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

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

The Diversity Mania Extends to Ignoring the Supreme Court

For several decades, most of America’s colleges and universities have been in the grip of the Diversity Mania. What I mean by that is an obsession among administrators that their institutions absolutely must have sufficient “representation” of students from minority groups. Not just any minority group, however. Black, Latino, and Native American ancestry gets you […]

The Problem with College Rankings

There are a number of college rankings. Of course, the best known by far is the U.S. News & World Report ranking, which for many people is the college ranking. (This year, Princeton edged out Harvard for bragging rights.) Forbes publishes another ranking, using an approach designed by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. […]

Offend Your Students and Get a Taxpayer-Funded Vacation

  In a revealing incident at the beginning of Michigan State’s new academic year, writing professor William Penn went off on a rant aimed at Republicans. Fortunately, a student captured it on video, which is included in this story on Inside Higher Ed. Among Professor Penn’s comments were such ideas as these: “If you go […]


  After an uninterrupted string of policy proposals that reduce individual freedom and expand the scope of government control, at long last President Obama has put forth an idea that moves in the opposite direction. He suggests that law schools only keep students captive in classes for two years, allowing them to use the third […]