Morning Ed: Education {2016.04.18.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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138 Responses

  1. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    If it was an option back when I was choosing colleges, “gives the football team veto power over staffing decisions” would have counted against a school. But I wasn’t a football player, so there’s that.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LTL FTC says:

      There are circumstances where I could imagine it having an impact, but I’d think Mizzou would be pretty insulated. Unless you’re a math and engineering sort, they’re the only top-flight state school. It isn’t one of those cases where if UNC has some sort of scandal, then people can go to NC State which is also really great. Or Florida to Florida State. In Missouri, they’d have to go out-of-state, to private school, or another school of considerably lower prestige. Taking those steps would seem to require more motivation than what happened there last year.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to LTL FTC says:

      Back when I was choosing colleges, I considered the absence of a football program to be a strong positive.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The live lecture study makes sense. When you have to show up to classes than your more likely to pay attention than when you could do other things while kind of paying attention to the lecture online. Lawyers have to do something called Continual Legal Education to keep their license. When I went to a CLE class in person than I tended to pay attention rather than zone out or read a book even if I was bored and just doing it for the credits. There is something about listening to a lecture live that creates incentive to listen. With online CLEs I pay much less attention unless it is very interesting.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Add to that the growing number of studies that suggest taking notes with pen and paper improves retention of the material (but typing notes doesn’t). Imagine… my contemporaries and I were doing things the right way all those decades ago.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I figured out, back in college that for any non-math course I could get a B with minimal effort. It might be a B+, it might be a B-, but it would be within that range. The technique was to show up to class every time, pay attention, participate in any class discussion, and above all, take good notes. (Laptops were not an option. Indeed, we had to write fast, before the clay dried.) Then the night before any test, again an hour or so before the test, review the notes. That was it. It really wan’t that hard, requiring just the few hours a week of class time. I could therefore concentrate however much additional time was was prepared to devote to academics (not inconsiderable, but then again those RPGs weren’t going to play themselves) to the classes that interested me.

        When these studies comparing noting by hand versus by laptop started coming out, I reaction was that they were confirming the obvious. I am a proficient typist. I can transcribe from written notes or spoken language with the content barely hitting my forebrain. Hand writing notes, I have to think about it. Even if I threw them away on the way out the door of the lecture hall, I would have benefited from taking them.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Typing is useless for me when it comes to studying. The only way I could get the material into my head in school was to read and take down notes while doing so. It took a lot of time but anything faster would not have worked.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Since that article the Mt St. Mary’s prez has been sent away to live on a farm.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Kolohe says:

      Yes, and thanks for calling it Mt. St. Mary’s.

      Like all things Mary, its complicated in Catholic circles.

      St. Mary’s University is the name of several schools (mostly local).
      St. Mary’s College is (usually) referring to the sister school of Notre Dame (which, of course is St. Mary)
      University of Mary is in North Dakota and there’s also a University of St. Mary.

      Mt. St. Mary’s is on a really pretty plateau down the Emmitsburg pike from Gettysburg that survey’s Maryland from the eastern slope the Catoctin Mountains. The school is moderately well known in Catholic circles for the old Seminary, but the reputation is of a middling school of indefinite Catholic character. Owing to its fantastic location, history and existing infrastructure it is considered ripe for rejuvenation…. or destined for (further) irrelevancy. Looks like they misfired on this rejuvenation attempt.

      I don’t know this fellow, but among small Catholic colleges, there are a lot of projects underway to look at shoring up finances to continue the mission… there are a lot of changes coming to Catholic higher education and colleges that do not change (one way or another) now will be gone in ten years.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Do you know anything about Notre Dame? Not the one in Indiana: the one in Baltimore. That is my wife’s alma mater, and we are eyeing it speculatively for when our daughters reach the age, in ten years or so.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

          I don’t have any special insight, sorry. Don’t know anyone on the board, faculty, or staff… so nope. It looks lovely, though; I assume it is (or was) a sister school to Loyola MD?Report

          • “I assume it is (or was) a sister school to Loyola MD?”

            I don’t know much about the history. It was founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, which seems to be an independent order. Presumably Loyola is Jesuit, originally training the Pope’s storm troopers. I’m not sure what “sister school” would mean in that context.

