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K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Back to School? “No Thanks” Say Millions of New Homeschooling Parents. “According to a recent USA Today/Ipsos poll, 60 percent of parents surveyed said they will likely choose at-home learning this fall rather than send their children to school even if the schools reopen for in-person learning.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen, only with a big boost from Covid-19.

EVERYTHING IS PROCEEDING AS HE HAS FORESEEN:  The Politics of Fear. Nobody understands politicians’ power grab during this pandemic better than Robert Higgs, who should have already won the Nobel in economics for his work. In Crisis and Leviathan, he famously demonstrated the “ratchet effect” of government growth, which mostly occurs in spurts during wars, financial panics and other crises, real or imagined. Higgs also identified the underlying psychological cause: the negativity effect, which is the universal tendency of bad events and emotions to affect us more strongly good ones, a cognitive bias that politicians and journalists exploit to foment fear and promote bigger government.

Roy Baumeister and I drew on Higgs’ work in our book on the negativity effect, The Power of Bad, to argue that the greatest problem in politics is what we call the Crisis Crisis — the never-ending series of hyped crises that lead to cures worse than the disease. The pandemic is just the latest and scariest example, in Higgs’ view. “I have an overwhelming feeling,” he told me, “that I am reliving a bad experience I’ve lived through several times before, only this time it’s worse.”


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UDPATE: Higher Education: The Coming Disruption.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen, only faster all of a sudden. (Bumped).

I’M QUOTED ON HIGHER ED: Coronavirus expected to trigger plummeting Massachusetts college enrollment, revenue.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen, only faster all of a sudden. (Bumped).

JIM MEIGS: Post-pandemic, four-year colleges need to change — or face extinction.

Even before the pandemic, many were questioning whether the four-year college degree is a good deal. Tuition has more than doubled in the past 30 years; Americans now hold a staggering $1.5 trillion in student-loan debt. Economists note that, while a diploma leads to higher earnings for most graduates, many remain “underemployed” even years after graduation. And 40 percent of those who start college never finish.

The cultural respect traditionally paid to elite schools has diminished as well. Outrage erupted when news broke that Harvard and other lavishly funded schools had accepted millions in federal pandemic relief money. (Harvard eventually agreed to return the funds.)

Many current students are angered that their schools refused to offer partial tuition rebates after moving classes online. Some have filed lawsuits.

Meanwhile, no one knows what the coming school year will look like. Some schools might not reopen campuses until late fall or winter. Others could offer a mix of online and classroom instruction. Large lecture classes are probably on hold, as are most sporting events.

Students and families are balking at paying full tuition for such cobbled-together programs. At the University of Chicago, students have organized a “tuition strike,” demanding 50 percent cuts.

According to one survey, 10 percent of previously college-bound high-school seniors are now planning to delay. Some say they no longer plan to attend college at all. Meanwhile, a quarter of current college students say they might not return to their schools in the fall.

A survey of parents showed that roughly half want their children to attend less-expensive schools closer to home.

Analysts estimate fall enrollment could drop as much as 20 percent, adding up to a $45 billion revenue loss. The ratings agency Moody’s recently revised its outlook for higher education from “stable” to “negative.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen, only faster all of a sudden.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Historian: America’s Homeschooling Mothers Are Leading Our Next Revolution.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL-IN FOR MEDICAL GADGETS: Apple hires another prominent cardiologist as it makes heart health a big area of focus.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

CHANGE: Google faces a new antitrust probe by 50 attorneys general.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS SCOTT ADAMS HAS FORESEEN: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Used To Hate Donald Trump. Now, He’s Kind of a Fan. “Byrne has reconsidered his views on President Trump, who he says is dismantling the administrative state and deregulating the economy in powerful ways. Byrne, who wrote his Stanford doctoral dissertation on the limited-government philosophy of Robert Nozick, even says that Trump is right to challenge China on trade and that libertarians need to be willing to confront places where the world is more complicated than our theories allow. He says that while there are still many things that bother him about the president—especially his rhetorical style—it’s time to realize Trump is not only a far better president than Hillary Clinton would have been, but has moved things forward on issues such as tax reform, criminal justice reform, and school choice.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: More Universities Close Their Full-Time MBAs Programs, Shift To Online. “If you were able to get every dean in the U.S. under a lie detector, outside of maybe the top 20 M.B.A. programs, every one of them would admit they were struggling to maintain enrollment and losing money on the program.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

THE GUARDIAN: Want to defeat Trump? Attack Biden. “Anyone angling to be the Democratic nominee should espouse a real progressive agenda – just being ‘anti-Trump’ isn’t enough.”

All is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen… so I hope you’re long on popcorn.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Illinois Will End Residential M.B.A. in Favor of Online Program.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING EXACTLY AS THE FOUNDERS HAVE FORESEEN: McConnell shuts down the Pelosi agenda. “The Republican Senate is where House Democratic bills go to die.”

As Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) put it: “We are the firewall.”

“Most of that stuff is really easy for Republicans in the Senate to message against,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “We think a lot of the ideas over there are crazy. I don’t see many of our folks who have much problem messaging against most of what their agenda’s going to consist of.”

Gridlock in divided government is a longstanding Washington tradition, with the fast-moving House frequently stymied by the Senate. It’s not all bad for Democrats, who can help lay the groundwork for Democrats’ 2020 agenda and show voters what the party can do if it sweeps into power in the next election.

Politico has got to cheerlead for the Democrats, I suppose, because Politico. But Republicans are absolutely counting on voters becoming aware of what Democrats can do if they sweep into power in the next election.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: White House Might Put Colleges on the Hook for Student Loans: Executive order under consideration would require schools to take financial stake when students don’t repay.

The White House is weighing a measure that would require colleges and universities to take a financial stake in their students’ ability to repay government loans, an effort that could squeeze loan availability to students and reduce defaults.

For several months, Trump administration officials have been discussing enacting such a mechanism or making a push for one in Congress as part of a broader effort to combat rising college costs.

In the administration’s budget proposal released Monday, officials made brief mention of a “request to create an educational finance system that requires postsecondary institutions that accept taxpayer funds to have skin in the game through a student loan risk-sharing program.”

Such a proposal could be included in a coming executive order addressing higher education, several officials said.

