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

How to Improve Education for Low-Income Students

Good education empowers Americans to move up the economic ladder. But today the education system fails millions of low-income students and is no longer the great opportunity equalizer. So it is time to take some sorely needed actions to shake things up.

Needed: A Better Measure of College Learning than “Seat Time”

Fortunately, despite Carnegie’s hesitation there are other developments indicating that the credit hour’s days may be numbered. Some institutions, such as Western Governors University, have for several years offered degree programs based on competency measures.

The Future College as Travel Agent

Colleges and universities continue to struggle with how to respond to online learning and other technology-based challenges to the “sage on a stage” model of education.

State-Funded College for Convicts?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently set off a firestorm by saying he wants to reintroduce state-funded college classes in state prisons. He wants classes in 10 prisons as a trial. Such classes were defunded in the 1990s. Meanwhile bipartisan federal legislation would give time credit for prisoners in education programs. Cuomo’s proposal does raise […]

It’s Time to Unbundle!

As America’s long-established colleges face increasing competition from online education and feisty upstarts, they are learning about the implications of “unbundling.” Colleges are modular institutions. They are part “sage on a stage” traditional academics, of course. But they are also part hotel and food service. Part online learning and research. And part sports and entertainment. […]

An “SAT” for College Grads?

The steady march toward competency-based measures of college effectiveness continues. And it cannot be too long before these measures become serious competition to obsolete and misleading quasi-measures such as seat time and traditional grades. What’s driving this trend? One thing is that employers are becoming increasingly skeptical that traditional GPAs and college accreditation are a […]

The “Undermatching” Problem

A perpetual problem in higher education is how to encourage talented lower-income and minority students to apply for – and enroll in if accepted – colleges that will challenge them yet be within their capabilities. The less successful we are in doing this the less likely it is that these students will move up the […]

Traditional Higher Ed Dying

When I talk with college leaders about the challenges they face from online education–innovative new ventures, scorecards, resistance to higher tuition etc.–many are still in denial. They continue to believe that the traditional higher education model – which with bells and whistles has survived for 1,000 years – will never fundamentally change. Tell that to […]

Time for a College Warranty?

My younger daughter, then an entering college senior, once discovered that a mandatory Spanish class was no longer being offered in a time slot that did not clash with key classes for her major. Her advisor had erred in mapping out her courses. The college’s solution? Pay several hundred dollars to take the class in […]