            As a point of history, until a few years ago the full name was the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. This was abbreviated by hopeful young lads down the road at Johns Hopkins as “CONDOM.” The Notre Dame student body collectively found the abbreviation hilarious, and didn’t explain it to the sisters. It is unclear to me whether the sisters were actually that naive.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    Buyer’s Remorse: This just shows the lack of financial / economic education. Hell, when you’re making payments, you get this nice statement showing how much of a balance is left. Divide by the payment amount and convert to years. Shesh. The same goes for how much college will cost. Credit hour * hours needed plus room and board, if needed. I’m sure mom and dad can provide comperable inputs to room and board. This is not hard people.

    Trump: Aww. So “Trump will make you leave” has replaced “gay” as the new bullying? If it’s not one thing it’s another.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Damon says:

      My parents used to complain about their student loans and how long it would take them to pay them off but never, ever discouraged me from getting a higher education. In fact the assumption in our family was that I would go to college and beyond.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon says:

      I don’t get this either. I had a pretty good idea how much I would spend every year on tuition, books, & fees. I knew, within a grand or two, how much the whole thing would cost me if I finished in 4 years or 5 years. This harkens back to a previous discussion about college costs, but the fact is, if you aren’t aware of the costs, chances are pretty good you aren’t paying attention.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Maybe it was because I mom and dad made me get part time jobs, manage a check book/savings account, and have real responsibilities when I was 16. What about you?Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon says:


          Thing was, thanks to my Navy service and the accident that ended it, I had VA Vocational Rehabilitation. The VA paid for every damn red cent of my education, and would have no matter what school I had gotten into. I had exactly zero incentive to understand the cost of my education, yet I still paid attention to it because knowing what that cost was mattered to me on a personal level (basically, if the taxpayers were willing to foot the bill for my degree, the least I could do was be aware of the bill I was asking them to foot).Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Even simpler, just looking at the tuition + room and board and multiplying by the number of years you’ll be there is a pretty damn good first approximation of the lower end. It’s not like we’re hearing people complaining about the difference between $150k and $155k in debt. They seem genuinely confused that they managed to get anywhere near that high, so I’m wondering what their assumptions were. That after the first year it’s free?Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    Mizzou: Universities don’t go downhill that fast, and not for such (relatively) trivial reasons. If they’re closing dorms, it’s been years in the making.Report

    • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:

      this. dorm closing is a pretty serious step, meaning they don’t expect an enrollment bounceback anytime soon.

      watching the mt st mary’s thing from afar was, professionally speaking, amusing. how many crazy things can they do this week?

      being on the inside – much less being a student – must have been far, far, far less so.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to dhex says:

        Yeah, it sounds like Mizzou is a mess.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to dhex says:

        The first result when googling “Missouri enrollment” is this article from the local paper, in which a Mizzou official points to smaller graduating high school classes as one cause of the enrollment decline. It certainly seems unlikely that campus activists are to blame for that, unless we’re dealing with a seriously buried lede in a story about time travel.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Autolukos says:

          Obama is documented as having time travel powers, what with his putting a birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper to put people off the track of his Kenyan birth. Recall also how he ruined the economy during the Bush administration. In this light, it is certainly reasonable to suppose that he has similarly used his time travel powers to destroy Mizzou.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Chris says:

      Could there be some element of students just not wanting to live in dorms as much anymore? Apartments in town becoming more affordable, transit to school from more areas of town becoming more feasible, etc.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to dragonfrog says:

        virtually every residential college in the us requires freshmen to live on campus unless they can make a commuting exception due to living in the immediate area. (whether this is a good or bad idea is another point). so taking dorms offline (without plans to build new ones) means they’re expecting lower incoming classes. (my two cents, without having insider knowledge, etc etc and so forth)Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to dhex says:

          I had no idea of that.

          Universities here do have residences, but nothing near the levels of their total student numbers. Students have to explicitly apply to live on campus, not to live off campus.Report

  6. Avatar Kim says:

    Um… yeah, it’s Mount Saint Mary’s University. I know this because I was briefly on the campus.Report

  7. Avatar clawback says:

    Mizzou enrollment rose dramatically during the last decade. A slight downward tick should not be taken as evidence to support one’s preexisting political views.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Buyer’s remorse: I think this shows that the economy is still in bad shape jobs wise. The unemployment rate might be low but what is the underemployment rate. I imagine it is pretty high.

