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

The rise of the ‘gentleman’s A’ and the GPA arms race

A’s — once reserved for recognizing excellence and distinction — are today the most commonly awarded grades in America. That’s true at both Ivy League institutions and community colleges, at huge flagship publics and tiny liberal arts schools, in English, ethnic studies and engineering departments alike.

Why Are We Dumbing Down the SAT?

America’s college entrance examination wants to do away with difficult vocabulary. But the assumption that many “SAT words” are genuinely obscure cries out to be challenged.

The Shame Culture

Everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion. There are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd. It is a culture of oversensitivity, overreaction and frequent moral panics, during which everybody feels compelled to go along.

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., But Little Education

Most students need both education and training. The issue is about balance, and I believe there has been a pronounced shift away from education, and toward training.

Who Gets Into College?

According to the report, students show too much concern about their own futures and not enough about serving the community. But even if that’s true, is it the job of college admissions departments to right that wrong?

Luxurious College Apartments, Built on Debt

It is one thing to say that we need a more affordable student-loan program so that people can pay for things like tuition, books, food, basic housing. It should not be so generous that students’ lifestyle in college far exceeds what they’ll be able to afford after graduation.

The Not-So-Great Debate

No greater truths were uncovered or scholarship encouraged; our various commitments to the mainstream political climate prevented objective engagement with the material. I write about it here mainly because I hope others are spared this frustration.

The Federal Leviathan Is Crushing Colleges and Universities

Federal, state, and local higher education laws seem to multiply by the hour. Schools devote millions of dollars and valuable resources to comply with those rules—many of which confuse and do little to improve student outcomes.