America’s higher education system is failing its students. In the space of a generation, we have gone from being the best-educated society in the world to one surpassed by eleven other nations in college graduation rates.
Higher education is evolving into a caste system with separate and unequal tiers that take in students from different socio-economic backgrounds and leave them more unequal than when they first enrolled.
In Degrees of Inequality, acclaimed political scientist Suzanne Mettler explains why the system has gone so horribly wrong and why the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for so many.
"It's absurd to me that you can refinance a mortgage or a business loan, but you can't re-finance a college loan? I don't think the government should be making money off the backs of students." ~ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
New York education officials are postponing plans for a statewide student database until concerns about privacy and security have been addressed.
The state had planned to transfer students' grades, test scores and attendance records to Atlanta-based service provider InBloom this year. But opponents ranging from parents to state legislative leaders raised concerns about storing personal student data on servers in the so-called cloud, accessed through the Internet.
Ten years ago, James Lasdun, a poet and novelist, taught a fiction-writing workshop at a college in New York. One of his students was a young woman, "Nasreen," as he calls her in his new nonfiction book, Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked.
Lasdun will join us to discuss his strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of the student, a self-styled “verbal terrorist,” who began trying, in her words, to “ruin him.” It is a frightening tale that continues for Lasdun to this very day.