September/October 2012

Tilting at Windmills

Guilty Party “G.O.P. Edge As Dynamics Shift in House Races,” read a frightening headline in the New York Times this summer. How can this be happening after a record of ceaseless obstructionism by congressional Republicans? Much of the explanation, of course, rests on the media’s far too frequent reliance on blaming Congress rather than Republicans… Read more »

How was the sense of responsibility lost?

Last year I traced the explosion of greed and selfishness since the 1980s to the self-indulgence that developed out of the gradual morphing of the 1950s and early-1960s movement for group rights into an assertion of personal rights. Kurt Andersen, in a July op-ed in the New York Times, seems to join in this analysis:… Read more »

First-Rate Temperaments

Liberals don’t want to admit it, and conservatives don’t want to pay for it, but building character—resilience, optimism, perseverance, focus—may be the best way to help poor students succeed.

The Siege of Academe

For years, Silicon Valley has failed to breach the walls of higher education with disruptive technology. But the tide of battle is changing. A report from the front lines.

A Note on methodology: 4-year colleges and universities

There are two primary goals to our methodology. First, we considered no single category to be more important than any other. Second, the final rankings needed to reflect excellence across the full breadth of our measures, rather than reward an exceptionally high focus on, say, research. Thus, all three main categories were weighted equally when… Read more »

Answering the Critics of “Pay as You Earn” Plans

Tying the repayment of student loans to a borrower’s income is hardly a new idea. Conservative economist Milton Friedman proposed the basic concept in 1955, and so-called income-contingent loans (ICLs), or “pay as you earn,” plans have been championed by many liberals since. This has also given critics plenty of time to come up with… Read more »

Got Student Debt?

Over the years, government policy has created an array of repayment options for people struggling to keep up with their federal student loans. But these options are difficult to learn about and often difficult to execute. They also differ depending on what type of loan you have, and are not available if you are already… Read more »

Getting Rid of the College Loan Repo Man

Our current system for collecting student loans makes no distinction between deadbeats who cheat and the much greater numbers of people who just don’t have the money to repay. As predatory debt collection agencies ruin the lives of more and more Americans, we are ignoring an easy and fair solution.

Where Credit Is Due

You would think that the first law of presidential campaigning would be to take credit for your accomplishments. And yet the current contest features two men who are unwilling even to bring up some of their most important achievements in office. Barack Obama’s first landmark action as president, for instance, was the American Recovery and… Read more »