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News Editorial Other Voices Interview

The M Word
"Marketing" has changed from a dirty word to a buzzword in higher education

  In This Issue
 

(Photo by Dennis Brack, Black Star for CrossTalk)

David Horowitz' claims that college and university faculties are dominated by professors with left wing views have stirred up controversies in several states.
( more)

News
The M Word
"Marketing" has changed from a dirty word to a buzzword in higher education

A Contrarian View of the Testing Industry
FairTest argues that standardized tests are a poor predictor of student success

Charles B. Reed
Cal State chancellor strives to promote quality and diversity in the nation's largest four-year college system

A Lefty Under Every Lectern
Conservative crusader David Horowitz pushes his "Academic Bill of Rights"

News From The Center
  –Virginia B. Smith Award
  –Measuring Up 2006

Other Voices
Unnecessary Barriers
The exclusion of foreign scholars has assumed almost epidemic proportions

Taiwan's Great Accomplishment
The country has produced a dramatic expansion of higher education

Left Behind
Many disadvantaged students are "hidden in averages"

By Jon Marcus
Boston

With every hit that echoed from the hallowed walls of Fenway Park, every roar from the hopeful sell-out crowds of fans who had been praying for this 2004 World Series, seasons of heartbreak inched closer to an end. Success hung in the brisk October air. Respect was finally at hand. With every pitch, a longtime Boston institution grew nearer to reversing years of despair.

And it wasn't just the Red Sox.

There, on Fenway's right-field grandstands, between the ads for soft drinks, beer and life insurance, hung a simple red and white billboard. It had been almost a whim, an outgrowth of some research that suggested baseball fans aspired to enroll their kids in college. At the beginning of the season, when the arrangements had been made, no rational New Englander would have believed this was the year it would be beamed to tens of millions as the nation watched the ultimate sports drama reach its climax.

Northeastern President Richard Freeland welcomes fans to NU Family Day at Fenway Park in Boston. This is part of Northeastern's marketing campaign.
(Photo by MJ Maloney, Black Star, for CrossTalk)
 
"Northeastern University," advertised the billboard. (continue)

 

A Contrarian View of the Testing Industry
FairTest argues that standardized tests are a poor predictor of student success

 
   
By Robert A. Jones
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Monty Neill, the executive director of FairTest, stood in an empty room on an empty floor of a vintage office building near Harvard University. He motioned to a corner. That's where a FairTest researcher once worked. And over there, along the wall, stood a row of file cabinets packed with research materials going back 20 years.

Robert Schaeffer, one of FairTest's founders and still its public education director, stood next to Neill, looking a bit uneasy. Even now, he said, it can feel embarrassing to talk publicly about the near collapse of the organization that has consumed most of his life's work. FairTest, he said, has played its role as gadfly in the world of standardized testing for so long that many assumed it could not stumble and fall.

But stumble it certainly did. Over the past two years FairTest has progressively retrenched as its financial backers, mostly foundations, withdrew their support. Last October, the situation became so dire that the Board of Directors briefly considered shutting its doors. Ultimately they decided to hunker down instead, leaving only Neill and Schaeffer on the payroll and shrinking the office space to a fraction of its former size.

 
Monty Neill is executive director of FairTest, persistent critics of standardized testing, especially the SAT.
(Photo by MJ Maloney, Black Star, for CrossTalk)
 
Now, nine months later, FairTest's crisis has eased somewhat. Revenues from the organization's website increased in the spring, thanks largely to the group's role in uncovering the SAT scoring scandal at FairTest's longtime adversary, the College Entrance Examination Board. Visits to the website increased dramatically along with some private donations. (continue)

 
     

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