Distance, Yes. Learning, Maybe.

What I’m calling, “The Great Distance Learning Experiment of 2020” has commenced for nearly all of the 57 million K-12 students in the United States.  In such an experimental phase, the continuity of instruction is muddled, and students, teachers and educators find themselves in uncharted waters.  The old rules, like attendance policies, don’t apply, at least here in California.  The…

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Ahead of the Curve: Week of April 27, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis disrupting educational and instructional continuity, students, parents, and educators are asking and being asked questions about the current educational process, which is also spurring discussions about the value of education.   The following is a selection of education-related news stories from the past few weeks, offering insights about the shifts in both K-12 and higher…

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A Glimpse Into the Undergraduate Experience during COVID-19 Signals Declining Sentiment about the Value of a College Education

A student who attends a public flagship university in California characterizes distance learning as:  Chaos is an apt description. Zoom is challenging to manage and pre-recorded lectures lack humor. It’s difficult to focus on lectures…  Third year undergraduate The student, like many others, struggles to continue learning, conflicted about missing friends and her life in another city yet appreciative of…

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A Renaissance in the Midst of COVID-19

Educators and students, participants in the Modern American Educational Industrial Complex, are mere glimmers of the Jeffersonian ideals of “essential merit”, which historian Joseph F. Kett defines as:  …merit that rests on specific and visible achievements by an individual that were thought, in turn, to reflect that individual’s estimable character…’Merit’ was that quality in the person that propelled the achievements,…

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Top 25 Nationally Ranked Universities Adopt Pass/No Pass-Style Grades for Spring 2020

To date, thirteen of the top twenty-five US News & World Report nationally ranked universities, all adopted Pass/No Pass-style grading systems for the spring term, due to the COVID-19 health crisis: Princeton #1, Harvard #2, Columbia #3, Yale #3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology #3, University of Pennsylvania #6, Stanford University #6, Johns Hopkins University #10, Dartmouth #12, Brown #14, Cornell…

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The State of A College Education: How Golden Is The Golden Ticket? Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2, sentiment amongst college students and prospective college students may already be declining, which could be exacerbated even further, as we weather the current global pandemic with closed college campuses and students dispersed to their childhood homes. Additionally, the last of the Millennials are now college graduates, but experiencing a current 41% underemployment rate, meaning they…

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The Unveiling of the Educational Meritocracy

As the saying goes, “For every system, there is a counter system.” And, the recent Federal indictments of 50 individuals only becomes the latest example of an educational counter-system. College coaches, athletic department administrators, parents, and Rick Singer, the independent college admissions consultant, collectively found a way around the admissions office, the “front door” of colleges, to what Mr. Singer…

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Guest Post: The Meritocracy-Diversity Divide

Affirmative action policies could use closer scrutiny—but don’t lose sight of their benefits. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION is an increasingly rare sort of debate, the kind where both sides present a valid analysis of a complex and thorny issue. This is not always the case. On climate change, the left is reacting to a real, imminent problem, though they often do so…

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