Tagged Education

The Worst Possible Inaugural Address, By the Worst Possible President

Donald Trump is now the president of the United States, and on his very first day, with his very first speech, he has managed to redraw the picture of America to which we are used. Before Trump, we were accustomed to an America that engaged the world with confidence and strength. An America willing to trade with the world, understanding that trade is not a zero-sum game. An America that not only honored its alliances, but ensured that its allies would never have any reason to doubt American resolve. An America with problems–because no nation is without problems–but one that…

Quote of the Day

In the past few weeks, the pendulum swing of political correctness–a movement that began decades ago as a backlash against entrenched prejudice and general power-hogging–seems to have achieved a sort of terminal velocity on American university campuses. This has resulted in events that many find dismaying, but not terribly surprising. I’m referring specifically to two well-known incidents that have already been heavily commented upon: the fight over Halloween costumes at Yale, in which a professor named Erika Christakis was pilloried for suggesting that students should be encouraged to use their own best judgment about what kinds of costumes are offensive, and…

Quote of the Day

On Tuesday, President Obama participated in the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University in Washington. While many topics were discussed, including the media, the president addressed the impact children attending private schools have on the “opportunity” for other children. Obama also said a private school education leads to “an anti-government ideology.” “What’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better… are withdrawing from sort of the commons,” Obama said. “Kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government ideology then disinvests from…

An Open Letter

TO: Thomas Piketty FROM: Pejman Yousefzadeh RE: Incurring Paul Krugman’s Contempt Dear Professor Piketty: Congratulations on successfully positioning yourself so that you may be looked down upon by Paul Krugman until the end of time itself. Your ability to cause Professor Krugman to consider you to be less intellectually developed than your average paramecium–and make no mistake; this is what he must think of you right now, given that you have the temerity to disagree with him–is tremendously impressive and merits your warm welcome into a special club of people whom Professor Krugman considers to be the dust and grime beneath the…

The Truly Awful Idea to Tax 529 Plans

Megan McArdle: Earlier in the week, I discussed the Obama administration’s proposal to tax earnings on so-called 529 college savings plans, part of a package of tax hikes that will pay for new programs such as his proposal to make the first two years of community college free. This has been touted as a plan to hike taxes on the rich to help the middle class, but in fact it’s more of a plan to redistribute money from the upper middle class to the lower middle class. As I noted then, this proposal is not going anywhere, not just because Republican congressmen will block…

Good for Arizona

Civics education in the United States is nothing short of shameful, and something has to be done to improve it. A high school test won’t solve all the problems, but it would not hurt in the slightest to make high school kids learn civics and be forced to pass a test on civics before graduation. So, Arizona has gone ahead and passed legislation requiring just that. I certainly approve. And to those who criticize this move by saying that requiring that high school students pass a civics test won’t necessarily make for better citizens, I say “you are right.” But…

The Best University President in the Country Is . . .

Mitch Daniels: A billboard on the highway heading into West Lafayette, Indiana—home of Purdue University—warns, “There’s a train coming.” It’s meant as an invitation to join the Boilermaker sports bandwagon, but it might just as easily refer to the skyrocketing costs of college tuition nationwide. Purdue president and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wants to do something about it. Prior to his arrival in 2012, tuition at Purdue had gone up every year for 36 years, with annual hikes averaging close to 6 percent in the previous decade. Daniels has frozen tuition for three straight years and slashed room and board costs by…

Is There an Actual Liberal Crackup?

Jennifer Rubin seems to think so. I am not so sure. Yes, the Democratic party has sustained a lot of losses in midterm elections, but the Republican party has proven unable to win the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, and has lost 4 out of the last 6 presidential elections in the Electoral College, where it counts. For all of the controversies that the Center for American Progress has suffered, there is no think tank on the right with as much power and influence. I don’t see problems at the New York Times and Newsweek…

Bigotry + Delusion = The American Studies Association

Behold: When the American Studies Association adopted its Israel boycott in February, it was “credited… for giving moment to the boycott campaign.” Now the ASA has significantly reversed its boycott of Israeli scholars – and is indeed trying to claim it never happened. If the ASA’s original action was important for popularizing such boycotts (at least in the narrow quarters of area studies), its reversal is equally important for showing them to be beyond the pale. It will be extremely hard for other academic groups to now put a good face on adopting a boycott that the ASA has done so much…

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai

In Pashtun, “Yousafzai” has the same meaning as “Yousefzadeh,” so I am entirely willing to pretend that Malala Yousafzai is my cousin. In that vein, my family is immensely proud that she has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and in a much more serious vein, the prize is entirely deserved. Malala’s work in fighting to ensure that women and girls have access to educational institutions–despite the Taliban’s irrational and lunatic opposition to the education of women and girls–and the courage she displayed in recovering from a Taliban assassination attempt and resuming her work, are nothing short of extraordinary and inspirational. Giving her…