You heard it here first. Though remember this? Senate Democrats push for colleges to have “skin in the game” on student loan defaults. “In a call with reporters, Senators Richard Durbin of Illlinois, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts highlighted a package of new and existing proposals aimed at reducing the burden of student debt. Durbin acknowledged that the senators had had ‘limited success’ in getting Republican support for the measures, but said they will be a centerpiece of the Democratic agenda in the Senate in 2014. One of the more controversial new proposals, to be introduced by Reed, would require colleges with high student loan default rates to pay a penalty to the government that is proportional to the defaulted debt.”

So Trump can honestly say this is an idea with bipartisan support.

Flashback: “Up until now, the loan guarantees have meant that colleges, like the writers of subprime mortgages a few years ago, got their money up front, with any problems in payment falling on someone else. Make defaults expensive to colleges, and they’ll become much more careful about how much they lend and what kinds of programs they offer.”

BILL SCHER: The Pathetic Pelosi Putsch.

All year, Rep. Seth Moulton has insisted it was time for a “new generation of leadership” who would put “people over politics.” The Massachusetts Democrat created the Serve America PAC to endorse candidates he felt fit that bill, starting with military veterans like himself, then broadening to other “service-driven leaders.” He not only raised $8 million for the people he endorsed, he also forged relationships with them by stumping in their districts and providing strategic counsel.

Moulton’s electoral agenda for the midterms ran alongside his long-standing goal of ousting Nancy Pelosi from the House Democratic leadership. He kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism throughout the year, and just before the election, he dismissed the idea of Pelosi serving a few more years as a “transitional speaker” if Democrats won the House. And when 20 of his candidates won, within hours he was burning up the phone lines to assemble his network of candidates, organize a revolt and block Pelosi’s reclamation of the gavel. Two days after the election, Moulton declared that his crew was committed to voting against Pelosi on the House floor, where only a handful of renegade Democrats would be needed to deny her a winning majority. The following week, he said he was “100 percent confident” he had the votes, and Pelosi’s time was up.

And yet she’s still here.

All is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.

Well, me and pretty much everybody else.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Public school enrollment is plummeting in North Carolina because of school choice.

If you want to see how parents act when the government stops forcing an educational monopoly on them, look to North Carolina.

Nearly 20 percent of students are attending something other than a traditional public school, where attendance is falling “rapidly,” according to The News & Observer.

The rush toward charter, private and even home schools is largely due to the Republican takeover of the Legislature in 2010.

Lawmakers have since removed the 100-school cap on charter schools (it’s up to 185 as of this fall), created a $4,200 voucher for low-income families and two programs for special-needs kids to get out of public schools (where they are often treated poorly), and even made it easier for non-parent adults to teach homeschoolers.

Charter schools have grown by twice as many students as public schools have lost since the 2014-15 school year, The News & Observer reports.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U.S. Colleges Are Separating Into Winners and Losers: Schools that struggle to prepare students for success losing ground; ‘The shake-out is coming.’

For generations, a swelling population of college-age students, rising enrollment rates and generous student loans helped all schools, even mediocre ones, to flourish. Those days are ending.

According to an analysis of 20 years of freshman-enrollment data at 1,040 of the 1,052 schools listed in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking, U.S. not-for-profit colleges and universities are segregating into winners and losers—with winners growing and expanding and losers seeing the first signs of a death spiral.

The Journal ranking, which includes most major public and private colleges with more than 1,000 students, focused on how well a college prepares students for life after graduation. The analysis found that the closer to the bottom of the ranking a school was, the more likely its enrollment was shrinking. . . .

“In the same way the bookstores fell when Amazon took over, now it’s higher education’s turn and it’s been coming for a while,” said Charles Becker, Concord’s vice president for business and finance. “The shake-out is coming. It’s already here.”

Demographics and geography have some influence on which side of the fault line a school lands, but quality is also a big factor. The Journal uses 15 metrics to determine quality and rank. They include return on investment, student engagement and academic resources.

At Clemson University, the Journal found, graduates on average earn $50,000 a year 10 years after entering college and the default rate on student loans is 3%; the average Concord graduate earned $32,000 and the default rate is 15%.

Richard Vedder, the director of Center for College Affordability and Productivity and a teacher at Ohio University, believes dark days are ahead for the nation’s poorest ranked schools.

And it will be no picnic for those higher up, except perhaps for the very top.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN HAS KILLED THE GLAMOUR OF HOLLYWOOD: Lawsuit: Weinstein’s Assistant Was Made to ‘Clean Up the Semen on the Couch.’

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

WELL, IT IS A DEN OF CREEPY RAPISTS AND PEDOPHILES AND THEIR PROCURERS AND ENABLERS AFTER ALL: 20 minutes of movie trailers — yes, I went to the movies — left me feeling utterly creeped out by Hollywood. “Notice how they all have strong female characters at the center but everything is paranoid, violent, and sexual. This is what Hollywood gives me? I felt like I was dragged into the mind of one of the sexually abusing Hollywood producers. . . . Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD: Movie Theater Attendance Hits 24-Year Low.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HAVE THEY BEEN READING GLENN REYNOLDS? New bill could finally get rid of paperless voting machines.

Computer scientists have been warning for more than a decade that these machines are vulnerable to hacking and can’t be meaningfully audited. States have begun moving away from paperless systems, but budget constraints have forced some to continue relying on insecure paperless equipment. The Secure Elections Act would give states grants specifically earmarked for replacing these systems with more secure systems that use voter-verified paper ballots.

The legislation’s second big idea is to encourage states to perform routine post-election audits based on modern statistical techniques. Many states today only conduct recounts in the event of very close election outcomes. And these recounts involve counting a fixed percentage of ballots. That often leads to either counting way too many ballots (wasting taxpayer money) or too few (failing to fully verify the election outcome).

The Lankford bill would encourage states to adopt more statistically sophisticated procedures to count as many ballots as needed to verify an election result was correct—and no more.

We talked to two election security experts who praised the legislation and urged Congress to pass it quickly.

All is proceeding exactly as Glenn has foreseen.


All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HARVEYWOOD BACKLASH SINKS GEORGE CLOONEY: Suburbicon Opens to Humiliating $3 Million.

Things are so bad, the 2017 year-to-date box office is trailing behind four of the last five years and barely ahead of the catastrophic year that was 2014.

