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Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting…
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Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our…

by Andrew Hacker

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I'm a big fan of Claudia Dreifus--she is a wonderful and insightful writer. And I'm glad to have read this book, which is a well-researched and sobering examination of the state of higher education in the U.S. today. Dreifus and her co-author Andrew Hacker have asked whether the cost to attend college has exceeded its value, not only in terms of economic payback, but also in terms of teaching a given student anything at all.

Their research into the ways that Academia has protected its own interests, at a terrible cost to students, reminded me starkly of the health care crisis, another system that has run amuck and has become prohibitively expensive for almost all of us. This book drives home the ways that any self-policing, self-governing group of "experts," however much it wants to make good choices, will end up making self-serving choices instead.

I'm a little dismayed at the level of polemics--it seems that no one anywhere is getting a good education--but I really feel the basic arguments are sound and the book is well worth your time to read, especially if you are about to apply to college, or to send your child to one. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
This is a good book to read selectively. While Hacker makes some strong points -- especially about big time college sports -- he jumps around and does not substantiate many of his points fully. ( )
  prepper | Nov 26, 2011 |
Assumes retention is pushed on behalf of the colleges -for income- and not for students. ( )
  pilarflores | Sep 24, 2010 |
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The truth is that this book is short on reasoned analysis and long on animus, directed at elite universities, at administrators, and more than anything else at the “professoriate,” as they call it. Professors are seen on the whole as lazy, self-serving, interested only in sabbaticals, prizing only their own research, and profoundly uninterested in teaching students.
 
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To our country's students, who deserve better
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Every year, in the closing days of summer, a large swath of middle-class Americans engage in a ritual unique to their culture.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805087346, Hardcover)

What's gone wrong at our colleges and universities—and how to get American higher education back on track 

A quarter of a million dollars. It's the going tab for four years at most top-tier universities. Why does it cost so much and is it worth it?

Renowned sociologist Andrew Hacker and New York Times writer Claudia Dreifus make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Going behind the myths and mantras, they probe the true performance of the Ivy League, the baleful influence of tenure, an unhealthy reliance on part-time teachers, and the supersized bureaucracies which now have a life of their own.

As Hacker and Dreifus call for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, they take readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, revealing those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved—and at a much more reasonable price.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Calling for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, the authors make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Taking readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, Hacker and Dreifus reveal those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved--and at a much more reasonable price.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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