Summary of “Competition Is Ruining Childhood. The Kids Should Fight Back.”

If enough students manage to master cutting-edge job skills, it will be great for the “Economy,” but as workers they will find themselves rewarded with lower wages.
In the ’70s, the economist Gary Becker theorized that employers would shift the costs of developing human capital onto workers, from paid on-the-job training to unpaid schooling.
If firms want workers who can speak Mandarin or code Python, why should they pay trainees to learn when they can scare kids into training themselves? Within this system, all an individual kid can do is try to put a sufficient number of their peers between themselves and poverty.
Competition between workers means lower wages for them and higher profits for their bosses: The more teenagers who learn to code, the cheaper one is.
Even though older adults are ostensibly worried about the kids, policymakers will never scale back academic competition, and most educators and parents are understandably loath to tell children, “Don’t work so hard.”
Schools can’t run without students, and the economy can’t run without schools; their work matters, and they can withdraw it.
The idea of organizing student labor when even auto factory workers are having trouble holding onto their unions may sound outlandish, but young people have been at the forefront of conflicts over police brutality, immigrant rights and sexual violence.
Only young people, united, can improve their working conditions and end the academic arms race.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Disappearing American Grad Student”

For some, the price is just too high when they have so much student debt already.
“You can believe that U.S. bachelor’s students, if they’re good, can go get a job at Microsoft or Google with a bachelor’s degree,” said Edward D. Lazowska, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington.
“Master’s grads are valued more, but not enough more for American students to get a master’s degree,” said Mr. Partovi, a founder of Code.org, a nonprofit that promotes computer science in grade school and high school.
In 1994, only about 40 percent of students who were enrolled in computer science Ph.D. programs were from outside the country, according to the Computing Research Association survey.
As the economy improved, the percentage of Americans in graduate programs dropped.
“Going to grad school became less of a priority for so many students,” said Stuart Zweben, co-author of the survey and professor emeritus of computer science and engineering at Ohio State University.
The balance of computer science graduate programs began to tilt toward so-called nonresident aliens in the late 1990s, when well-capitalized dot-coms began scouring for programmers, sometimes encouraging summer interns to drop out of school, Dr. Zweben said.
The Tandon School recently started “A Bridge to N.Y.U. Tandon,” aimed at preparing students with non-STEM backgrounds like liberal arts for master’s programs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Six Myths About Choosing a College Major”

An English major in the 60th percentile makes $2.76 million in a lifetime, a major in psychology $2.57 million and a history major $2.64 million.
Myth 3: Choice of major matters more than choice of college.
In all, more than half of students at less selective schools major in career-focused subjects; at elite schools, less than a quarter do, according to an analysis by the website FiveThirtyEight of the 78 “Most selective schools” in Barron’s rankings, compared with 1,800 “Less selective schools.”
One tip: Complementary majors with overlapping requirements are easier to juggle, but two unrelated majors probably yield bigger gains in the job market, said Richard N. Pitt, an associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University who has studied the rise of the double major.
The long-held belief by parents and students that liberal arts graduates are unemployable ignores the reality of the modern economy, where jobs require a mix of skills not easily packaged in a college major, said George Anders, author of “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education.” In his book, Mr. Anders profiles graduates with degrees in philosophy, sociology and linguistics in jobs as diverse as sales, finance and market research.
Of students who said they felt committed to their major when they arrived on campus, 20 percent had selected a new major by the end of their first year, according to a national survey by the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Students in our business meta-major get to understand the difference between finance, accounting, management and marketing so they can choose their major from an informed perspective,” Dr. Renick said.
No wonder fewer than a third of college graduates work in jobs related to their majors.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Taibbi: The Great College Loan Swindle”

Beaten down after more than a decade of struggle with student debt, after years of taking false doors and slipping into various puddles of bureaucratic quicksand, he was giving up the fight.
“I’m sure people who take polo lessons or sailing lessons earn a lot more on average too,” says Alan Collinge of Student Loan Justice, which advocates for debt forgiveness and other reforms.
The average amount of debt for a student leaving school is skyrocketing even faster than the rate of tuition increase.
In 2016 the average amount of debt for an exiting college graduate was a staggering $37,172.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, one of the few avenues for wiping out student debt.
The idea, launched by George W. Bush, was pretty simple: Students could pledge to work 10 years for the government or a nonprofit and have their debt forgiven.
While universities sit on their stockpiles of cash and the loan industry generates record profits, the pain of living in debilitating debt for many lasts into retirement.
In rehabilitation, Martish’s $8,000 loan, with fees and interest, ballooned into a $27,000 debt, which she has been carrying ever since.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Students Protest Intro Humanities Course at Reed”