    Trump: from the mouths of babes. The kids are just saying what they hear from their parents.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    How many kids who regret going to college are balancing it with the known facts of unemployment among non-college grads?Report

  10. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Noah Smith argues that if you’re getting a PhD, go with economics.

    But what would he say that if he were the one who would have to compete with all those newly-minted economists?Report

    • The way the hypothetical question is phrased rubs me the wrong way too. “I want a PhD, but I’m not sure what it should be in” seems exactly backwards of the thought process needed to be successful in any field.

      It’s sort of like “I want to get married next June, but I’m not sure to whom.”

      But this thing seems really common. I’ve been reading more about language acquisition recently, and I’m alarmed at how many people ask what language they should learn. It’s as if they decided they should learn a language, and the actual choice of which language is a detail to be plugged in after the fact.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        They should learn French.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        To be clear, my question was making fun of the people who ask a similar question when economists speak out in favor of free trade. Noah Smith does have to compete with the newly minted economists. I don’t think he even has tenure.

        Not that I disagree with your point, but the fact that you posted it as a response my comment makes me wonder what you thought I meant.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        IIRC, learning a second language (ANY second language) while still a kid is remarkable useful — in that it enables you to learn languages more easily in the future. There’s a complex developmental reason for this, which has been known a long time. It’s why many schools require a few years of a foreign language. Not because two years of High School Spanish are going to pay off, but because in 10 years if you end up in Japan for your job and are trying to pick up the language, it’s a lot easier than it would be if you hadn’t had those two years of Spanish.

        So really, if possible, you should make sure your kiddo takes a second language in junior high or high school — which one is less important than “one at all”.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

          I agree with this.

          (And disagree with people saying French. That’s probably not even in the top ten I would recommend.)Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Will Truman says:

            Bug is learning Spanish at day care. About 25% of what he says is Spanish these days.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

            I’d pick Spanish (I live in Texas) or German (tons of family, plus it’s pretty widespread in Europe) myself, but that’s…entirely due to my own circumstances. My family, location, even my particularly segment of the industry.

            More broadly, I’d recommend Americans either pick up Spanish or one of the bigger European (German or French) languages — you don’t have to learn a new alphabet and you’ll cover a pretty large area in terms of ‘usefulness’ if you’re just picking one up for a lark.

            If you’re not then, well, you know which language(s) you need already. 🙂Report

            • Avatar notme in reply to Morat20 says:

              You need to speak Spanish in Texas with all of the illegals that Obama is welcoming.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to notme says:

                Alternately, because it is the language of most of our nation’s neighbors. The kids and grandkids of the immigrants will speak English. The kids and grandkids of a majority of the continent will not, and most of those will speak Spanish.

                So yeah, Spanish is the most useful second language. Portuguese is up there, too. After that I would probably look at niche languages, rather than French and German which lots and lots of other people learn. Though getting a Polish class in high school is tough.Report

              • There’s a delightful form called
                And it’s reboot:
                The consensus is that in-class language instruction sucks, and the kind of instruction we get in high school sucks even more. If you want to actually learn a language, you should go do that, but it probably won’t be from signing up for a course in high school.Report

  11. Avatar Mo says:

    I am quite interested in what happens to Katehi over the web scrubbing flap. I also find the, “We used no public or student funds,” claim to be laughable.Report

  12. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I’m not surprised by the findings of the Indonesia study. It does not appear as if the raises were designed to — or resulted in — new, more talented teachers coming on board. Instead, the intention seems to have been aimed at motivating teachers to work harder. I’d be surprised if any industry showed dramatic improvements upon giving the same set of workers an unconditional raise. You either need to create an incentive-based system (which is not without its own set of drawbacks) or lure people in whom you wouldn’t be able to hire with the lower wages.Report

  13. Avatar notme says:

    It looks like the Hamilton musical saved him from been purged off the $10. However, it looks like the female on a currency quota victim will be Andrew Jackson.

    • Avatar Mo in reply to notme says:

      Which is exactly who it should have been in the first place.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to notme says:

      I’m dubious about having Jackson on the currency.

      The trouble with the insistence that a woman be on the currency is that its difficult to scrounge up a women who founded, built, or presided over something of much consequence in this country and who does not have scores of male peers who did much the same. The closest you come is Clara Barton.

