The GSV Big 10: Ding Dong! The Witch is Dying
Here's your weekly coverage corner for the top 10 stories, insights, and major plays in learning and skilling.
#1 Dept. of Education Opens Investigation Into Harvard’s Donor, Legacy Admissions Preferences
We’ve been saying for years that elite should mean excellence, not exclusivity. After SCOTUS overturned affirmative action, campuses from Princeton to Palo Alto responded with statements about their plans to maintain diverse and fairly selected student bodies. Eliminating legacies is a chance for them to put their money where their mouth is.
#2 Study of Elite College Admissions Data Suggests Being Very Rich Is Its Own Qualification
Five-figure SAT tutors, private trainers, and essay consultants have been available to rich kids for decades. The data shows that this has a massive impact on admissions to elite colleges…shocker. We’re not for the hard line approach of banning tutors, trainers, and technology outright, but we should leverage technology to help every kid have a fair shot at the future.
#3 Rethinking Higher Ed with Harvard’s Former President
What would really move the needle on reforming elite schools is expanding class sizes. Between 2020 and 2035, the nation’s under 18 population will grow by 4%. If top universities were serious about offering an excellent education, they’d use that as their benchmark.
#4 Can academic joint ventures between China and the West survive?
A decade ago, it seemed like US-China university collaborations were a win-win…a lot has changed. It’s tough to bring Duke and NYU to China with the active resistance to Western ideology…not to mention the new US travel advisory against going to China.
#5 America’s Largest Teachers Union Isn’t Beyond Reform
Mission Creep: During the 2019-20 election cycle, the NEA raised nearly $32 million through its three political funds. Quite the effort for a union that originally set out to promote “the cause of education in the United States”...the only other federally chartered entity that maintains a federal political action committee, the Society of American Florists, raised $23,000 for its PAC.
#6 The Case for Legacy Admissions
We’ll always listen to the devil’s advocate argument. Should private universities turn to foreign governments for new sources of income, or alumni who know and love the institution? Done right, legacy admissions creates institutional trust that lasts for generations. That’s worth something.
#7 Play Deprivation Is A Major Cause of the Teen Mental Health Crisis
Jonathan Haidt and Peter Gray hit the nail on the head. We have overprotected children in the real world, while underprotecting them online. The consequences will be devastating.
#8 Building diverse college campuses starts in kindergarten
Adversity-based admissions policies are a bandaid for the real challenge: closing the “excellence gap” in academic performance between White and Asian students vs. Latino and Black students. Waiting until high school is too late to level the playing field. Instead, we need to identify All Stars of all races and backgrounds before they bloom.
#9 $7,200 for Every Student: Arizona’s Ultimate Experiment in School Choice
Arizona’s voucher program has been a wild success. Since launching last September, it has grown 500% and is on track to nearly double again next year to 100,000 students. Maintaining standards and accountability will be crucial as the program continues to grow, but we love the direction this is heading.
#10 Accepting lost learning today will have big costs later
The short-term consequences of doing nothing for students in need are easy to dismiss…but the long-term consequences will be devastating. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. Creative solutions are required to close this gap and restore what has been squandered.