The news, however, is especially bad for Clooney. Prior to Suburbicon, the director’s 2011 The Ides of March was his worst wide-opening ($10 million) as a director. This $3 million opening is also the worst opening ever (in over 2,000 theaters) for star Matt Damon.

Working against Clooney is his politically divisive personality and his track record. In this age of an ever empowered new media, the Hollywood bubble and mainstream media no longer have the power to con American moviegoers into believing he’s a modern-day Cary Grant and genius auteur. The movies he directs are just not very good. Fans of 2002’s Confession of a Dangerous Mind should be reminded that Clooney did not write that script.

Also working against Suburbicon is its Harveywood problem. Both Clooney and Damon got their start with Harvey Weinstein. Damon’s affiliation with the alleged serial-predator is so strong it is impossible to think of one without the other.

Although both men were close Weinstein colleagues at the height of his power during the golden age of Miramax, their protestations of knowing nothing were widely met with social media skepticism. Damon certainly did not help himself or Suburbicon with his conflicting statements.

As Hollywood journalist Richard Rushfield recently told Jonathan Last of Weekly Standard, “the studios are waking up to the fact that it’s getting harder to wrench people away from their Netflix and into the theaters, and somehow Hollywood seems to be forgetting how to do that.”

As with Colin Kaepernick beginning the NFL’s potential slow death march last year, the Harvey Weinstein story (and related stories of appalling behavior by other Hollywood tyrants) arrives at the worst possible time for the industry that John Nolte dubs “Harveywood.”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Why one of the largest counties in Texas is going back to paper ballots. “Denton County is planning a complete return to paper ballots. The move is in part a response to voter distrust of electronic voting machines.”

Well, paper ballots aren’t immune to fraud, but they can’t be changed by some guy sitting in a basement halfway around the world.


All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Georgia Tech’s Model Expands: Three years after its low-cost MOOC-inspired master’s degree program in computer science launched, the institute announces a new program in analytics priced at less than $10,000. “The announcement is perhaps the clearest indication yet that Georgia Tech views OMSCS as a successful model for delivering graduate education. The program hasn’t lived up to best-case projections — early on, the institute said it could grow to as many as 10,000 students in its third year — but it has generated a positive cash flow, positive evaluations and plenty of buzz in higher education circles.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail ‘Gainful Employment’ Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

WHY NOT, EVERYBODY ELSE DOES: Did Turkey outmaneuver the US?

Washington can’t overlook the fact that the Turkish military and its allies in the Free Syria Army (FSA) have the potential to deal ISIL a serious blow. It is no secret that it wanted the Turkish military to get actively involved in Syria against ISIL a long time ago.

That is happening now, but not the way it wants.

Meanwhile President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on record saying the US has to choose who its ally is, Turkey or the [Kurdish] PYD/YPG. This approach is not alien to Washington. Former President George W. Bush used a similar phrase after 9/11 and said “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

The balance Washington is trying to maintain between Turkey and the PYD/YPG is tantamount to supporting terrorism for the Turkish political and security establishment, as well as most Turks. That is why Washington’s call on Ankara not to move against the PYD/YPG will most likely go unheeded.

All is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen — which makes you wonder why the Obama Administration couldn’t see this coming.

NOW THAT IT LOOKS AS IF TRUMP MIGHT WIN, people are worrying about the power of the presidency.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

GOOD! Whole Foods Market to sell invasive lionfish starting Wednesday.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

PREFERENCE CASCADE: Krauthammer: Cascade Of People Will Come Out And Support Trump, “Once It Starts, It’s Not Going To Stop.”

Well, yes. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Trump Taps Clinton, Obama Donor as National Finance Chair.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Report: Trump eyeing money transfers from immigrants in plan to build wall. “Donald Trump would force Mexico to pay for a wall along its border with the U.S. by threatening to block money transfers from immigrants in the U.S., The Washington Post reports. The Post on Tuesday said that Trump plans to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act anti-terrorism law, shrinking the number of money transfers — known as remittances — into Mexico.”

Just taxing remittances would be easier, though it might raise NAFTA issues. But would Trump care if it did?

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Airstrikes Resume Amid Shaky Syria Truce

The Syrian regime and its Russian allies stepped up airstrikes on opposition-held territory Sunday on the second day of an internationally backed cease-fire after a lull in violence a day earlier, according to antigovernment activists.

The areas struck Sunday are largely controlled by rebels who have agreed to the partial cease-fire, the activists and residents said. Extremists who are excluded from the cease-fire are also active in some of the same areas.

Rebels backed by backed by Western and Arab states fear the airstrikes will be used to attack them under the guise of striking the extremists; the Syrian regime considers all antigovernment fighters terrorists. Rebels have said such continued attacks could torpedo an already shaky truce.

All is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Chicago State University Sends Layoff Notices To All Employees. “Earlier this week, the university canceled spring break, and moved up the end of the spring semester from May 15 to April 30, so the school could save money and remain fully operational through the end of the semester.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Penguin Scraps Degree Requirement. “Publisher Penguin Random House says job applicants will no longer be required to have a university degree. The firm wants to have a more varied intake of staff and suggests there is no clear link between holding a degree and performance in a job. This announcement follows a series of financial companies dropping academic requirements for applicants.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Homeschooled with MIT courses at 5, accepted to MIT at 15. “After acquiring his entire elementary and secondary education from OpenCourseWare and MITx, Ahaan Rungta joined the MIT Class of 2019 at age 15.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Florida state college to make potential faculty hires bid for jobs.

Putting a project out to bid is typically part of the public works process, since competitive bids tend to drive down the price and ensure fair opportunity for contracts. But should that process be applied to faculty hiring in public higher education? A member of the Board of Trustees for the State College of Florida at Manatee-Sarasota thinks so, and he’s set to brief the board on his proposal at an upcoming meeting. Even without details, the idea is causing already beleaguered faculty and staff members to shake their heads. . . .

Earlier this year, State College’s board voted to make it the only one of 28 Florida public colleges to do away with a tenure-like system based on continuing contracts for long-serving, high-performing faculty members. Instructors and administrators alike protested the idea, saying it would put the college at a competitive disadvantage in terms of faculty recruitment, and ultimately affect educational quality. The argument fell mostly on deaf ears, however, as the notion passed with a single dissenting vote.