A required year-long course for freshmen, Hum 110 consists of lectures that everyone attends and small break-out classes “Where students learn how to discuss, debate, and defend their readings.” It’s the heart of the academic experience at Reed, which ranks second for future Ph.D.s in the humanities and fourth in all subjects.
RAR has a sympathetic audience: Reed is home to the most liberal student body of any college, according to The Princeton Review.
A major crisis for Reed College started when RAR put those core qualities-social justice and academic study-on a collision course.
A Hum protest is visually striking: Up to several dozen RAR supporters position themselves alongside the professor and quietly hold signs reading “We demand space for students of color,” “We cannot be erased,” “Fuck Hum 110,” “Stop silencing black and brown voices; the rest of society is already standing on their necks,” and so on.
National coverage of the Hum 110 crisis has focused primarily on the clashes between RAR and faculty, but what about the majority of students not in RAR? I spoke with a few dozen of them to get an understanding of what campus was like last year, and a clear pattern emerged: intimidation, stigma, and silence when it came to discussing Hum 110, or racial politics in general.
In mid-April, when students were studying for finals, a RAR leader grew frustrated that more supporters weren’t showing up to protest Hum 110.
The RAR leader proceeded to call out at least 15 students by name.
In the intervening year, the Reed administration had met many of RAR’s demands, including new hires in the Office of Inclusive Community, fast-tracking the reevaluation of the Hum 110 syllabus that traditionally happens every 10 years, and arranging a long series of “6 by 6 meetings”-six RAR students and six Hum professors-to solicit ideas for that syllabus.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Colleges Want in an Applicant”

That brings us to you, the anxious applicant, the frazzled parent, the confused citizen, all wondering what colleges want.
Many colleges rely on “Holistic” evaluations, allowing colleges to contextualize applicants’ academic records and to identify disadvantaged students who might lack the sparkling credentials of their affluent peers.
What colleges look for sends a powerful message about what matters, not just to admissions officers but in life, and students often respond accordingly.
What most colleges ask for from applicants doesn’t reveal much about the many skills and talents a student might possess.
The experience is meant to help prospective students understand Olin’s collaborative culture, while giving the college a better glimpse of each applicant before finalizing acceptance.
“They feel like they have to show off, because we’re so selective,” he said, “And it’s completely understandable.” Technology, he believes, can help colleges get to know the student beneath the surface of a résumé, to gain a better sense of their passions, the kind of community member the applicant might be.
The problem is that savvy students who know colleges are watching them can tilt the odds in their favor, said Nancy Leopold, executive director of CollegeTracks, a Maryland nonprofit group that helps low-income and first-generation students get into college: “Demonstrated interest is biased against kids who don’t know the game exists, or who don’t have the time or money to play it.”
“Without a real external incentive for colleges to care about broadening their understanding of what makes an applicant promising, they don’t seem likely to change the definition on their own.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Read me!’: Students race to craft forceful college essays as deadlines near”

Be prepared to produce even more zippy prose for supplemental essays about your intellectual pursuits, personality quirks or compelling interest in a particular college that would be, without doubt, a perfect academic match.
The college essay, he learned, is nothing like the standard five-paragraph English class essay that analyzes a text.
“Sometimes, the fear or the stress out there is that the student thinks the essay is passed around a table of imposing figures, and they read that essay and put it down and take a yea or nay vote, and that determines the student’s outcome,” said Tim Wolfe, associate provost for enrollment and dean of admission at the College of William & Mary.
“And on the flip side, I’ve seen pristine, polished essays that don’t communicate much about the students and are forgotten a minute or two after reading them.”
Essays and essay excerpts from students who have won admission circulate widely on the Internet, but it’s impossible to know how much weight those words carried in the final decision.
Some affluent parents buy help for their children from consultants who market their services through such brands as College Essay Guy, Essay Hell and Your Best College Essay.
At Wheaton High, it cost nothing for students to drop in on a college essay workshop offered during the lunch hour a couple of weeks before the Nov. 1 early application deadline.
Sahni summarized the essay as a meditation on the consequences of lost keys, “How the unknown is okay, and how you can overcome it.” He said composing three or four high-stakes essays also had a consequence: “Every day you learn something new about yourself.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How an Ivy got less preppy: Princeton draws surge of students from modest means”

