Class Issues

Category archives for Class Issues

In Which I Am Grumpy About Education

In comments to Friday’s snarky post, I was chided for not engaging with the critique of standardized testing offered by Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss. I had intended to say more about the general topic, as there have been a bunch of much-cited articles in a similar vein crossing my RSS reader recently, but…

Including pretty much anybody wearing a helmet in this video from UC-Davis: That’s just disgraceful, all the way around (with the possible exception of the chubby hatless cop in the first part of the video, who appears to be behaving in a more reasonable manner than his armored colleagues). I feel a tiny bit bad…

Of Education Bubbles and Bad Graphs

The new school year is upon us, so there’s been a lot of talk about academia and how it works recently. This has included a lot of talk about the cost of higher education, as has been the case more or less since I’ve been aware of the cost of higher education. A lot of…

Attention, Hollywood

Fred Clark has an idea for you: Start with the housekeeping staff at a Manhattan hotel. They’ve just learned that their next contract includes no raise, but doubles the employee share of the cost of health benefits. The Norma Rae of this bunch — let’s say Jennifer Lopez* — convinces them to strike, but they…

Kevin Drum is puzzled by default panic: If we run out of money, the federal government will stop paying some of its bills. That’s bad, and it will quite likely have a negative effect on the economy. Corporations are right to be apprehensive about this. But that’s all that will happen. Treasury bonds will continue…

Tribes, Classes, and Networking

Via Jessa Crispin on Twitter, there’s a really excellent article in the Paris Review about Harvard and Class: When I applied, I thought it would be great because I would get to meet lots of smart people. Those were the kinds of people I liked to be friends with, and I thought there would be…

Is College Worth It?

As I noted the other day, we’re entering graduation season, one of the two month-long periods (the other being “back to school” time in August/September) when everybody pretends to care deeply about education. Accordingly, the people at the Pew Research Center have released a new report on the opinions of the general public and college…

College graduation season is upon us, at least for institutions running on a semester calendar (sadly, Union’s trimester system means we have another month to go). This means the start of the annual surge of Very Serious op-eds about what education means, giving advice to graduates, etc. The New York Times gets things rolling with…

Problematic Tigers

SteelyKid is, as I have noted previously, half Korean, a quarter Polish, and an eighth each Irish and German. Her parents are irreligious, the extended family is Catholic (more so on my side than Kate’s), and she goes to day care at the Jewish Community Center. In other words, a thoroughly American sort of upbringing.…

Education Reform Is Slow

Kevin Drum notes a growing backlash against education reform, citing Diane Ravitch, Emily Yoffe and this Newsweek (which is really this private foundation report in disguise) as examples. The last of these, about the failed attempts of several billionaires to improve education through foundation grants, is really kind of maddening. It makes the billionaires in…