep, leaving students with a strong foundation for life.  The trouble is that at many schools, the curriculum has become so unwieldy that it […]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on MOOCs?

Arguments over the value of online college courses have been abundant of late. Tom Lindsay and Peter Lawler have been going at it for several rounds and neither boxer seems ready to back out of the ring. You can read what they have to say here. Elsewhere, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) recently published […]

Another Attack on Standardized Tests

Many reporters are easy marks for people who have big ideas for utopian improvements in higher education. A good example is the recent story “What’s Holding American Students Back? The SAT” by Peter Coy of Bloomberg/BusinessWeek. The SAT (along with the ACT) is a pretty good benchmark for cognitive ability and this is why most […]