Hill Climb Racing 2 Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Month STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Weekly One ft Vant PCB for Musical Instruments Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags Home Gift Guide Off to College Home Gift Guide Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon Transparent Transparent Transparent  Introducing Echo Show Introducing All-New Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands-free $149.99 Kindle Oasis, unlike any Kindle you've ever held AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now STEMClubToys17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 63 reviews
VINE VOICEon January 13, 2014
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, founder of Instapundit and writer of two other (brief) books on the necessity of education reform, has written a more comprehensive book explaining the how, why, and (kind of) the what next of the education bubble. Unlike some pundits, Reynolds suggests that there is a bubble not just in higher education, but in k-12 education too: a perfect storm of education becoming more expensive, the (economic) value of diplomas and degrees declining, and the technology that makes creating and using new educational forms more and more viable. As Reynolds likes to put it (in the words of economist Herbert Stein), "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." And that is what he sees for both higher education and k-12.

Simply put, the education bubble - like any bubble - bursts when the cost of an investment begins to outweigh the likely return on investment. And, at this point, the cost of college degrees is proving to outweigh the rise in earning potential one gets by getting one. (And if anything, some have argued that increases in earning potential of college degrees owes more to the value of the certification - the degree itself - than the skills gained in obtaining the degree. So, what happens when employers start to question whether they are putting inflated value on the piece of paper and start hiring more people without degrees? Can you hear the bubble bursting?)

Oh, you say; well, education should be about personal growth and not increasing one's future earning potential? Well, sure, but not when it carries a five-figure price tag! (How many consumer services carry that steep a price... and still have willing consumers?) Or, maybe the government should subsidize more? Well, the problem is that like when anything is subsidized, the most likely result is that costs rise to absorb the subsidy. And if we start thinking the rising expenses and diminishing returns of k-12 education isn't terribly problematic because it is tax funded, then it is best to remember who is paying those taxes; answer: all of us. And how is it that we are teaching young people in the 21st century with a public school system that, very sadly, hasn't adapted terribly much in terms of teaching methods from its 19th century roots? Is that sustainable? If something can't go on forever....

The first half of the book or so is devoted to explaining why these bubbles in higher education and k-12 have formed and providing evidence that they've formed (and that more and more people are looking for ways to bypass traditional educational channels, often with the help of technology). The second half or so is a fairly vague outline of what Reynolds thinks will happen next. In fairness, Reynolds is vague because he (correctly) notes that no one really knows what will happen next, and the best we can do is to have some broad ideas of what might have to happen next. Vaguely, Reynolds suggests that both new forms of (what we now know as) k-12 and higher education will have to be less expensive and more adaptable to individuals, and probably something that embraces new technologies in a way that neither existing higher or k-12 education seems terribly interested in doing. (Reynolds seems quite taken by the idea - at least for higher education - that universities maintain their certification and degree-granting role while becoming more open about allowing students to learn materials on their own or at their own speed, possibly even without taking classes in favor of self-study.)

Those who have read Reynold's other books on education will find little new here, and as I mention, Reynolds's prescriptions and predictions are somewhat vague; while that may be disappointing in some way, it is also to his credit. Where Reynolds shines is in explaining (with a fair degree of historical accuracy, I think) the k-12 and higher education bubble and the evidence that it is either bursting already or, where it isn't, it will soon burst. And, also to his credit, he describes all this with a surprising tone of optimism (even though he is an academic).... which gives me (also an academic) a bit of hope that, if we all read and play our cards right, we can come through all of this with something better and stronger than what came before.
11 comment| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2014
But imho he's right about everything else. This is a must read for parents, and it'll be a scary read for folks in the industrial/governmental educational complex. It's quick and concise, but packed with documented info and keen insights. The response he got from his dean, when he mentioned that he hadn't gotten as much flak as expected, was enlightening. "Everybody knows there's a problem; they just don't want to talk about it because they don't know what to do about it, and they're afraid of what they might have to do if they did."

