Linky Friday: Education


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Ed13: I am always dissatisfied by these kinds of articles because it is a worthy subject and I am not left with much information. You get a sentence on how Europe’s social welfare state considers education a right but not anything on whether Americans consider education to be a right. We don’t explore how much America’s general anti-intellectual bent hurts teacher pay or not, etc.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Also, the UK considers healthcare a right, and yet the NHS frequently has labour disputes over pay and conditions. Declaring something a right just means you want the government to give it to you, it doesn’t mean you’re willing to pay the taxes necessarily to fund it properly.Report

  2. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    [Ed1] I am prepared to believe that a process designed to keep Jews out of Harvard is now keeping Asians out. I’ve read that Harvard’s objection to Jews was that they didn’t enhance the prestige of the institution enough. They became doctors, lawyers, and dentists and settled down to a nice comfortable existence outside the public eye. As if that’s a problem.

    Also I endorse the idea that we’ve become too obsessed with the “name” schools.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I agree about the ‘name’ schools. The very fact that people know what HYPS means is an indication that name has become a bit too important.

      This is not to say that institutional reputation is not for nothing, but when your ‘name’ is that important, it becomes easy to let quality slide because you remain buoyed by the name. People stop looking hard at the quality of the end product. And it’s unlikely HYPS school would ever allow itself to become a bottom tier school, the possibility of just being a mediocre school is real, and it would take a long time for people to really notice.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        And the fact that the general public doesn’t really think of Harvard as a private school the way we do say, Bob Jones University is important.

        Everyone just accepts that Harvard is essentially the gateway through which all our elite passes, everyone from corporate heads to government officials.

        So the selection criteria for this private university serves as a proxy for “Who Gets To Run America”.Report

        • There’s a prevailing sense, and I’ve written on this myself elsewhere, but the college transcript has fallen prey to CV-itis, that is like the resume just has to check of certain boxes without telling you anything about the quality of the actual candidate. The gatekeeper/proxy analogy is a good one; it’s just something you do to get into certain circles more so than the education involved.Report

  3. Avatar Maribou says:

    That TH White quote above has long been one of my personal mottoes (in the aspirational, not braggadocio sense of such).


  4. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    [Ed1] I’ll voice my continuing dissent from the notion that Harvard or any other elite school is engaged in “affirmative action,” in the sense of remedying historic racial discrimination. Public universities were pretty much precluded from doing so in Bakke. Harvard and the other private colleges can do what they want as far as I’m concerned, but if they wanted to do something called affirmative action, they would need to take into consideration wealth and community poverty levels and not count foreign students in this mission.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to PD Shaw says:

      If the Rich Really Want To ‘Do Good,’ They Should Become Class Traitors Like FDR seems relevant here (and to our discussion of lotto winnings elsewhere) – a long and discursive essay/review about Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Maribou says:

        To be honest, I’m not convinced that elite university admissions are the best point in society to do justice; I just think they should not receive unearned merit. If I were up to me, I would tax them like as the same as a profit-making petro-chemical company, and let the government spend it on public goods. I’m open to similar treatment for hospitals, huge philanthropies, mega churches operating coffee shops and movie theatres, and charter schools, etc.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to PD Shaw says:

          The incoming freshmen who *aren’t* rich (workstudy students I get to know) at this particular elite-ish institution are regularly shocked by the existence of and then by the size of elite college endowments. I start them with ours (bad enough) and then move on to HYPS and their like.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

          I think years ago Yglesias or somebody in the Vox set argued that with wealthy elites really wanted to give a lot of money to education where it is needed, they should give money to community colleges and other low-level higher educational institutions rather than the elite universities they came from. The point was that most of the students who tend these elite institutions are affluent and the institutions are very wealthy themselves. The lower status institutions need the money and so do their students though.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Eh, it’s like anything else. It’s not about “philanthropy”. It’s about maintaining tribal advantages.

            (“Privilege” was what we called it until it got turned against us.)Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

              Yes, we all know its about maintaining tribal/class advantages. Thats why wealthy donors give to high status schools that mainly have an affluent student body and job recruiters that go there. Its why Maribou posted the above link about why wealthy people that want to do good should really be class traitors.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Oh, I wouldn’t use the term “class”. You might be able to change your class, after all. (My grandparents were what we used to call “working class” back when we had one and my mom was solidly “middle class” and I think that Maribou and I have achieved some variant of “upper middle class”.)

                I very much think that it’d be possible to be philanthropic in such a way that would play the “hey, let’s you and him fight” game between two opposing tribes (one of which would be a threat to one’s own). Even if, on the surface, it looks like you’re helping people not in your class… well… it’s not about class.

                SSC talked about this, of course.

                (Edit: Now that I think on it, Moldbug did too)Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to LeeEsq says:

            @leeesq Yeah, our school is constantly stressed out that alumni have relatively low giving rates to the college relative to our “peer institutions” and my response is always “but do they have relatively low giving rates to *the rest of the world*?” (they don’t, btw, far as we can measure, they have higher ones.)

            If the money is flowing outward from this center, I feel like we’re doing a good job, not a bad one.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Ed1: The problem is that the number of qualified students as increased while the number of elite institutions have remained constant since 1945. If anything, getting to HYPS is even a bigger golden ticket than it was at any previous time in American history except maybe the Guilded Age. As Doctor Jay notes, Asian-Americans face something of the same social prejudice that Jews faced in the late 19th to mid-20th century, that we are a bunch of unclimbable grinds. People on my side try to get around this and blame legacy admissions to save affirmative action but it isn’t going away.Report