Leading the charge against continuing contracts is Carlos Beruff, a trustee since 2008 who owns a local home construction business. Beruff argued that any competitive disadvantage could be countered by offering merit pay or bonuses to high performers, and said that the U.S. was “based on the freedom of work.”

That was in September. Between then and now, Beruff was reportedly working on a second proposal that would ask potential college employees, including faculty members, to quote their fee for services on job applications. That information would then be used in the hiring decision.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.


All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Only 38% of recent college grads think college was worth the cost.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ernst & Young Removes Degree Classification From Entry Criteria As There’s ‘No Evidence’ University Equals Success. How did I miss this?

Oh, well. All is proceeding as I have foreseen, even when I don’t notice.

NASSIM TALEB: An Uberized Education.

An Uberized education is when –as in antiquity — one goes to a specific teacher to get lectures, bypassing the university. The students and the teachers are thus matched. If a piece of paper is necessary, it would be given by *that* teacher, or a group of teachers. It is not too different from the decentralized apprentice model.

This already works well for executive “education”. I give short workshops in my specialty of applied probability (I have given a few with PW, YBY and RD, though only lasting 1-2 days), limited to professionals. An Uberization would consist in making longer workshops, say of 2-3 week duration, after which the attendees would be getting a piece of paper of sorts.

From my experience, both students and lecturers are more sincere when they bypass institutions. And, as with other Uberizations, it would be much, much efficient economically.

A full education would be a collection of such micro-diplomas, which can be done on top of a conventional one.

Or, in time, instead of. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: If traditional colleges think this won’t affect them, they’re crazy. Obama administration plans to overhaul rules on student debt forgiveness.

The Obama administration said Wednesday it will overhaul the loan forgiveness process for students who believe they have been defrauded by their colleges, in light of the collapse of controversial for-profit Corinthian Colleges.

Students can apply to have their federal loans discharged if they can prove a school used illegal or deceptive tactics in violation of state law to persuade them to borrow money for college. But critics say the process, known as a “defense to repayment claim,” is complicated and difficult to navigate. And the demise of Corinthian, with thousands of former students muddling their way through the claims process, has shown that the system needs fixing.

Starting next month, the Education Department will begin holding field hearings and convene an advisory panel to develop regulations to streamline the loan forgiveness process. The department also wants to strengthen provisions to hold colleges accountable for the discharged loans, limiting the cost to taxpayers.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Homeschooling in the City: Frustrated with the public schools, middle-class urbanites embrace an educational movement.

Not so long ago, homeschooling was considered a radical educational alternative—the province of a small number of devout Iowa evangelicals and countercultural Mendocino hippies. No more. Today, as many as 2 million—or 2.5 percent—of the nation’s 77 million school-age children are educated at home, and increasing numbers of them live in cities. More urban parents are turning their backs on the compulsory-education model and embracing the interactive, online educational future that policy entrepreneurs have predicted for years would revolutionize pedagogy and transform brick-and-mortar schooling. And their kids are not only keeping pace with their traditionally schooled peers; they are also, in many cases, doing better, getting into top-ranked colleges and graduating at higher rates. In cities across the country, homeschooling is becoming just one educational option among many. . . .

Like other homeschoolers these days, urbanites choose homeschooling for various reasons, though dissatisfaction with the quality and content of instruction at local public schools heads the list. “I got through public school, but it was never something I thought was an option for my children,” says Figueroa-Levin. A native Staten Islander, she is a columnist for amNewYork, a free daily newspaper, and creator of the satirical Twitter account @ElBloombito, which gained 76,000 followers for its gentle skewering of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s halting attempts at press-conference Spanish. She calls her local public school “awful,” but she’s not interested in moving to a more desirable school zone, as some New Yorkers with small children do. “We like where we live. We have a nice-size apartment. Sacrificing all that for a decent public school just doesn’t seem worth it,” she says.

But even after more than a decade of aggressive education-reform efforts, the “decent public school” remains a rarity in New York and in other American cities. With urban public schools inadequate or worse and quality private schools often financially out of reach, “homeschooling becomes an interesting study in school choice,” observes Brian Ray, founder of the National Home Education Research Institute (NEHRI) in Portland, Oregon. “You pay taxes, so the public school system in your city gets that money, then you can make the ‘choiceǒ of paying even more to send your kid to a private school, or to a Catholic school. More and more people are saying, ‘I’m going to homeschool.’ It’s not that weird anymore.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

CHANGE: Concealed-Carry Permits For Women Rose 270% Since 2007.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen, going back, in this case, to 2001.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Scott Walker crushes college professor tenure.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s trailblazing effort to weaken tenure protections at public colleges and universities is now a reality with his signing of a $73 billion budget on Sunday.

The effort has outraged unions and higher education groups, leaving them fearful that other lawmakers will follow suit to unravel labor protections in higher education that have long been considered sacred ground.

Walker downplayed the changes at Sunday’s signing at a valve manufacturing facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin, emphasizing instead that tuition was being frozen in the University of Wisconsin system for two more years at the rate it was two years ago.

“We made college more affordable for college students and working families all across the state,” Walker said.

Walker signed the budget as he prepared to announce his run for the Republican presidential nomination Monday. The tenure fight could further endear him to conservatives skeptical of what some perceive as the ivory tower of higher education, and it serves to remind voters of his earlier effort to scale back collective-bargaining rights of public employee unions — including K-12 teachers — when he was first building a national profile.

Walker is thinking like the left — in terms of an ecology of taxpayer-funded activism. He’s cutting it off at the source, rather than fighting the apparat on policy. That’s smart.

And, of course, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.


For the striving youths of 19th-century America, learning was often a self-driven, year-round process. Devouring books by candlelight and debating issues by bonfire, the young men and women of the so-called “go-ahead generation” worked to educate themselves into a better life.

Is this old-fashioned culture of self-improvement making a comeback? The mainstream school system — with its barrage of tests, Common Core and “excellent sheep” — encourages learning as a passive, standardized process. But here and there, with the help of YouTube and thousands of podcasts, a growing group of students and adults are beginning to supplement their education.

School isn’t going away. But more and more people are realizing what their 19th-century predecessors knew: that the best learning is often self-taught.

