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

Education Degrees and the Test of the Market

  In a session that left many liberals furious, the North Carolina General Assembly repealed a law that granted teachers an automatic ten percent pay increase if they completed a master’s degree. That move has led to a lot of hand-wringing. In a piece about this in Inside Higher Ed, writer Kevin Kiley noted that […]

Is Income-Contingent Lending a Good Idea?

  The idea that the best way to finance higher education is through student payments after they graduate that are based upon their income has been much in the news recently. Oregon has made a splash with legislation calling for a pilot program under which students would pay no tuition or fees while in school, […]

The myth that more education makes you better educated

Among the several “the sky is falling!” arguments we hear about higher education is that the current generation is “in danger” of being the first generation of Americans that will be “less educated” than the generation before it. In that formulation, “less educated” means having fewer years of formal education. With a somewhat smaller number […]


    (From Playing Ping Pong with Fisher The Supreme Court remands the “affirmative action” case with orders for “strict scrutiny.” Fisher v. Texas was one of the first cases heard in the Supreme Court’s term this season and one of the last to be decided. Whatever the reason for the long delay, the […]

Let’s Not Have More Disaggregated Data

Quite a few people have built careers in higher education around the supposed need to study how different groups compare, and when the inevitable disparities are discovered, setting up programs to address the “underrepresentation problem.” To get a sense of just how deeply ingrained such thinking is, consider this piece from Inside Higher Ed, “The […]

The Alleged “Rich-Kid Problem”

Egalitarians never run out of things to complain about. Any statistical disparity between groups causes them to wring their hands and call for action to remedy the “inequity.” The latest outbreak of egalitarian fever has to do with higher education in America, specifically the alleged “rich kid problem.” Jordan Weissman of The Atlantic recently penned […]

One Way to Improve the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act is up for reauthorization this year, so this is an especially good time to talk about improvements to it. (We ought to consider repealing it instead, but almost nobody in Congress would support that.) One idea, recently advanced here by Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,  is to stop […]

Exposing Fraudulent Academic Research

The New York Times recently published a fascinating piece that exposed the fraudulent research of one Diederik Stapel, a professor of social psychology at Tilburg University in The Netherlands. What we learn from the piece is applicable to America, where the incentives for producing worthless research are no different. Stapel had become an academic star […]

For-profit Higher Ed is Fine – Government Funding is the Problem

One of the more annoying tropes of the left is that while it may be all right for profit-oriented businesses to function in many markets – I have yet to hear anyone demand that dry cleaning, for example, be done by non-profit entities – they shouldn’t be in “helping” fields like healthcare and education. Supposedly, […]

Fareed Zakaria Wrings His Hands Over a “Crisis” in Higher Ed

Fareed Zakaria, one of Time’s columnists, has a new piece entitled “The Thin-Envelope Crisis.”  It’s an exercise in hand-wringing over the supposed complicity of our colleges and universities in the decline of economic mobility in the country. He writes, “The institutions that have been the best at opening access in the U.S. have been its […]