      Look here at what one set of hobbyists came up with:

      Grace Hopper and Barbara McClintock were women of accomplishment in demanding fields. Pretty steep drop from their perch to the next one. Some of the suggestions are just godawful.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

        Hopper or McClintock would both be good choices.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

          What did McClintock run, other than her own laboratory? What is distinctive about McClintock as opposed to the other 60-odd Americans who’ve been awarded the physiology or medicine prize?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Art Deco says:

        They don’t want a woman who has done something significant, they just want a women. As the article says, “Lew also plans to announce this week that Andrew Jackson — a less beloved former president whose face graces the front of the $20 bill — will be removed in favor of a female representing the struggle for racial equality, according to the government source.” This comes down to we need to find a token women so we’ll purge a white male president that actually did something for this country but isn’t popular.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

          It is remarkable how you ignore what your own quote says.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:

            Show me a women that has done something for this country that is on par with the people that currently grace our currency.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

              That isn’t what you said. You said “… that actually did something for this country …” implying that the female candidates did nothing for the country. You said they don’t want someone who did something significant, just someone. Now you’re changing it to a female who did make contributions but which don’t compare to those of the current crop of currency faces. And you act as if a female who represents the struggle for racial equality is some sort of do-nothing. Sigh… it’s like you aren’t even trying today!Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

                Have you looked at the ‘candidates’? (See links above).

                The question at hand is did they ‘do something’ which incorporated building public institutions in a way that was highly distinctive. Lots of people are quite accomplished, including Barbara McClintock. There are only a half-dozen faces you can put on currency.

                It’s not going to be Dr. McClintock. The ‘racial equality’ angle means they’ll pick some minor historical figure who was involved in some sort of extraparliamentary politics or social work – e.g. Sojourner Truth.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to notme says:

              If the criteria here is that they have to have held political office during the founding years of the USA,to take one possible example, then you are quite right — pretty much by definition. That’s if you want to use that to be the criteria for national recognition on currency.

              What specific criteria are you using?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Then we need someone new on the $100 bill. I mean, unless we’re going to give Franklin credit for being post master general and a diplomat and the President of Pennsylvania. Which, don’t get me wrong, those are no doubt political offices of varying degrees of consequence — and Franklin was influential beyond any titles he might have held — but clearly the rule was not “Be a President” or “Hold major political office”.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, we could probably tweak it to include him. Of course, as you know @kazzy , that would also just be an arbitrary set of criteria.

                Look at stamps. We choose to commemorate Americans who contributed to the arts, sciences, business, charity, all kinds of stuff. They seem to work just fine, and the republic has not crumbled because both Washington and Ellington have been on the stamp. I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same with currency — especially nowadays, where we’re changing their look every decade or so anyway.

                So, yeah, if you set up an arbitrary set of criteria that either purposefully or accidentally only includes a small number of white men born in the 18th or 19th century, then of course there’s no place for a woman, or for that matter a person of color. But that’s jsut because you’re using that criteria.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Actually, prior to the Roosevelt Administration, commemoratives were circumscribed in number. I think there were 3 in circulation in 1932.

                You have masses of stamps. You only have seven spots on the currency and five or six on coin.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                So, yeah, if you set up an arbitrary set of criteria

                It’s not arbitrary just because it stands in the way of posturing by Democratic Party officialdom.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Art Deco says:

                No, it’s arbitrary because its arbitrary.

                Look, like most people I don’t think people should be on stamps until they have passed on. I’d be against anyone putting a sitting president on the stamp because of this, regardless of how popular they were or what party they belonged to. But I’m self-aware enough to recognize that this preference is pretty arbitrary. To the best of my knowledge, the Lord has not descended form the Heavens to declare that only dead people should be on stamps.

                The reason it is acceptable to have Wilson, Grant and Franklin on currency but not — to stick to the world of white men, so not to get tripped up on PC issues — Gershwin, Twain, MacArthur, Edison, or Armstrong (who all have stamps) is pretty arbitrary.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                No, it isn’t arbitrary. We have people on the currency who’ve contributed to our political life. We do not have people who write music. I think Germany does have cultural figures on their currency. That’s their custom.

