Quick Takes: Enrollment Projections, TOEFL Problems, Another Penalty for Eastern Michigan, $700M Payout for Northwestern, Beware 'Swarthmorofascism'

December 19, 2007
  • Between 2005 and 2016, college enrollments are projected to increase by about 17 percent, according to "Projections of Education Statistics to 2016," an updated version of an annual report, released Tuesday by the Education Department. As has been the case in recent years, the updated data project a national student body that is more female and less white than the current student body. According to the report, female enrollment will increase by 22 percent, compared to 10 percent for men. And among racial and ethnic groups, the projected increases are 8 percent for white students, 29 percent for black students, 45 percent for Latino students, 32 percent for Asian students, and 34 percent for American Indian students.
  • Many people who signed up to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language on December 15 were unable to do so when "an internal disruption during the check-in procedure" created technical problems at testing centers, according to a statement from the Educational Testing Service. The statement said that a makeup test date would be set and that test takers would be able to receive letters to tell colleges that their failure to take the test in December was not their fault. Many American colleges require foreign students to submit TOEFL scores as a key part of determining the applicants' ability to succeed in the United States. A spokesman for ETS declined to say how many test takers were turned away because of the problems, explaining that the information was "proprietary to ETS." However, he said that there were problems at testing centers in North American, Europe and India.
  • As expected, the U.S. Education Department has imposed a major fine -- $357,500 -- on Eastern Michigan University for its failure to notify students and others last year that a student had been murdered. The Detroit News reported that, in total, the cover-up of the incident has cost the university $3.8 million in legal fees, penalties and payments to ousted officials.
  • Northwestern University announced Tuesday that the institution and some of its researchers would receive $700 million in cash for a portion of its royalty rights to Lyrica, which is based on discoveries at the university and which is used to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles.
  • Jonah Goldberg's new book is being promoted with a little (and a little inaccurate) college bashing. The book jacket for Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, forthcoming in January from Doubleday, proclaims: "The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore." Leaving aside the rather large issue of the charge that Brown and Swarthmore educate for fascism, Kieran Healy -- blogging at Crooked Timber -- points out a factual problem: Swarthmore doesn't award education degrees. Healy, a sociologist at the University of Arizona, and commenters on the blog have a good time exploring "Swarthmorofascism." A spokeswoman for the college confirmed that Healy is correct and Goldberg is not, and said she didn't know why Goldberg made Swarthmore a target.
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