For the burgeoning population of students here from modest backgrounds, it still can be hard to fit in.
Hurdles for Jewish and black students were torn down in the 1950s and ’60s. Princeton started admitting women as undergraduates in 1969, going coed 23 years after its bicentennial.
In 2015 and 2016, as the Black Lives Matter movement swept campuses nationwide, the university confronted a sudden uproar over its racial climate when students protested how it honors the legacy of Woodrow Wilson.
Most go to students whose families make less than $50,000 a year, a range that spans deep poverty to moderate income.
“The private elite colleges send often-unintentional signals that they prefer students who can pay the freight over those who cannot,” said Harold O. Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which gives scholarships to talented students with financial need.
“There is no reason that all colleges can’t make greater efforts” to admit top students with major financial need – including Princeton, he said.
With a $22 billion endowment, Princeton can afford what most other colleges can’t: It meets full financial need without asking students to take out loans.
The result is a demographic revolution, with unprecedented numbers of students from modest circumstances becoming Princetonians.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Parents Pick the Best Schools for Their Kids?”

A new working paper titled “Do Parents Value School Effectiveness?” suggests that parents similarly opt for schools with the most impressive graduates rather than figuring out which ones actually teach best.
In a 2014 Econometrica paper titled “The Elite Illusion,” the economists Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, Joshua Angrist, and Parag Pathak wrote that while students who attend extremely competitive public schools like Stuyvesant High School in New York City clearly excel, that may not mean the schools provide an education that’s superior to their less competitive counterparts.
That raises the question: Are parents able to figure out which schools are doing the best job? The new working paper-published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and authored by Abdulkadiroğlu, Pathak, Jonathan Schellenberg, and Christopher Walters-discusses data from the New York City Department of Education, which enrolls around 90,000 ninth-graders every year at more than 400 high schools.
Do parents prefer a school nearby? Yes, they reliably gave higher rankings to schools located in their own borough than they did to those elsewhere.
Parents didn’t seem to pick up on that: When school A and school B had the same type of student body but school A was much more effective, parents didn’t apply to it more often or rank it more highly.
What’s more, Pathak and his colleagues worry that, absent sufficient information for parents, choice-based education systems “Penalize schools that enroll low-achievers rather than schools that offer poor instruction” and give school leaders a perverse incentive to focus on “Making sure your school’s got the best kids” rather than improving school quality.
Parents might rely on playground chatter, advice from middle-school guidance counselors, schools’ brochures, accountability reports put together by administrators, “School finder” apps, or websites like GreatSchools.org-but none of these sources seems to be leading parents to put weight on school effectiveness.
Jack Schneider, an assistant professor of education at College of the Holy Cross and the author of Beyond Test Scores: A Better Way to Measure School Quality, said doing so would still promote “a culture in the United States of talking about school quality as if there are only a few good schools, and that’s largely because there can only be a few winners in terms of who comes out on top in the battle of the test scores.” What’s needed, he said, is for parents to understand that test scores track so closely with a person’s background-their parents’ education level and income-that they say little about the quality of a school.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Adam Braun believes in a future that’s free from student debt”

We caught up with Adam to find out more about MissionU, what impact he hopes to make on the world, and what he’s been reading and finding interesting lately.
You are CEO and Co-Founder of MissionU, a brand-new, year-long educational program that charges no tuition until the student lands a job.
What inspired you to create MissionU and how did you get it off the ground?Before MissionU, I created the global education organization, Pencils of Promise, and as the organization grew I wrote a book, The Promise of a Pencil, which became a #1 national bestseller and is used as the Common Read at colleges around the country.
After learning student debt is the only debt in the country that can’t be discharged through bankruptcy, my co-founder and CPO, Mike Adams, and I were determined to create a debt-free alternative that embedded real-world job experience and prepared students for today’s careers.
MissionU completely aligns with students from Day One and is only successful when our students are.
MissionU believes a college should invest in their students, rather than vice versa.
What type of student, in your opinion, would thrive in the MissionU environment?Instead of focusing on SAT / ACT or GPA numbers, we hone in on identifying future potential over past test scores.
We believe ambitious, driven, results-oriented students who are looking to make a mark on the world would thrive at MissionU.In addition to MissionU, you founded Pencils of Promise, a non-profit that has built 400 + schools and served more than 70,000 children throughout the developing world.

The orginal article.