Back then, it was a matter of necessity. There were plenty of schoolhouses in 19th-century America, but few young people could attend them regularly. They had to work. Most pieced together a semester of classes here, three months there.

In 1870, students averaged under 80 days in school each year. Even though America had incredibly high literacy rates, and admirable schools for those with free time, most young Americans supplemented formal schooling with their own makeshift curriculums.

“Even though?” Maybe that’s backwards. Meanwhile, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ED DRISCOLL: All is proceeding as I have foreseen.


As far as parents are concerned, the days of college being a place to focus on learning are over.

A national poll released by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Monday found that only a little more than half of respondents viewed the college selection process favorably and less than half thought colleges were doing enough to help graduates find jobs. Those involved with the poll said the results indicated a need for institutions to keep up with the changing view of higher education as a way to find employment rather than earn a degree.

Indeed. And yes, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

CHANGE: Women Are a Driving Force in Nation’s Shift from Gun Control to Gun Rights.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

SO I’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS, AND NOW IT’S FINALLY SEEING A BIT OF TRACTION: Senate would put colleges on hook for student loan default: Bipartisan push seen as way to make schools accountable.

Only 37 percent of student borrowers are current on their loans and paying down debt, and from 2004 to 2014 there’s been an 89-percent increase in the number of borrowers, and the average balance on their loans has increased 77 percent, according to a study released last month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The ripple effect is felt throughout the economy, as young adults delay purchasing homes or starting businesses.

Hey, that sounds kinda familiar. So does this:

Among other ideas, Mr. Alexander said part-time students shouldn’t be able to borrow as much as full-time students, and perhaps colleges should be allowed to counsel borrowers more frequently or cap the amount students can borrow.

Senate Democrats, including Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, Patty Murray of Washington and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, are pushing Mr. Reed’s bill, which would force colleges repay a share of defaulted loans if at least a quarter of their students use federal aid.

As it stands, colleges do not face federal penalties unless the percentage of borrowers who default within three years of entering repayment, known as the “cohort default rate,” reaches a high bar of 30 percent. The national rate is much lower, close to 14 percent.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Nice Ivy League Degree. Now if You Want a Job, Go to Code School: Pricey coding classes are attracting college grads who want better jobs. “Feng is among thousands of students, about 70 percent of whom already have college degrees, flocking to coding boot camps. Hers is run by a company called General Assembly that promises to transform ‘thinkers into creators,’ not to mention holders of well-paying jobs. It’s an especially attractive pitch for humanities and social sciences majors who didn’t learn the skills they need to compete for the plentiful jobs in the technology industry.”

Heh: “Thinkers into creators.” That’s some subversive stuff right there. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Red Higher Ed Reforms Put Pressure on Carolina Blue.

A right-leaning public policy foundation is making waves in North Carolina’s public university system. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on how the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy is getting traction among the state’s Republican political leadership. The Center, the Chronicle tells us, aims to “[make] public colleges more accountable to the public, by holding them to their ‘chief goals of scholarly inquiry and responsible teaching’” and many believe its stances have influenced legislative proposals as well as the Board of Governors of the state’s university system, largely appointed by the GOP. . . .

The Center’s work and influence can be seen as part of a trend: red states are beginning to lean forward on their skis in dealing with universities—institutions that have historically been bastions of Democratic and left-wing ideas. With higher ed costs rising inexorably, many conservative state representatives are likely wondering just why the state is offering tenured professorships in Transgressive Gender Studies with lots of time for ‘research’, and they are becoming more aggressive in trying to shake-up the higher ed system.

There is a lot of anti-intellectualism mixed up in all of this, in addition to some good old fashioned score settling. But there’s also a lot that’s right. Costs really are rising unsustainably, and many administrative bureaucracies have lost touch with common sense—to say nothing of being economically useless administrative make work bailiwicks. Moreover, a number of disciplines are so dominated by one political point of view that they look more like PACs and NGOs than like assemblies of disputatious scholars.

Which is why complaints that reforms are politically motivated are so transparently self-serving. And why all is proceeding as I have foreseen.


Small- and medium-sized private universities have been slashing tuition for all students in an effort to reverse sliding enrollment numbers. And while these schools are not as prestigious as Stanford, their willingness to cut prices could signal a shift in the cost of higher education.

Nearly a dozen private colleges reduced tuition for the current academic year. Southern Virginia University, for instance, cut tuition and fees 23 percent from $18,900 to $14,600 a year, while Converse College in South Carolina brought down its prices by 43 percent to $16,500 a year.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. Make them dischargeable in bankruptcy after five or ten years, but charge a portion back to the recipient universities. And if any traditional university folks think that this sort of pressure will be limited to for-profit schools, they’re kidding themselves.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Obama Has a $100M Plan to Fill the Tech Talent Shortage.

At its core, TechHire aims to convince local governments, businesses, and individuals that a four-year degree is no longer the only way to gain valuable tech skills.

“It turns out it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are at writing code,” Obama said. “If you can do the job, you should get the job.”

That’s an idea that training startups like Codecademy and General Assembly, as well as online course companies like Coursera, have been pushing for years. Now, the White House is urging businesses and local governments to embrace that concept, as well.

In Silicon Valley, the idea of non-traditional training as a viable alternative to college is a familiar concept. In the rest of corporate America, not so much.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. And this is terrible news for four-year institutions if it takes off. Kind of ungrateful of Obama, since higher ed was his biggest source of donations and manpower, but hey, expiration dates. . . .

YA THINK? Poll: Voters see Hillary and Jeb as old hat. And some GOP news:

The poll also showed largely positive perceptions of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Fifty three percent of voters said they could back Walker, compared to only 17 percent that said they could not. Fifty six percent said they could support Rubio, while 26 percent could not.

Those two candidates sported the largest margins of potential support. Bush had only seven percentage points between those who said they could support him and those who couldn’t. Donald Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) all had significantly more voters say they could not back them.

Stay tuned. And, of course, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LIQUIDATION EDITION: Sweet Briar College to Close; Who Gets the $80 Million Endowment? “Because most colleges that close have run out of all of their cash, there is no endowment to divide up. But within hours of Sweet Briar’s announcement Tuesday, alumnae and higher education observers started posting comments to social media asking who would get the leftover funds.”

Related: Mark Cuban: This Is Just The Start Of The College Implosion. “A few years ago, Cuban bought the domain ‘,’ which publishes a live update of how much college loan debt is held by students. The current total is just over $1.3 trillion.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty.

