Why Do College Diversity Efforts Draw Criticism?

The issue of diversity on college campuses raises a number of difficult and provocative issues. In a ruling expected later this year, a federal district court will determine whether the selection criteria Harvard employs to boost admissions of some demographic groups pass legal muster. In the new issue of Regulation, Dennis L. Weisman contends that defining discrimination exclusively in terms of a departure from merit-based admissions may be too narrow because it fails to account for the value conferred on the university by other types of admissions. Also in this issue, Richard B. McKenzie discusses the economics undergirding the Climate-Change Doomsday Trap, and Chris Elmendorf looks at bolstering pro-housing factions in local government.

Unprofitable Schooling: Examining Causes of, and Fixes for, America’s Broken Ivory Tower

Most economies advance by simultaneously decreasing costs and increasing quality. Unfortunately, when it comes to higher education, this has been turned on its head. Costs keep rising while quality declines. How has this happened? What can be done? A new book, edited by Cato scholars Todd Zywicki and Neal McCluskey, provides a sober and informative assessment of the state of higher education, critically covering historical assumptions, increasing government involvement, reflexive aversion to profit, and other, maybe unexpected, conclusions.

Fixing the Bias in Current State K–12 Education Rankings

State education rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, Education Week, and others play a prominent role in legislative debate and public discourse concerning education. However, according to a new paper by Stan Liebowitz and Matthew L. Kelly, when achievement tests are used as measures of learning in these conventional rankings, they are aggregated in a way that provides misleading results. To overcome these deficiencies, Liebowitz and Kelly create a new ranking of state education systems using demographically disaggregated achievement data and excluding less informative factors that are not directly related to learning.

Cato Studies

Of Special Note

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

In The Beautiful Tree, James Tooley braids together personal experience, community action, and family devotion, and takes readers to the very heart of education. Tooley journeys from Africa to China, sharing insights from children, parents, teachers, and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves.

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Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

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Cato Home Study Course

When was the last time you were truly energized by ideas? Cato’s self-paced, home study program enables you to spend time with brilliant minds wherever and whenever you have an opportunity to listen and think.

Public Schooling Battle Map

Public Schooling Battle Map

Americans are diverse – ethnically, religiously, philosophically – but all are forced to support public schools. The intention behind this is largely good: to unite people and minimize discord. However, as the examples contained in this map show, the effect is often very much the opposite. Rather than bringing diverse people together public schooling divides them, forcing them into conflict over whose values and histories will be taught, and whose basic rights will be upheld…or trampled.