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 Excellence Problem

As reformers and watchdog groups press colleges and universities for more rigor in and out of the classroom and stronger learning outcomes, they should keep in mind all the forces conspiring against those circumstances.  I don’t mean the drawbacks of any bureaucracy as it grows and grows, but the specific parties and their interests.  The […]

Prescient Lawmaker Challenges Higher Ed Groupthink

It’s been said that higher-education administrators treat regents like mushrooms: “Keep them in the dark and feed them manure.” Regrettably, some haughty administrators—in my home state of Oklahoma, higher education is known as the fourth branch of government—often treat state lawmakers the same way. Fortunately, not all lawmakers are content to stay in the dark. […]

Crossing to Safety

By Frank Buckley Wallace Stegner has disappeared into that void into which great authors tumble, twenty years after their deaths, until they are rediscovered 40 years later. He, along with Willa Cather and W.O. Mitchell, is amongst the greatest of western novelists, and his Wolf Willow memorably described the parched country in which I grew […]

Colleagues in the Academic Trenches

If your experience duplicates mine you’ve witnessed in your classrooms a malady that is provoking complaints from educators and general public alike: college students somehow make their way through four years’ of coursework without learning to compose coherent essays on any of the subjects listed on their transcripts. I propose to identify two causes for […]

We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us

Pogo, the long-running comic strip by Walt Kelly, is perhaps best known for the quote “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This quote comes from an early 1970s Earth Day poster that shows Pogo looking out on a forest floor filled with garbage. Kelly’s hope, of course, was that if people realize […]

The Latest “Diversity is Educational” Report

You know that a court case involving the permissibility of using racial preferences to engineer a “diverse” student body is approaching when you see a flurry of reports finding that great things happen when schools are made more diverse. One of those reports was released in early August. It involved the University of North Carolina […]