For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. But the WaPo has missed the big story — it’s not that so many students are poor, it’s that the non-poor students, and parents, are exiting the public schools. More attention to that phenomenon, and why it’s happening, would be useful.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates. “Google has spent years analyzing who succeeds at the company, which has moved away from a focus on GPAs, brand name schools, and interview brain teasers. . . . Many schools don’t deliver on what they promise, Bock says, but generate a ton of debt in return for not learning what’s most useful. It’s an ‘extended adolescence,’ he says.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Some schools to avoid snow days through e-learning. Eventually, they’ll start wondering why they need classrooms at all.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.


States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day.

With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace.

Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.

“Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well,” Smith said.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. I was just 12 years ahead of the curve.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: New Degrees Challenge “Time Served” Model. “The University of Michigan is now on course to become one of the first public higher education institutions to offer a degree that can be achieved not through credit hours but on demonstrated proficiency in the subjects studied.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Enrollment falls again at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities. “Enrollment at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities declined for a fourth consecutive year, slipping 1.5 percent to an estimated 110,600 students, after peaking at nearly 119,500 in 2010, preliminary reports show.”

Peak Oil turned out to be a mirage. Peak College seems to be real. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Online Learning is Just as Effective as Traditional Education, According to a New MIT Study. Also a K-12 implosion update, I guess. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College Enrollment Declines for Second Year in a Row, Census Bureau Reports. “College enrollment declined by close to half a million (463,000) between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred. The cumulative two-year drop of 930,000 was larger than any college enrollment drop before the recent recession, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from the Current Population Survey released today. The Census Bureau began collecting data on college enrollment in this survey in 1966.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.


Rumor has it that it’s not just law schools, but even some large state universities — not mine, at least not yet — that are having trouble filling seats, as the higher education bubble continues to deflate. I’m sure those sex-policing rules aren’t helping, either.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student. “Deciding that a truancy prosecution over piano competitions was ridiculous, Avery’s parents withdrew her from Deal. And this year, instead of touring the world as a first-class representative of D.C. public schools’ finest, she is going as a home-schooler.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: In Which I Extract My Kid From the Clutches of Traditional Schooling.

So we took the lead from the online lessons that worked so well for Anthony over the summer, and for his new penchant for googling the shit out of animals, battles, and historical figures who catch his interest. Personally, I had ever heard of slave-making ants, but I walked out of my office one day to find that a mention of them in his encyclopedia of animals started him on an online research foray into the nastier sorts of crawling things. This was after he became fascinated by the shifts in Roman military gear from 100 A.D., to 400 A.D., to 1000 A.D. He has become very familiar with the websites where you can track the evolution.

So now he’s enrolled in an online private school. The school promises an individualized approach—we already know from experience that many of the lessons are designed to automatically adjust their pace to the needs of students working through online lessons. He’ll still work with a couple of online teachers, and my wife and I take on larger roles in monitoring his work and coaching him through the offline material. It’s as much a homeschooling effort with organizational and technological backup as it is a private school.

It’s an alternative to what we tried before, which didn’t work. And while there’s no guarantee that this is the “right” approach for Anthony, I have no doubt that it’s an improvement for my kid, whatever may work for others.

It would have been nice to have an option like this back when I was twitching and puking my own way through public schools in New York and Connecticut.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why Sally can’t get a good job with her college degree.

Wharton School professor Peter Capelli tried to figure out whether the problem in the labor market is because the jobs don’t require the skills that candidates are offering or because workers don’t have the proper skills that employers are seeking.

Here’s what he found. The main problem with the U.S. job market isn’t a gap in basic skills or a shortage of employees with particular skills, but a mismatch between the supply and the demand for certain skills. There’s a greater supply of college graduates than a demand for college graduates in the labor market.

This mismatch, according to Capelli, exists because most jobs in today’s economy don’t require a college degree. . . .

Women now earn about 60 percent of the roughly 1 million bachelor’s degrees granted each year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And about 30 percent of all women above age 25 have a college degree or more, according to the Census Bureau. (About 80 percent of women age 25 to 29 have a high school degree.)

Those degrees, however, aren’t translating into good jobs.

Which means that maybe Sally’s problem isn’t because she’s not qualified for the job, but, instead, is because Sally has skills that employers don’t want.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Families Depending Less On Student Loans.

Amid growing recognition that easy college loans all too often turn into a lifetime debt burden, the tide may be turning. Families aren’t borrowing as quite as much to pay for their kids’ college education, reports the WSJ.

But that’s not necessarily good news for schools:

Many colleges are upping the numbers of grants and scholarships because enrollment is in decline. For private schools, that means the sticker price is often nothing like the price that students actually pay, and the schools earn much less from tuition than you might assume. Meanwhile, public schools will soon have to rely more on tuition than on state funding.

Even with all those sweeteners and discounts, students still aren’t flocking to pricy schools as readily as before. . . .

And who among us thinks it’s the Ivy League that’s getting squeezed? Of course not—it’s almost certainly mid-tier private universities and liberal arts colleges that are seeing their enrollment numbers fall as more students content themselves with cheaper public or private schools.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. But the Ivy League isn’t immune to the trend. And my advice is, don’t be afraid to dicker. You may get a better deal.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Tuition Discounts at Private Colleges Are at Record High.

Private colleges and universities take a lot of flak for their sky-high tuition rates, but they’re also knocking quite a lot off those steep sticker prices. According to Inside Higher Ed, the National Association of College and University Business Officers has found that these schools make only 54 cents for every dollar of tuition. . . .

If you are looking for a sign of the inevitable shake-up of the higher education system, look no further.

Also, if you’re paying full freight at one of these places, you’re a sucker. Negotiate, even if you don’t meet the “financial need” criteria. Or go elsewhere.

Oh, and all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Georgia Tech’s Online Master’s After A Year:

Administrators at the Georgia Institute of Technology are optimistic but “not declaring victory” after one semester of its affordable online master’s degree program in computer science. While the program has been well-received by students, administrators are still striving to solve an equation that balances cost, academic quality and support services.

“We’re not all the way there yet, but I couldn’t ask for a much better start,” Zvi Galil, dean of the College of Computing, wrote last month in an email to Georgia Tech faculty on the one-year anniversary of the program’s announcement.

The initiative has been closely watched since last spring’s announcement — and not just because of the dramatic savings it offers compared to the university’s on-campus program. A three-credit-hour online course costs less than a single credit hour of face-to-face education — $402 versus $472, based on spring 2013 tuition rates. The goal is to get much larger than a traditional program could sustain, but also much smaller than the average MOOC.

Stay tuned. But so far, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Photos From Chicago’s Shuttered Public Schools.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ANOTHER SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS STORY thanks to help from a big business. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

CHANGE: Breaking the Federal Monopoly on Higher Ed Accreditation.

The federal government’s hold over higher education accreditation may be growing shaky, and that’s great news for students. The Heritage Foundation reports that Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has introduced a new proposal in the House under which states could allow virtually any organization—from colleges to companies to nonprofits—to “credential individual courses.” As of now, only the federal government and federally sanctioned regional bodies can accredit institutions and programs. But the new proposal would offer greater flexibility for students. . . .

Changes to the accreditation laws will be staunchly resisted by traditional colleges and universities, which want to keep their protection racket in place. But their influence may be waning. If it does, transforming the accreditation process could be the first step in a broader transformation of higher ed.

Mike Lee has a similar bill in the Senate. And, if I may say so, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Quinnipiac University to lay off 15 professors, add 12 new faculty members. “The university is adding faculty in areas of growth and reducing the number of faculty in areas that have had declining enrollments over the past two years. . . . As a result, 12 new faculty members will join the university this fall, and 15 professors currently on the faculty have been notified that they will not be reappointed next year.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Watch Obamacare Make Health-Care Costs Soar.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Maryland Puts Up Roadblocks to Online Ed.

Maryland has decided to stand athwart the internet, yelling “Stop!” The Maryland Higher Education Commission recently sent letters to numerous institutions across the country that offer online courses, demanding that they pay registration fees for the Maryland residents enrolled in them. However, there [are] no data available on how many are enrolled in online programs, or which programs they attend. . . .

On top of this, Maryland requires that online education programs undergo a lengthy accreditation review process, and now it seems to be vying for the title of least hospitable state in the union. (Meanwhile, the Department of Education is pursuing its plan to reinstate the requirement that distance education programs obtain accreditation in all states where they do business.)

The motives behind Maryland’s new restrictions couldn’t be clearer, according to Inside Higher Ed. The state wants to stifle programs that compete with the online programs offered by the University of Maryland University College. UMUC has already seen layoffs this year due to declining enrollment. With more than 34,000 students, it is an asset that the state will fight to defend.

The protectionism on display here is distasteful enough, but worse yet, the new regulations will fall hardest on those who already face steep obstacles to higher education.

Protectionism generally protects the haves against the have-nots. And, of course, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops. “Dozens of schools have seen drops of more than 10 percent in enrollment, according to Moody’s. As faculty and staff have been cut and programs closed, some students have faced a choice between transferring or finishing degrees that may have diminished value. . . . Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has predicted that as many as half of the more than 4,000 universities and colleges in the U.S. may fail in the next 15 years. The growing acceptance of online learning means higher education is ripe for technological upheaval, he has said.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

AMAZON TOUTS how it’s helping small businesses. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Schools Trying Everything — Except Cutting Costs.

With enrollments down and tuition peaking, many colleges are looking everywhere for way to enhance their revenue streams. A new piece in the New York Times describes the rise of “bridge programs,” which are essentially third-party companies hired by colleges to recruit foreign students to study in American schools and prepare them for a foreign educational system.

The purpose of these programs is twofold: There is an abundance of talented foreign students eager to study in the U.S., but most have only heard of the big-name schools, but there aren’t a lot of spots open. Enter bridge programs, which steer foreign students toward lesser-known schools and offer them crash courses in the peculiarities of the American learning environment.

The second purpose of these programs—boosting applications and enrollment—is of more interest to the universities.

They bring in money from foreigners who pay full freight. But that’s a stop-gap solution:

We’ve long speculated that schools will eventually be forced to make painful decisions about cutting administrative overhead and lowering prices, as American students become more price conscious. There are even signs that this is finally beginning to happen. But schools are also trying to put off the need to make tough choices as long as possible, and bridge programs, by drawing in more students willing to pay full price, are a way of doing this.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

SPACE: Dream Chaser Space Plane Will Fly in 2016. “The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced that Dream Chaser will blast into orbit in November 2016 atop an Atlas V rocket. Dream Chaser’s first orbital flight will be unmanned and will test the space plane’s autonomous landing system. SNC expects to launch its first manned orbital mission about one year later.” All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HMM: How Technology Killed The Future: Presidents—and the rest of us—can’t get anything done anymore.

This is just a tech-themed version of the “America has become ungovernable” columns I predicted some time ago. It’s not that Obama’s incompetent! It’s that technology has made us ungovernable! All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Of course, some people think it’s good to be ungovernable.

HAS AMERICA hit Peak Office?

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “I Quit Academia,” an Important, Growing Subgenre of American Essays. “In its insularity and single-mindedness, academe is also very similar to a fundamentalist religion (or, dare I say, cult), and thus those who abdicate often feel compelled to confess. But there’s an important way that Ernst’s essay distinguishes itself: Most I Quitters are like me, which is to say failed academics, or like Lord, whose disillusion hit her midway down the tenure track. Ernst is part of the sub-subgenre of quitters who did the unthinkable, giving up tenure. He joins, for example, scientist Terran Lane, who left the University of New Mexico for Google, and writer Anne Trubek, who ditched idyllic Oberlin when freelance writing was able to pay her bills.”

Original essay here. “I’ve had one foot in the academic world and the other in the business world for a few years. It’s been fascinating to observe the differences between the values of a small start-up and a large university. . . . What makes me pessimistic about my own university and public universities in the United States in general is that their inability to adapt isn’t due simply to bad leadership or an unfavorable economy. It’s based on structural features that are self-reinforcing.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: University of Iowa Law School Cuts Tuition For Out-Of-State Students By 20% To Combat Declining Enrollment.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. I just hope all these developments don’t hurt demand for my new book before it comes out.