                By the way, you start sticking composers on the currency, you still won’t have many dames.Report

              • Gershwin wasn’t white. Just ask Kevin MacDonald.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                To be fair, Ellington was a Duke.Report

              • So outranked Count Basie but not Prince.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Where does the Duke of Earl fit into the hierarchy?Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Neither Franklin nor Hamilton held a federal elected office, yet without them this country wouldn’t be what it is.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

                Can the same not be said for Harriet Tubman? Or Rosa Parks?Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy says:

                Let’s take the “winner” of the woman on the 20 contest, Tubman. Her claim to fame is recusing a few slaves, not much more. How did that really change our country?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

                She can’t hold a candle to Salmon P. Chase, or Grover Cleveland!Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chase was a big deal in the peri-bellum era. People fade.

                That aside, the bill he was on was too unwieldy to be used for anything but inter-bank transactions and perhaps securities trading. It’s not something an ordinary person would have set eyes on. Fewer than 1,000 were in circulation when they were withdrawn and they were only printed for 27 years.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Think of the liberal horror if there were still $100k bills with w. wilson on them. I guess with tubman would be a twofer.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme says:

                Well, I don’t know about that.

                She personally risked life, limb, and liberty for eleven years before the Civil War to benefit about seventy people she did not personally know, on the basis of moral principle. Is that “a few” slaves rescued? YMMV. Similarly, she also symbolizes a much larger movement that rescued not just seventy but tens of thousands of people out of bondage.

                During the Civil War she provided direct material assistance to the Union Army, reconnoitering Confederate territory and participating in active behind-enemy-lines combat and slave rescue raids (although I can’t find evidence that she personally fired a weapon at the enemy on any of these raids), as well as supporting soldiers suffering from dysentery as a nurse, when she wasn’t helping the military do things like capture Jacksonville.

                After the Civil War she continued her humanitarian work, advocating for equal treatment for blacks, and helped lay the groundwork for women’s suffrage, despite great personal poverty and a government shamefully slow to pay the military pension she’d earned. But she never stopped serving the until she was too frail to do anything.

                I say, she was badass. One of the finest examples of a hero that American history has to offer.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Burt Likko says:

                She had her accomplishments. The thing is, that type of valor was not contextually all that rare. You’d have quite an array of Civil War veterans from which to choose.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

                If all it takes is being a “badass” whatever that is, there are plenty of folks who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to choose from.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

                Rosa Parks was the recording secretary of the Montgomery, Ala NAACP. She was an ordinary working-class woman notable for one discrete act of social protest (planned in advance and for which she was selected because she had a more tranquil disposition than another volunteer for the task). She’s like everyone else in this country: significant to her family and friends.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Criteria have been stated repeatedly in this discussion.Report

            • Avatar Mo in reply to notme says:

              So we just need a woman to commit genocide and give the SCOTUS the finger to get on our money?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

        I’d like to see Sandra Day O’Connor on the $20.

        I’d like us to wait for her to die first.

        And I’m in no hurry for that to happen because I’m a big fan of the judicial reform, judicial independence, education, and civic advocacy that Justice O’Connor is doing even now.

        Although I think it’d be nice for her to know that this sort of honor is being contemplated for her, before she leaves us. Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

          “So… ugh… this is awkward… we were really excited to put you on the $20 and, honestly, no one expected you to live nearly this long. And we could totally re-envision the unveiling as a celebration of your still-very-much-alive self as opposed to a commemoration of your not-so-much-still-going life. But… well, forgive us if the bills themselves say ‘1930-2016’. We… we just didn’t think you had it in you. Which sort of makes you the perfect choice! Eh? EH?!”Report

        • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Burt Likko says:

          My five-part balancing test concludes that a fairly unremarkable Arizona pol appointed to please Barry Goldwater does not belong on the currency and that anyone who ever signed on to the court’s abortion jurisprudence needs to be dug up and put on trial a la Pope Formosus.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to Art Deco says:

            But she was the first women and that alone should be enough.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco in reply to notme says:

              Aye, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first hideous woman ergo it would be a blow against sexism and looksism.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

              How about a compromise-
              We want a woman, you want an old dead white guy-

              So we put J. Edgar Hoover on the twenty, and call it a draw!Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I want someone who has done really significant things for this country, not just a women bc she is a woman. All of the folks on the current bills have done great things for this country. If all you want is a woman then how about my mother? She spent a career as a social worker and really enjoyed helping people.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                I want someone who has done really significant things for this country, not just a women bc she is a woman.

