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The Revolution is Now?

It’s summer, so that must mean that I am teaching Finance in Higher Education again. And this summer, I’m teaching it a lot. I have all three sections for the Ed.D. and Master’s programs related to higher education, which means I lead the course six hours a night, three nights a week, for six weeks. […]

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Ten Ways to Improve Educational Outcomes for Low-Income Youth

Double the minimum wage Create a full employment economy Give homeless youth a home End hunger Provide universal health care Treat mental illness Reduce incarceration Reduce income inequality Reduce the dropout rate Provide maternity and infant care Is there any that doubt if we did even half of these, educational outcomes would increase? If so, […]

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Graduates and Servants

What does it mean to be an indentured servant? Ask a senior in a selective college and you might be surprised by his or her answer. This semester I interviewed over 30 undergraduate juniors and seniors about financial aid, and one interview in particular stands out. I spoke with a graduating senior who had already […]

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How is a Dissertation Like Falling in Love?

Even a cursory reading of pop psychology reveals that humans attempt to recreate the love they once felt from their parents in the arms of another adult later in life. Falling in love, then, is a precarious practice and—as with all hazardous yet vital life activities—there is a constant possibility of torment. So too then, […]

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Tomorrow is Independence Day

Tomorrow is Independence Day. For many, July 4 is a day of rest spent with family and/or friends eating and drinking (and in my case avoiding getting a really bad sunburn). In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to point out two random facts about Independence Day … 8 of the 56 signers of […]

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Stats, Stories, and Policy Design

In my last post, I mentioned Illinois’ new testing plan, which sets different testing standards based on student demographics including race and class. The policy oozes the flawed logic that has defined the accountability era: Statistics—and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, in particular—represent the gold standard of educational research. Before you either tune me in or […]

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Outsourcing and Its Consequences II: The Philosophical and Ethical Issues Raised by Outsourcing

Apart from the economic premises I raised earlier, outsourcing is also a philosophical principle about how an organization should run its affairs. Once an institution agrees that outsourcing is a credible way to manage resources, it ends up on that proverbial “slippery slope.” I am not suggesting that outsourcing is inherently wrong or ought never […]

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Outsourcing and Its Consequences I: The Economic Justifications for Outsourcing

I’d like to spend the next few days thinking about outsourcing. What do we gain and lose when we outsource jobs at a university? On one level, outsourcing makes sense. Private and public colleges and universities are non-profit entities facing hard financial times. The goal of cutting costs, while maintaining the viability of the “product” […]

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Is Education Loan Debt Really a Return on Investment (ROI)?

Once again it is the time of year when graduates across the country proudly don their caps and gowns and march across the stage to pomp and circumstance to receive their hard earned degrees. These degrees are then followed up by the first student loan bills, which will require hard earned cash to pay back. […]

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“Pounding the Rock” in Basketball—or in a Ph.D. Program

Since 1997, the San Antonio Spurs have compiled an enviable record in the National Basketball Association, making the playoffs for 17 consecutive seasons, finishing first in their division 11 times, and winning four championships. Many of the Spurs players, though, are reaching the tail end of their careers. Their most prominent player, power forward Tim […]

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