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

A BRIGHT SPOT FOR THE HUMANITIES AT UT-AUSTIN

For many years, there has been considerable angst over the severe decline in the study of the humanities in American higher education.  This decline has been particularly precipitous since the mid-1960s and, in fact, studies show that bachelor’s degree completions in the humanities nationwide declined from 14% of the total of all degrees in 1966 […]

THOUGHTS ON PRE-K EXPANSION AND REFORM

I have been looking into the research of University of Chicago Nobel Prize economist James Heckman, whose team has done extensive work in early childhood development.  His research has found that high quality early childhood education is the most productive investment we can make for at-risk student populations.  In fact, it shows that quality pre-school […]

The Dumbed-Down New SAT

The big announcement earlier this month by David Coleman of The College Board on the new SAT to be released in 2016 was met with mixed reviews, but mostly negative from some of the observers in whom I have the most confidence.  The “improvements,” according to Coleman, are designed to better reflect what students have […]

IS HIGHER ED IN DENIAL?

In a recent issue, the Chronicle of Higher Education noted a significant disconnect in two surveys of the value of a college degree.  On the one hand, a survey conducted by Gallup in partnership with the Lumina Foundation found that only 11% of business leaders strongly agree that graduates have the skills and competency levels […]

THE COMMODITIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION

In all of the conversation about the “creative destruction” in higher education that is universally assumed to be imminent due to the rapid growth of online and hybrid or blended delivery systems, I was suddenly struck by an article in the March 3 issue of Forbes magazine by Caroline Howard, “No College Left Behind: Randy […]

THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET – PART II

Since Part I of this essay appeared (“Exposing the Dirty Little Secret of College Finance”), Richard Vedder has written an insightful article on the practice of college price discrimination and tuition subsidies (“Welcome to Robin Hood University”) and, with the assistance of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, I have pursued further information on the […]

Exposing the Dirty Little Secret in College Finance

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal by Douglas Belkin exposes a shady element of college finance that, while long- and well-known by insiders, seems finally to be raising a fair amount of pushback from those families and students who are in many cases borrowing money to finance the scheme. I make reference to […]

Texas Battle Over Curriculum Standards

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is currently deliberating on the restructuring of the Texas high school curriculum.  House Bill 5, adopted by the Texas Legislature in the 2013 session, provides multiple pathways to a Texas high school diploma that include routes to industry certification leading to meaningful 21st century jobs in addition to […]

NON-D.C. APPROACHES TO HIGHER ED REFORM

More and more recommendations for raising the quality of higher education are coming forward from all over the country and, not surprisingly, most of the ones that seem to make sense are not coming from Washington, D. C., but from business organizations, public and private higher education institutions, and various reform advocates, which is the […]

TAKING TEXAS HIGHER ED TO THE NEXT LEVEL

About thirteen years ago, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched a 15-year plan named “Closing the Gaps,” designed to bring the state’s higher education system to at least the standards and productivity of public institutions in other large states. In anticipation of the expiration of the first installment in 2015, it’s now time to […]