                How bout this: you name a woman who, in your view, has done really great things for this country and I’ll support you 110% – no, 120%!! – in advocating for her face to appear on a bill.

                That way we can get around all this “she’s on the bill just because she’s a woman” nonsense, yes?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                You haven’t thought this through, have you?

                “Hey buddy, can ya spare a Palin?”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You haven’t thought this through, have you?


              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Stillwater says:

                You cannot find one who built something or led something of institutional significance who does not have scores of male peers you’re not selecting. The closest you come is Clara Barton.

                It’s impossible to complete the task without gender-norming. See Mr. “Burt Likko”s commentary on Harriet Tubman. All that’s very impressive, but it’s most interesting because she is female and you just do not find these skills exercised by women.

                Britain has Mrs. Thatcher. Still, you’re going to have to wait another 25 years to see if she holds up in significance and longer to see if appreciating her transcends sectarian political disputes (which it might in the case of Gen. Eisenhower but does not yet in the case of Pres. Roosevelt).Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme says:

                So would you object to O’Connor? Or Ginsburg? Both have made very significant contributions to the law, and not just by being the first women on SCOTUS but rather by virtue of the legal opinions they’ve authored. For ten years or so O’Connor held the balance of power on the Court. She re-wrote Roe v. Wade in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case and it’s fair to say that O’Connor’s opinion is still today the principal legal paradigm for reproductive rights, one with which neither side of the culture war is particularly happy but which which the public as a whole has become more or less reconciled to living with, quieting what was threatening to be an internal fissure that for a time felt like it could have torn us apart the way slavery did. She also wrote Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: “A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens.” For virtually her entire lifetime Ginsburg has been a crusader for women’s equality, both as a lawyer and as a judge. Indeed, it is fair to say that in the field of actually vindicating women’s rights in courts, where rights count the most, Ginsburg has no peer; the closest analogue to her legal career would be Thurgood Marshall. I think that both of them have earned at least serious consideration, for their achievements and contributions to our history. The only reason they aren’t in the mix of this conversation right now is that they are both still alive and we don’t put living people on our money by convention.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Some would say Earl Warren made significant contributions to our country’s laws. Probably more than either one of them.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme says:

                If we’re going to critique every potential female candidate and ask ourselves if they were one of the five most influential Americans… shouldn’t we also do that to the guys currently on the bills?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, it’s sort of like statues, isn’t it? Or any other high public honor. We necessarily exclude some by picking others. Can’t pick everyone: not enough honors, or at least high honors, to go around.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:


                My issue is is the inconsistency of applying the so-called standards.

                If your argument against Candidate A is that she doesn’t have criteria X, your argument doesn’t hold much water if Candidate B and C similarly lack criteria X and you have no argument against their inclusion.

                If you think only the five best people deserve the honor, well, so be it. As song as the six best person may be, they aren’t top five and that is just how the cookie crumbles. But if you argue against the six best person using the top five rule while ignoring that the current crop isn’t the top five, your argument is insincere.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, I’m not sure why there need to be particular, objective standards in the first place. Much less standards that are purportedly durable over time. We cannot quantify the degree of prestige and honor attributed to every historical figure as though they were some kind of hit points in a game of Historical Dungeons & Dragons.

                Like the generations before us did, and as generations to come after us will, we learn about history and people who came before us through our own lenses of interpretation. As we look through our lenses, we find some images more beautiful than others. It should come as no surprise that standards of beauty are not durable, but rather change over time. So too are the criteria by which we identify historical heroes and historical villains.

                One might wonder, why do we not put Franklin Roosevelt on our paper money? Why do we think Alexander Hamilton, who was never president, is worthy of that honor while FDR gets only the thin small dime? Why do we put Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore, but on neither paper nor coined money?

                Herbert Hoover was a hero, until he wasn’t. John Adams was a hero, then he was a cretin, until he became a hero again. Jams Garfield was a hero, until he became a footnote. William Henry Harrison was a hero, then a villain, and now is mainly a punchline. Andrew Johnson was a villain, then a man of great principle, and now is thought mainly an ineffective nonentity. And so it goes.

