How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids---And What We Can Do about It
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
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What's gone wrong at our colleges and universities—and how to get American higher education back on track
A quarter of a million dollars. It's the going tab for four years at most top-tier universities. Why does it cost so much and is it worth it?
Renowned sociologist Andrew Hacker and New York Times writer Claudia Dreifus make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Going behind the myths and mantras, they probe the true performance of the Ivy League, the baleful influence of tenure, an unhealthy reliance on part-time teachers, and the supersized bureaucracies which now have a life of their own.
As Hacker and Dreifus call for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, they take readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, revealing those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved—and at a much more reasonable price.
Claudia Dreifus has been a journalist since the 1960s. Before coming to the Science Times section of The New York Times, she was known for her incisive interviews with international political figures and cultural icons. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, Ms., The Progressive", and "Modern Maturity". A Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute of the New School for Social Research, she lives in New York City.