Crossing the Finish Line

by Harry on September 12, 2009

William Bowen, Matthew Chingos, and Michael McPherson have just published Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities. [1] I’ll be posting about it at some length in the coming week (it seems to be the book that everyone is reading, so if you’re not, you can learn why everyone is, and if you are you can discuss. Anyway, highly recommended). Here is a (free-to-non-subscribers) op-ed they did last week in the Chronicle to give you a sense of what the book is about (you might want to avoid the less than brilliant comments the op-ed attracts). I’ll be focusing on their discussions of undermatching (point 5) and the predictive powers of high school GPAs (point 6):

[click to continue…]

Saturday morning reading

by Chris Bertram on September 12, 2009

I hardly ever buy newspapers these days, I just read their websites. The gains are probably greater than the losses: I used to take the Guardian and hardly ever see the others, now I get to read a range of British and foreign papers. The one exception I make is the weekend edition of the Financial Times. In fact, the FT, in its Saturday version is my nomination for the best English-language paper in the world. I love it, as every copy brings pleasurable reading. Today’s was a special treat as it contains “a conversation”: between one of my favourite journalists (Lucy Kellaway) and Nick Hornby (about whom it is hard to avoid having warm, friendly feelings, even if he is an Arsenal fan). Also, check out “Simone Baribeau’s account”:,dwp_uuid=a712eb94-dc2b-11da-890d-0000779e2340.html of working to sell overpriced houses to poor people during the bubble, whilst knowing that you are doing wrong but feeling unable to quit because of the need to fund dental treatment. I think I could post half a dozen more links to today’s edition, but just go and buy it (if in the UK) or browse away (especially the Arts and Leisure section).