The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 9-10, September-October

A Note on Methodology
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...
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A Note on Teach for America
In its 2006 college guide, the Washington Monthly re ported on the incredible growth of Teach for America, the program that recruits top graduating seniors for two-year stints in low-income, low-performing schools across the country. With an acceptance...
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Bending the Curve
In this issue we proudly present the Washington Monthly's annual College Guide, including our very own College Rankings. As in previous years, our intent is to offer an alternative to U.S. News & World Report's rankings, which we find objectionable...
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College for $99 a Month: The Next Generation of Online Education Could Be Great for Students-And Catastrophic for Universities
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Like millions of other Americans, Barbara Solvig lost her job this year. A fifty-year-old mother of three, Solvig had taken college courses at Northeastern Illinois University years ago, but never earned a degree. Ever since,...
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Failure to Launch the History of Higher Ed Is Littered with Big Ideas That Never Quite Took Off
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] People who pay attention to the field of higher education like to joke that it took decades for the overhead projector to make its way from the bowling alley to the classroom. Of course, this being academia, no one can quite...
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Higher Ed's Bermuda Triangle: Vast Numbers of Students Enter Community College Remedial Classes Every Year. Few Are Ever Heard from Again
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Treating children that way is like giving a lion their food without making them hunt for it. Jacinth Thomas-Val writes the sentence on the blackboard in her classroom at Sacramento City College, then asks her students what...
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International Studies: How America's Mania for College Rankings Went Global
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Five years ago, Hashim Yaacob, the vice chancellor of the University of Malaya, was on top of the world. In a recently published international ranking of universities, UM had placed eighty-ninth among 200 top institutions....
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Introduction: A Different Kind of College Ranking
In the space of a little more than a week this past June, two university presidents revealed just how cynical they're willing to be. First, Clemson University President James F. Barker admitted to rating Clemson as the single greatest university...
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Liberal Arts Colleges
LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES SOCIAL MOBILITY Predicted/ actual grad ...
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National Universities
NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES SOCIAL MOBILITY Predicted/ actual grad ...
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Pie in the Sky: What Happened When a Billionaire Pizza Mogul Tried to Build an Elite Catholic Law School
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the fall of 1998, Steve Safranek, a devout Catholic professor, found himself at a crossroads. For nearly a decade, he had been teaching at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a small Catholic enclave in the heart...
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The No-Frills Campus: A Q & A with Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc
As college tuition bills continue to outpace inflation, Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc is reversing course. Last fall, he opened a satellite campus in a suburban office park, where tuition runs $10,000 a year--one-third the...
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Tilting at Windmills
The essentials As health care reform gets down to the wire this fall, I hope readers will remember these main ways to reduce costs while improving care: * Give the government the power to negotiate prices with the drug companies. This could save...
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