We're in uncharted territory here but, as the author says (with attribution), something that can't go on forever, won't. He doesn't offer a one size prescription, but acknowledges that there will be many possible solutions, based on the needs of the kid and resources of the parent. And now there are a much wider array of tools and resources available to us all. With apologies to Homer, I, for one, welcome our brave new school.
0Comment| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 9, 2017
I taught at the college level for 40 years, and watched the overall quality of my students decline steadily as the propaganda content of their education increased. Colleges have taught what to think but not how to think. The progressive capture of the educational system is ruining education at all levels. From home schooling to private schools to vouchers to online study, Americans are finding their way around the barriers the educational bureaucracy puts in their way. And the cost of college has risen so high that students bear burdens for decades afterwards. Avoiding those costs becomes a major factor in increasing one's chance of financial and cultural success. You're doing it to yourselves, progressives, and you deserve what's coming to you. Mr. Reynolds articulates these concerns far better than I can. Everyone concerned with education should read this book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 12, 2014
... read this one. Do not be fooled by its length: "Instapundit" is a very concise writer who can make a cogent point in a fraction of the space others would need.
People familiar with the blog and with Prof. Reynolds's op-eds (in USA Today, the WSJ, and elsewhere) will be very familar with the observations and ideas set out in this book. For others, it will be an eye-opening read.
This really cannot go on forever, and it will not.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 15, 2014
... and provides some practical, specific details for "how." I agree with the author's theory that the education process today, from K to 12 to Grad School, is based on an old model that no longer works for the 21st century. Reynolds also makes an excellent case for why all education, but higher education especially, is too expensive for the actual value it bestows on the lives of students. Something needs to change. The author makes some interesting suggestions along the lines of finding a cheaper and more accurate means to provide accreditation for knowledge gained, and hammers home the point that we should no longer expect a person to go through 17 years or more of expensive schooling (with a lot of wasted time) before he/she enters "real life" or the world of adults. This book made a strong impression on me and I will be guided by it when it comes to educational choices for my children. I am thankful my children are young enough to escape some of the expensive traps exposed by the author, and also young enough to perhaps take advantage of the "new school" that he recommends: less expensive, diversified, online-based, flexible, apprenticeship-leaning, and honed to each child's individual strengths.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 29, 2016
I have the earlier version of this book, so the theme behind this version was no surprise - that an uncritical appreciation for what was happening in the economy, over all and not just because of the Great Recession, and higher education, because of the emphasis of a perceived cheap availability of money for tuition and high expectations of the value of higher education, has led to an unsustainable set of circumstances - substantial student debt and reduced availability of the high-paying jobs to easily service that debt. The transition is not going to be nice or easy and he proposes general things for students and colleges to consider. I last went to University more than 30 years ago and all this coming to a head, in the past 5-10 years, really surprised me though if one looks at how we got here, it seems so obvious.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2014
I'm a big fan of Glenn Reynolds. For those of us who are fans, this book is pretty much what I expected. As always, lots of ground covered in very few words. Reynolds refreshing lack of jargon and willingness to cover big issues in few words, make this an easy read that provides a lot of insight. However, the same characteristic economy of words leaves one a bit frustrated. Reynolds, for example, only looks American education and only looks at it in isolation. We read, for example, that the educational outcomes in other countries are better for less money but we have no idea why or what the differences are between the systems. We know that there are opposing viewpoints and other thoughts but little discussion of what those viewpoints and thoughts might be.

All in all the book is great if you haven't read much at all about the changes that might be coming in education. If, on the other hand, you've read in this area the book will add very little to your understanding.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 8, 2014
Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds covers much the same territory as his previous Encounter books on education, but with richer detail, more background on how we came to this point, and the likely battles to come from those who benefit from the current state of education. The biggest problems---the student loan debt serfdom, the Fantasyland college majors, the inability of the schools to teach reading and arithmetic (something the schools could do very well 100 years ago)---are still well covered in this book. There is more on the internet and even video games as useful learning media. Reynolds is also more optimistic about the coming changes; he sees the main beneficiaries will be the consumers of education.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 16, 2014
An extremely concise, encompassing, easy to read single source on current issues/problems in the educational industry. If there was the need for one more page, I'm sure Glenn would have added it.

I'm a regular reader of Glenn's blog and bought this book as small payback for all the web time he's given me. Didn't even intend to read it figuring I'd seen it all from his website. Then I see this little, 104 page book come in the mail and I'm thinking "you've got to be kidding me". Based on how concise and pithy his blog titles are, I should have known better than to judge his work by its size. And the small size got me to actually read it. Wow!

(Sorry for the length of this commentary but I am clearly NOT Glenn.) After reading the first couple pages I couldn't help starting to highlight items as if it were a class assignment. First started with a line here or there. Then I'm circling a paragraph or two. Now I'm dogearing a page or two. Not many books of mine get dogeared pages; but, halfway through I'm starting to dogear the top AND bottom of a page for significance. Already I've singled out more than I typically would in a complete text three times this size, and then it happened. I have a double dogeared page facing a double dogeared page with the need to double dogear the following page. That's never happened before. Admittedly, my review skills are self taught but have served me well through several degrees. They've come up way short in reading this 'little' book of Glenn's. And I thought I'd already been up on the subject through his blog.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 14, 2014
We've all experienced and heard stories about the state of the modern school/university system we have in the U.S. It kinda doesn't work anymore (to say the least). We can either continue to pour ever increasing amounts of money into a non-functional model, or we can change models. Professor Reynolds makes a very convincing and well supported case for the latter course. And he provides some excellent guidelines on what the new model should look like. I've read all of his books, read his blog daily. He remains a pillar of common sense and well thought out policy ideas. Highly recommended.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse