Notes in the Roundup: Core requirements, risk-taking and the skunking of USN&WR rankings

French Professors Find Life in U.S. Hard to Resist A study found that academics constitute a much larger percentage of French émigrés to the United States today than 30 years ago. (

College ratings ignites debate over core requirements Johns Hopkins University is America's premier research institution. Yet a student could complete a bachelor's degree here without ever taking a course in science. Or math. Or history. Or English. (

Grade Hatred - Old School, New School The fact is, grading is not really assessing. It is giving a number to students that allows each to be compared to all others, a practice that is statistically misguided and counter-educational. (

The Cautionary Tale of a Short-Lived College Founders College, in rural South Boston, Va., was pitched as a sort of Great Books college for devotees of Ayn Rand. And while the for-profit college was never accredited, it operated with authorization from Virginia to issue degrees. At the time the college was approved, it had no official faculty, no facilities, and, it turned out, shaky finances. As strange as the particulars of Founders College are, they do raise questions about just what the standards are for opening a college. To some extent, the bar is necessarily low. A new college is, after all, unproven—and if a state is going to allow for innovation, it has to allow for failure. (

Rethinking the chase for grades We are told that to be successful, we have to be willing to take risks because without taking risks and learning from the outcomes of those risks, it is unlikely that we will accomplish our goals. Unfortunately, however, most traditional educational systems do not encourage risk-taking when it comes to learning. In fact, one could argue that, increasingly, our education system actually makes students risk-averse by creating disincentives for engaging in the risky behaviors that would lead to meaningful learning. (Austin American-Statesman)

College Costs, the Sequel Stories of waste and inefficiency in higher education have a strong appeal, and they are deeply embedded in our public understanding of rising college cost. Many take issue based on their personal experience. Although this is perfectly natural, generalizing from experience is not always sound. We need to stand back and take a broad look at the economic landscape of higher education. (

News: Poor Ratings for 'U.S. News' Rankings In something of a turnabout, admissions professionals recently had the chance to rank U.S. News & World Report for its college rankings -- and let's just say that the magazine was judged at about the equivalent of the dreaded "third tier" in its evaluations. (Inside Higher Ed)

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