Monday, September 07, 2009

Links for 9/7/09

“Law Passed After Mattel Toy Scare Makes Exception for Mattel”

Somehow, I’ve got the sickening feeling that we are going to see a similar headline in the not too distant future regarding Sallie Mae. Perhaps I’m reading too much into their lobbying blitz, but it seems like big companies are all too willing to go along with costly government interventions that force competitors out of business.


If this goes through, we might start seeing some lawsuits against accreditors instead of just colleges. Justin Fox discusses.


Tyler Cowen on education as a placebo:
we're learning that placebos apply to a lot of other areas and that includes higher education. Schooling works in large part because it makes people feel they've been transformed. Think about it: college graduates earn a lot more than non-graduates, but studying Walt Whitman rarely gets people a job. In reality, the students are jumping through lots of hoops and acquiring a new self-identity.

The educators and the administrators stage a kind of "theater" to convince students that they now belong to an elite group of higher earners. If students believe this story, many of them will then live it.

KC Johnson takes the AAUP president to task for abandoning academic freedom when it’s inconvenient:
The president of the AAUP asserted that "moral and political" considerations "are clearly fair when deciding whether or not to hire a faculty member in the first place. You have a right not to hire someone whose views you consider reprehensible."

Imagine if this approach had applied to the early 1950s---a period generally considered a low point in the history of academic freedom in the United States. At the high tide of McCarthyism, surely a majority of most academic departments considered communism to be morally and politically "reprehensible." The Nelson standard, therefore, appears to justify the decision of many such departments not to hire former members of the Communist Party. After all, according to Nelson, these ardent Cold Warrior faculty members had "a right not to hire someone whose views [they] consider reprehensible."

Economix on SAT scores by region

No comments: