Archive - January, 2014

Why is Higher Ed Reform Inevitable?

In the words of Clay Shirky (professor at NYU and a few other things):

Of the twenty million or so students in the US, only about one in ten lives on a campus. The remaining eighteen million—the ones who don’t have the grades for Swarthmore, or tens of thousands of dollars in free cash flow, or four years free of adult responsibility—are relying on education after high school not as a voyage of self-discovery but as a way to acquire training and a certificate of hireability.

Though the landscape of higher education in the U.S., spread across forty-six hundred institutions, hosts considerable variation, a few commonalities emerge: the bulk of students today are in their mid-20s or older, enrolled at a community or commuter school, and working towards a degree they will take too long to complete. One in three won’t complete, ever. Of the rest, two in three will leave in debt. The median member of this new student majority is just keeping her head above water financially. The bottom quintile is drowning.

Read the whole thing.

HT: @Jselingo, author of an outstanding book on this subject

What’s the Deal with People Not Reading?

Jordan Weissmann, writing for The Atlantic:  “The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.”

Read the rest of Weissman’s piece–he goes on to find hope in that the decline of reading among young adults appears to have abated.

In my view, the best book on the paucity of young adult reading and its ill effects is The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) by Dr. Mark Bauerlein of Emory University (discussed in this post).  Dr. Bauerlein was kind enough to endorse my forthcoming book Preparing Your Teens for College.

HT: @JimBelcher via Patheos

Education or Reputation: A New Look at Top-Ranked Liberal Arts Colleges

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, is out with a new report called Education or Reputation: A Look at America’s Top-Ranked Liberal Arts Colleges.  Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post, “the trends highlighted are not confined to smaller, elite institutions. These include an increasing lack of academic rigor, grade inflation, high administrative costs and a lack of intellectual diversity.”

Read the rest of Parker’s remarks.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg posted this graph last August on the rising costs of college in comparison to medical care, gasoline, shelter, and the CPI.

How Are 27 year olds doing these days?

Jordan Weissmann has an interesting collection of graphs in The Atlantic on the financial, educational, and social status of 27 year olds today. It comes from a data set of about 15,000 young adults who were high school sophomores in 2002 and have been tracked as part of a longitudinal study.

Of those who expected to earn a bachelor’s degree, only about 1 in 3 (34 percent) actually did. Continue Reading…

Movie Frozen – Christian Undertones?

Collin Garbarino, of Houston Baptist University, explains:

Continue Reading…

41 Years Since Roe v. Wade in Six Minutes

From Texas Alliance For Life:

HT: Justin Taylor

It’s less well-known today that through the 1980s leaders of both political parties feared the consequences of staking out a pro-abortion rights position. Things changed in the run-up to the first term of President Clinton. For a fascinating book on this history, check out The Politics of Abortion by Anne Hendershott, whom I interviewed a few years ago.

Relentlessly Call Abortion What It Really Is

Relentlessly Call Abortion What It Really Is

Jon Bloom:

Abortion is rarely talked about.

I’m not talking about the word “abortion.” We hear this word a lot it in the public square. But we rarely hear about it. Abortion almost always refers to something else. We hear that abortion is fundamentally about a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Or abortion is a litmus test for judicial nominees. Or abortion is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the social discourse in America.

But none of those things is what abortion really is. Abortion is the intentional killing of unborn children.

Read the whole thing.

Spiritual Warfare: Interview with Brian Borgman

Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced PerspectiveHave you ever read the famous “spiritual armor” passage in Ephesians and not really known what to do with it? Let my friend pastor Brian Borgman and co-author pastor Rob Ventura walk you through this tricky yet essential passage of Scripture in their new book, Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective, now available for 50% (only $6.50) at WTS Books (while the Kindle version is only $2.99).  Endorsers include Voddie Baucham, Carl Trueman, David Murray, and Paul Washer. The Foreword is by Steve Lawson. Brian was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the book.

You’ve written a book on spiritual warfare. What are some common ways that Christians misunderstand this concept today?

Continue Reading…

Paul Miller – A Loving Life – 50% Off (Or More)

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken RelationshipsPaul Miller, author of the fantastic book A Praying Life, has a new title out called A Loving Life. The publisher’s description:

How do you love with no love in return?
How do you love when no one notices or cares?

Best-selling author Paul Miller tackles these tough questions at the heart of our struggle to love head on. Drawing on the book of Ruth, A Loving Life offers the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable around us as we discover the power to live a loving life.

For 72 hours only, this book is available for 50% off (only $6.50 a copy) or you can buy 3 copies for only $5.00 each.

Does Where You Go to School Matter to Employers?

c7747Great post from Lynn O’Shaughnessy on whether you need to attend an elite school to be successful.  An excerpt:

I am involved in recruiting for a very selective federal agency. Our jobs require very high level skills, including a minimum of a master’s degree. Most people I work with are brilliant. They get their jobs here by passing a rigorous entrance test on knowledge of foreign affairs, foreign language aptitude, writing samples, oral exam (to determine presentation skills), quantitative skills, and a psychological battery….

We have people from famous and not-so-famous colleges. We have smart people from every type of college you can imagine — people from Middle Tennessee State University working alongside people from Harvard. And guess what? They’re all doing the same work with great enthusiasm, smarts, and capability.

Read the whole thing.

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