                Today we admire Andrew Jackson not so much. If we find we admire Eleanor Roosevelt or Harriet Tubman or Sandra Day O’Connor more, we can change the honors we give our ancestors accordingly. There is no objective criterion. There are the needs and pressures and hopes and ideals and conflicts of the moment, which shape the lenses through which we search history in search of heroes.

                Who shall our heroes be? Our parents’ choices may guide our own, but they do not bind us. Now, the present, is our time. Now, in the present, we struggle to make equality meaningful and to be simultaneously free and secure and prosperous. It is no surprise, then, that picking heroes is a cultural challenge.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Burt, Hoover’s reputation went up and down as you describe within less than 2/3 of a generation.

                Currency used to be more variegated and with evanescent designs, sometimes incorporating topical tributes. It’s been pretty stable since the Depression, so we should be wary of changes. I’d suggest replacing Jackson with Eisenhower on the 50th anniversary of the latter’s death.

                Another thing we can do is withdraw any dollar coins from circulation and withdraw the 50 cent piece as well, both for disutility and to correct the grossness of any kind of tribute to John F. Kennedy. While we’re at it, Idlewild Airport and the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, please.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko says:

                If this subthread shows anything it is that our criteria for currency figures is less about objective standards than a reflection of our current norms and aspirations.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It is?

                Look at who is on the currency and coin now. Washington (military commander), Hamilton (also raised and commanded troops), Jackson (military commander), and Grant (professional soldier). In addition you have Lincoln (wartime leader) and Roosevelt (wartime leader). Keep in mind that the Civil War and the 2d World War were comprehensive mobilizations (which the Mexican War, and the Korean War et seq) were not. There’s a definite bias there.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Art Deco says:


                For the most part, I get what you are saying, but you seem to be ignoring a pretty big element in the discussion. That being that up until pretty recently, women were barred from even trying to match the accomplishments of the men of the time. Saying that all the guys on the currency were military commanders or political leaders ignores that women were actively, legally prohibited from holding such positions.

                So dismissing Tubman’s actions as nothing special compared to the men of the time ignores not only the fact that Tubman was a woman in a time when women were not only strongly socially discouraged from such heroics (whereas men were strongly encouraged to it), but the legal ramifications if she was caught would have much more dire than those her white male contemporaries faced.

                This is not to say Tubman should be on the $20, only that when comparing the contributions of women to men, the context of the time period is pretty critical (and thus, I agree that Clara Barton would be a very good choice, the Red Cross has had a global impact).Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:


                There don’t necessarily need to be. But if the objection to Tubman is that she didn’t hold political office, than that really does eliminate Benjamin Franklin. If Franklin is in, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Tubman (or anyone else) is in, but it means it is inconsistent to object to her on those grounds.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

                My issue is is the inconsistency of applying the so-called standards.

                No one’s being inconsistent. We’re pointing out that none of the characters on the roster (see my links) meet standards.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Art Deco says:

                What are the standards, @art-deco ?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme says:

                Now, this is an interesting discussion indeed. I’m a great admirer of Warren’s judicial career. (As governor? Meh.) As well,mobviously, of Marshall’s. I wouldn’t mind seeing Marshall on the $20 either.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to notme says:

                And some would say he inaugurated a period of lawlessness in the judiciary. (And these somes have the virtue of being right).Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Art Deco says:

                I would agree with that and was merely using him for the sake of the argument. His career was clearly more substantial than either O’Conner of Ginsberg who are only being mentioned b/c they are women.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme says:

                Which gets us back to the first question, phrased well elsewhere in the thread: until only about a generation ago, the bench was closed to women in any meaningful way. O’Connor was offered a secretarial job after graduating with honors from Stanford Law School. Given that environment, making it to the Supreme Court is a pretty damn impressive achievement — just as Tubman’s reconnaissance work in the Civil War was a pretty damn impressive achievement.

                Women make up roughly half of the population of our nation. They are every bit as much citizens of it as the gentlemen. I don’t begrudge them wanting some heroes who are women: we should have women as heroes. I’ve not seen an argument here that women can’t be heroic, only claims that so far in our history, they haven’t been quite as heroic as the men. Well. They haven’t had the same opportunities as the men, either. If we want women of the future to be heroic, let’s find some role models. That’s what heroes are for, after all: to inspire others to emulate them.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

                Though I disagree rather sharply with those “somes”, the disagreement is a distraction from the focus of the current exchange.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Ginsburg has no peer; the closest analogue to her legal career would be Thurgood Marshall.

