Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Summer reading

A selection of choices from college summer reading programs: The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson; Clemson University: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler; Saint Louis University: Outcasts United, by Warren St. John; Appalachian State University: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah; Lehigh University: The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive, by Brian Christian; Meredith College: A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School, by Carlotta Walls Lanier with Lisa Frazier Page; Smith College: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway; Occidental College: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert; Miami University: The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity, by Marty Neumeier; Ohio Northern University: Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, by Kelsey Timmerman; Whitman College: Brother, I’m Dying, by Edwidge Danticat; University of Kentucky: Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption, by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton; Middle Tennessee State University: This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, edited by Jay Allison.

Sources: Individual university websites (retrieved May 13, 2015).

Tertiary education

From 2000 to 2012 the percentage of 25 to 64 year-olds with tertiary education has increased across all OECD member countries. The OECD average changed from approximately 22 percent to about 33 percent. Canada led the pack, rising from 40 to about 53 percent.

OECD, “Education at a glance: OECD indicators selected data,” OECD360 2015, (retrieved May 1, 2015).

College financial aid

A lower percentage of the general undergraduate population receives financial aid from colleges and universities than do freshmen alone. In other words, financial aid often declines after freshman year. “More than 46 percent of freshmen get tuition discounts, according to an annual survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers—but fewer than 41 percent of all undergraduates do.”

Timothy Pratt, “College ‘bait and switch,’” The Hechinger Report, April 20, 2015, (retrieved May 14, 2015).

Bunkum research

The National Education Policy Center via its Think Tank Review project presents “Bunkum Awards,” recognizing lowlights in education research. Some issues in problem research arise repeatedly: mistaking correlation for causation; not accounting for potential reasons for results, such as selection bias; leaping from conclusions in one area to others that are not necessarily supported by the results; using small or barely statistically significant results to recommend broad policy changes; and starting studies from an ideological point rather than an objective hypothesis.

Sarah D. Sparks, “What Can Educators Learn From ‘Bunkum’ Research?” Education Week, March 4, 2015, (retrieved May 14, 2015).

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