Samuel Goldman is a professor of political theory at George Washington University.
It’s mistake to conclude that “where you go to college is of almost no importance.” Even if they don’t offer the royal road to intellectual or professional success, elite colleges provide opportunities and resources that are tough to find elsewhere. And that’s one of the dilemmas of American higher education. An Ivy League diploma isn’t just […]Read More
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made headlines last week by demanding that academics work harder. In response to criticism of his proposal to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system while giving it more autonomy from the state, Walker contended that faculty could help make up the shortfall by teaching extra classes. Professors have […]Read More
Conservatives and progressives don’t agree on many things, but neither much like the Common Core. The English and math standards, announced in 2010, have been rejected not only by professional critics of education reform and teachers unions, but also by Rush Limbaugh, groups associated with the Koch brothers, and well as by contributors to this […]Read More
The personal statement is a fixture of the college admissions process. In a distinctively American ritual, prospective undergraduates at selective colleges and universities spends weeks or even months crafting roughly 250-500 word responses to broadly worded questions about their character, circumstances, and aspirations. The following prompt from the 2014/15 Common Application is typical: “Some students have a […]Read More
“Honor” sounds quaint to modern ears. When I teach the Declaration of Independence, I find that students often struggle to understand why its signers committed “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to the cause of liberty. Raised to regard health and wealth as the highest goods, they cannot easily imagine why dishonor might […]Read More
Graduate education in the humanities is in a deep crisis. The causes are complicated, but the basic reality is simple: there are more and more applicants for fewer and fewer positions on the tenure-track, or even with multiyear contracts. In my own field of political theory, which is technically in the social sciences but functions more […]Read More
What’s conservative about liberal education? On any serious consideration, the answer is: a lot. Students do pick up marketable skills when they take classes in literature, history, or philosophy. But the real purpose of studying languages, books, and arguments is to initiate them as members of a community of free men and women, the present […]Read More