EATING INVASIVE SPECIES: Houston Restaurant Offers Lionfish. “Four bar seats face the area where Gaston prepares a variety of internationally themed delicacies, from sashimi to ceviche, crudo, mana, steak tartare, and the lionfish dish, Poisson Cru. He places a sizeable fillet on the board, deftly slices it into strips and lays them out on a dish. He mixes coconut milk with ginger and chiles in a bowl, pours it over the fish and adds morsels of fresh orange and olive oil. I enjoy it with a gimlet made with Tito’s Ruby Red vodka, an excellent complement to the flavors. Cove Bar also serves a list of wines by the glass and bottle, a selection of draught and bottle beers and daily drink specials. Downing my plate of lionfish, I’ve not only enjoyed a delicious appetizer; I’ve done a good deed, as well.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

SCIENCE: Even marginal success in research delaying aging is a better investment than cancer, heart disease research.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Pay Raises for Teachers With Master’s Under Fire.

The nation spends an estimated $15 billion annually on salary bumps for teachers who earn master’s degrees, even though research shows the diplomas don’t necessarily lead to higher student achievement.

And as states and districts begin tying teachers’ pay and job security to student test scores, some are altering—or scrapping—the time-honored wage boost.

Lawmakers in North Carolina, led by Republican legislators, voted in July to get rid of the automatic pay increase for master’s degrees. Tennessee adopted a policy this summer that mandates districts adopt salary scales that put less emphasis on advanced degrees and more on factors such as teacher performance. And Newark, N.J., recently decided to pay teachers for master’s degrees only if they are linked to the district’s new math and reading standards.

The moves come a few years after Florida, Indiana and Louisiana adopted policies that require districts to put more weight on teacher performance and less on diplomas.

This has higher education bubble implications, too, as a surprisingly large amount of graduation education is built around this sort of ticket-punching. Will this newfound skepticism spread to other professions, such as the military officer corps? All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: NYC Charter Schools Plan Showdown With Future Mayor.

New York City has just become ground zero in the national debate over charter schools, with a massive protest scheduled for next month. On October 8th, a number of charter school teachers and their students will take the day off and head to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they will protest what they see as mayoral favorite Bill de Blasio’s attacks on charter schools.

Early in the campaign, de Blasio announced his intentions to begin charging them rent for the use of public school buildings. Most of the city’s charter schools currently operate out of empty or underused public school buildings, for which the city charges no rent.

Now battle lines are being drawn. Teachers unions and left-leaning outlets like the Daily News point out that this is a relatively unusual arrangement—many cities charge charter schools at least nominal rent for use of city property. They also express concern that the deal gives charters an “unfair advantage” over their public-school competition. Charter supporters object to the change, which they say could force many to shut down or cut back on programs that benefit their students. It’s a particularly potent concern in a city where rents are stratospherically expensive.

The public schools can’t take competition. But charter schools are the only way to keep dissatisfied parents in the public system at all. Kill them and they’ll take their kids elsewhere — and their support for public school funding, and the taxes to support it, too. In other words, everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College enrollment dropped by half a million in 2012.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Student Loan Bubble Is Starting To Burst.

The largest bank in the United States will stop making student loans in a few weeks.

JPMorgan Chase has sent a memorandum to colleges notifying them that the bank will stop making new student loans in October, according to Reuters.

The official reason is quite bland.

“We just don’t see this as a market that we can significantly grow,” Thasunda Duckett tells Reuters. Duckett is the chief executive for auto and student loans at Chase, which means she’s basically delivering the news that a large part of her business is getting closed down.

The move is eerily reminiscent of the subprime shutdown that happened in 2007. Each time a bank shuttered its subprime unit, the news was presented in much the same way that JPMorgan is spinning the end of its student lending.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Why Do Education and Health Care Cost So Much?

So how do we explain health care and college cost inflation? Well, health care economist David Cutler once offered me the following observation: In health care, as in education, the output is very important, and impossible to measure accurately. Two 65-year-olds check into two hospitals with pneumonia; one lives, one dies. Was the difference in the medical care, or their constitutions, or the bacteria that infected them? There is a correct answer to that question, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever know what it was.

Similarly, two students go to different colleges; one flunks out, while the other gets a Rhodes Scholarship. Is one school better, or is one student? You can’t even answer these questions by aggregating data; better schools may attract better students. Even when you control for income and parental education, you’re left with what researchers call “omitted variable bias” — a better school may attract more motivated and education-oriented parents to enroll their kids there.

So on the one hand, we have two inelastic goods with a high perceived need; and on the other hand, you have no way to measure quality of output. The result is that we keep increasing the inputs: the expensive professors and doctors and research and facilities.

Related: Colleges Set To Offer Exit Tests:

The test is part of a movement to find new ways to assess the skills of graduates. Employers say grades can be misleading and that they have grown skeptical of college credentials.
Joe Philipson for The Wall Street Journal David Pate, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at St. John Fisher College outside Rochester, N.Y. The college will offer the new CLA + test.

“For too long, colleges and universities have said to the American public, to students and their parents, ‘Trust us, we’re professional. If we say that you’re learning and we give you a diploma it means you’re prepared,’ ” said Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. “But that’s not true.”

Then why not decouple the competency test and the diploma entirely? All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: True Story: I’m Delaying Going To College.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Competency-Based Transcripts.

Students who enroll in a new competency-based program at Northern Arizona University will earn a second transcript, which will describe their proficiency in the online bachelor degree’s required concepts. The university will also teach students how to share their “competency report” transcripts with potential employers.

The university shared a sample version of a competency report. The document looks nothing like its traditional counterpart, and lacks courses or grades.

Northern Arizona’s first crack at a transcript grounded in competencies gives an early glimpse of how credentialing in higher education might be shifting.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.


Testing firms are offering new ways to measure what students learn in college. Their next generation of assessments is billed as an add-on – rather than a replacement – to the college degree. But the tests also give graduates something besides a transcript to send to a potential employer.

As a result, skills assessments are related to potential higher education “disruptions” like competency-based education or even digital badging. They offer portable ways for students to show what they know and what they can do. And in this case, they’re verified by testing giants.

More significantly, they mean that someone other than the degree-granting institution is certifying competence. Institutions have incentive to be lax regarding their students; external certifiers not so much. Then, at some point, people might start asking why you need the degree, when you’ve got the certification.

In other words, all is proceeding as I have foreseen.