October 12, 2011, 5:03 pm
A few days ago, Governor Jerry Brown did something unexpected: he vetoed a bill that would have restored racial and ethnic preferences for admission to California’s public colleges and universities. The bill, SB 185, was sponsored by state senator Ed Hernandez in a campaign that was nakedly about pandering to Hispanic voters. SB 185 was, in effect, an attempt to undo what California voters accomplished in 1996, when they passed Proposition 209, the measure that amended the state’s constitution to read:
The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
Foes of this civil-rights provision have tried over and over again without success to have it ruled unconstitutional. The most recent…
November 3, 2010, 8:23 pm
What does the midterm election foretell for higher education? It foretells the closing off of a dream of escape from the financial realities of contemporary higher education. The higher-ed establishment has been feasting on that dream since February 2009, when President Obama announced his plan to make the United States the nation with the highest percentage of college graduates in the world—by 2020! To accomplish that, we would have to more than double the number of college students in the United States, and steeply ramp up the graduation rate. And the very attempt would require billions of dollars in new “investment” in higher education.
Meanwhile, the American public has been expressing more and more disenchantment with the higher-education status quo. My fellow Innovations blogger, Richard Vedder, never fails to irritate CHE readers when he points to the plain realities…