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  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Robert Zaretsky: What’s at Stake With Grade Inflation?

    Robert Zaretsky, a professor of French history at the University of Houston Honors College, is the author of Albert Camus: Elements of a Life (Cornell University Press, 2010). His next book, A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, will be published this fall by Harvard University Press.Truth, we’re told, is the first casualty of war. But as I hunker in my office bunker, the dull thud of history term papers landing on my desk, columns of sleep-deprived and anxiety-ridden students trudging past the door, I’m convinced that truth is also the first casualty of undergraduate paper writing. It is not only the historical truths trampled in the mangled and muddied papers written by my students. More insidiously, a deeper truth also suffers. Only tatters remain of the contract, implicit but immemorial, that teachers will grade student papers fairly and honestly. This shared conviction, that the students’ level of writing can be raised only if the teacher levels with them, now seems a historical artifact....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Neil Gross: Why Conservatives Hate College

    Neil Gross is author of "Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?" (Harvard University Press; April 9), a professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia and a visiting scholar at New York University's Institute for Public Knowledge. This post is an excerpt from a longer excerpt of "Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?" published on Salon.

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