Stop Using ‘Illegal’ When Referring to Undocumented Students

To the Editors:

On January 26th my co-authors and I released a report titled “In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower,” based on a survey of over 900 undocumented undergraduates across the nation attending an array of two-year and four-year public and private colleges.  The goal of that study was to raise awareness of the unique life circumstances of this student population, dispel damaging misperceptions about them, and provide information to higher education in order to be more responsive to th…

Obama’s Free-College Proposal Differs From International Models

To the Editors:

I read with interest your piece on the impact of free tuition for expanding access to lower-income students, “To Evaluate Obama’s Free-College Proposal, Look for Lessons Abroad” (The Chronicle, January 13), as this is a major policy area for the World Bank, as well. You are absolutely correct that the preponderance of evidence on free higher education in a global context support the idea that free tuition is largely regressive—supporting the most elite in society to access an …

Critique of “Easy A’s” Ignores the Report’s Centerpiece

To the Editor:

In his critique of NCTQ’s recent report “Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them,” Donald Heller in Easy A’s Get an F (The Chronicle, November 14), made several technical errors. (More on the technical errors can be found here on the NCTQ website.) But these errors are small potatoes compared with a much more glaring oversight.

Dean Heller ignores the report’s centerpiece, its statistical analysis showing that one of the largest drivers of higher grades in teacher preparation relates to a…

Basic Intervention Can Help Students Lower Their Debt

To the Editors:

“Many Students Don’t Know What They’re Paying, or Borrowing, for College” (The Chronicle, December 10) detailed a recent report, “Are College Students Borrowing Blindly?,” by Elizabeth J. Akers and Matthew M. Chingos. The authors of the report conclude that a majority of students don’t realize how much they have borrowed and the long-term impact of that debt. Our work with students on this very issue in recent years has delivered many of us at Indiana University to the same…

Nessie Survey Indicates Mostly That Students Are at Colleges That Suit Their Level of Ability

To the Editor:

“Colleges’ Prestige Doesn’t Guarantee a Top-Flight Learning Experience,” (The Chronicle, November 28) is misleading in a number of ways. First, as your article points out, there is no common set of standards by which students from diverse colleges and universities can make judgments about the quality of teaching at their institutions, and there are no common standards with which to compare one college to another. The article shows that the freshman responses to the quality of teac…

NCTQ Report Ignores the Wide Variety of Approaches to Teacher Preparation

To the Editor:

I would like to introduce another layer of complexity to Donald E. Heller’s excellent critique in “‘Easy A’s’ Gets an F” (The Chronicle, December 11) of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s recent report on the lax grading standards of teacher-preparation programs. In many states, including California, where I am a teacher-education professor, teacher-preparation programs are standards-based: In this model, the administrative body responsible for teacher licensure sets perf…

Truly a ‘Missing Chapter’?

To the Editor:

I’ve now had a chance to read “Saskia Sassen’s Missing Chapter,” (The Chronicle Review, December 12) by Marc Parry, which refers to my relation to my father, Willem Sassen, who became a Nazi in World War II, and thereafter connected with Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. I have never denied this nor tried to hide it.

Since Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) put the relations between the two men into the public realm, I have been over the years asked about them, and about my o…

Campus Watch’s Mission Was Mischaracterized

To the Editor:

An otherwise balanced article, “Middle East Studies Association Fights a Rising Tide of Critics” mischaracterizes Campus Watch’s mission (The Chronicle, November 21).

Describing a panel convened at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to discuss the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita, who was denied a position at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign following the revelation of his vitriolic, anti-Semitic tweets, The Chronicle writes:

Campus W…

The NCAA Should Punish Excessive Celebrating

To the Editors:

It’s time the National Collegiate Athletic Association passed sweeping regulation concerning excessive celebrating of athletes participating in competition. It’s that simple. The practice of individual players dancing in celebratory bliss after made touchdowns, tackles, and interceptions in football or made baskets in basketball, for example, is poor sportsmanship and an embarrassment to the individual, his or her institution, and the sport as well as a poor role modeling for…