Education and American Exceptionalism

The crisis in American education has catapulted to the spotlight in recent years.  Or so it seems.  With the release of the critically acclaimed Waiting for Superman and education interest groups taking a more principled and seemingly more powerful stance on education reform, the issue of whether America’s education system is failing has become very prominent. … Read more

Cold Turkey?

By the conventional wisdom of the day, Turkey is hot. While America is caricatured as ‘empire on the decline’, Europe as ‘the shrinking continent’, and Iran as ‘menace in the Middle East’, Turkey has swept the world stage as a posterchild of win-win international politics. To its credit, this quasi-European, quasi-Middle Eastern regional bridge state … Read more

Barack Obama: "Campaigner-in-Chief"

Election Day 2010 is only a few days away and Democrats are feeling the heat.  All around the nation, Democrats are reaching out to voters in key races in which every vote will count.  To assist in this effort, the Harvard College Democrats have organized phone banks using the call tool on Organizing for America’s … Read more

The Limits of SAFRA

New reform measures won’t solve the problem of tuition rates In March of 2010, Congress passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), a collection of efforts meant to improve access to college. The bill is perhaps best known for ending subsidies to private student lenders. At the bill’s signing, President Obama praised the … Read more

The End of the Women’s College?

The decades-long decline of single-sex higher education In 1960, a college-bound female eager to attend a single-sex school enjoyed a selection of 200 all-women’s colleges from which to choose. Fifty years later, the same applicant would find only 60 such schools, even as the number of colleges in America has grown exponentially. The decline in … Read more

Oh, the Humanities

The struggle over curricular reform, at Harvard and beyond What is the purpose of a college education? Over the past decade, Harvard and other American colleges have grappled with various curricular reforms, which at their core which reflect different answers to this question. The humanities, thought to be impractical for professional careers and incompatible with … Read more

DREAM Deferred

Failure to pass the DREAM Act highlights partisan gridlock In the polarized world of American politics, bipartisan support is hard to come by. So when the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act came to the Senate floor in mid-September, one might have expected the bill to pass overwhelmingly. After all, the measure … Read more