                You mean Ginsburg is a triumph of the taxidermist’s art?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

                If this was intended to be a joke, I didn’t get it.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Having spent some time these past two months on alt-right sites, I believe that the punchline is this:

                One is a black man who needed to be stuffed and posed by white liberals so as to appear to be an intelligent jurist. The other was a woman of the same making.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                If that is the punchline, it is not only false and not only in terrible taste, it also just plain isn’t funny.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko says:

                That’s pretty much the case with all alt-right jokes, I am findingReport

              • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, Chip, we want someone with a very particular sort of accomplishment.

                It’s imprudent to place a figure of recent vintage on the bills. You wait until someone’s peers have died (and Eisenhower’s have, pretty much) and then see if the controversies around them have been quelled and settled and if their significance is undimmed. Ergo, you’re not going to put someone on the currency who’s still shuffling around.

                There are two realities here. One is demographic: up until about 50 years ago, 87% of the population of this country was white. You’ll have white people on the currency because that’s who lives here. The other is a phenomenon which Judith Kleinfeld has discussed regarding academic achievement which you see in other realms: the standard deviation of performance for men his higher than that for women. More people of exceptional accomplishment and more prison inmates and skid row dwellers. And that is why your pickings are slim for dames on the currency.

                Your cause is not helped, by the way, by the sheer stupidity of people promoting it. Do they really expect a non-brain dead Congress to put Betty Friedan or Wilma Mankiller on the currency?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Art Deco says:

                “…a very particular sort of accomplishment.”

                What sort? If, as @oscar-gordon mentions elsewhere, it is the sort of accomplishment that could only REASONABLY be achieved by white men due to the laws and social norms during the time period you are limiting us to, is that really a reasonable set of criteria?

                “It isn’t our fault that only white men are on it. It just so happens that there are very few non white male candidates who can pass the ‘has pale foreskin’ test.”Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

                I am still not clear on what this particular sort of accomplishment is. Leading a very large military campaign to victory?

                Excludes Lincoln, at least. His accomplishments were political and legal (worthy of high honor, in my opinion), and military honors for that era belong to others (most prominently, Grant and Sherman). Hamilton was an effective lieutenant to Washington, but the military successes of the Revolution are not credited to him. Jefferson also had but a minor impact at arms: his accomplishments and contributions, like Lincoln’s, were principally political.

                Served as President? Excludes Hamilton and Franklin outright.

                Helped found the Republic? Again, we exclude Lincoln, and Grant, and Jackson. And the twentieth-century leaders on the coinage.

                We can’t even say that the historical record has settled about these figures. Jackson’s historic standing is very much in flux right now; Hamilton’s star is rising as Jackson’s falls, but this need not and probably will not always be the case. Lincoln is yet subject to criticism despite his accomplishments; I’ve heard hints of desires to de-apothesize Kennedy, Eisenhower, and Roosevelt here as well; not real sure that we much admire Grant’s Presidency, which was either clueless or corrupt depending on who you talk to.

                So what is the very particular sort of accomplishment you’re looking for?Report

  14. Avatar notme says:

    From the how ironic department, George Clooney throws $353K per couple Hillary fundraiser, then goes on TV and complains about money in politics

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to notme says:

      His aunt campaigned for Robert Kennedy. Bad taste in politicians is a family trait. Still, in addition to being a fine singer, she likely had too vibrant a sense of irony to pull a stunt like his. Family’s regressing.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird says:

    More than a third of millennials say they wouldn’t have attended college if they’d known the costs in advance

    My first thought was “check the article to see if it talks about what the various major percentages would be… 20% comp sci, 10% math, 5% physics*, that sort of thing…”

    Checking the article, I’m disappointed to see that it doesn’t cover that.

    *I admit that my majors and percentages weren’t exactly those listed.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird says:

      Maybe things have changed in the few years since I was in college, but don’t most universities post tuition, housing and fees on their web sites? It took me about 10 seconds to look up the cost of the 2015/2016 year at my alma mater. I’m just not seeing how this could be a problem. Do people ever say they wouldn’t have bought a car if they had known how big their payments would be?

      The only industry I can think of where this actually happens is medicine.Report