Elections & Political Parties

Syllabus: Week of July 29, 2013

August 2, 2013
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Welcome to the Syllabus, a guide that provides insight into what’s happening in higher education.
 
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Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education
 
Are seminars the remedy to freshman dropout rates? According to advocates, seminars can keep students engaged and enrolled. To better understand the freshman seminar, a Chronicle reporter visited the University of Richmond and attended six classroom sessions of three seminars and wrote about the experience. At Richmond, all freshmen are required to take a “First-Year Seminar” in each of their first two semesters. This seminar articulates a common set of learning goals, such as, improving student’s skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking. Seminars can be an effective method of instruction and counseling as there tends to be a low student-to-faculty ratio. Although this can be a desirable classroom experience for students, it is yet to be determined if it’s the best method.
 
Cory Weinberg, The Chronicle of Higher Education
 
On Thursday July 25th, North Carolina passed HB 589, which prohibited the use of college IDs as a valid form of identification at voting polls. The Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly argued this is one way to combat voter fraud, while Democrats believe it clearly targes student voters, who tend to vote largely Democratic.
 
Critics of the new bill argue college students often have permanent residences out of the state or they do not have a North Carolina driver’s license. In addition, college students are also more mobile. “They have to register more often, so students are often at the front lines of those decisions even when its not intentional,” according to Justin Levitt, an associate professor of law at Loyola Marymount University’s law school, in Los Angeles.
 
Lauren Ingeno, Inside Higher Ed
 
Many students enter law school with the intention of securing a job in the legal field and high salaries upon graduation. Unfortunately for graduates from 2006 to 2010, this was not often the case. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought forward by 12 former Thomas M. Cooley Law School students. The plaintiffs alleged Cooley misrepresented the percentage of graduates who obtained employment in legal fields after graduation and the average starting salaries for those jobs. The court said the suit’s interpretations of employment statistics were not proof that the figures were untrue.
 
Cooley has one of the lowest admissions standards of any accredited law school in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Jesse Strauss, the attorney who filed the plaintiff’s case stated that although he was disappointed by the outcome they, “Wanted to alert potential law students that getting a degree from a place like Cooley is not a good idea.” This year the American Bar Association has imposed stricter standards for law school employment and salary data reporting.

After the Withdrawal

March 21, 2013

This past Saturday, March 16, 2013 marked an extraordinary moment in Pakistan’s history, as this is the first time that a civilian government has served its entire five-year term (from 2008 to 2013). And, for the first time in its history, the Pakistani military appears both unwilling and unable to mount a coup against any civilian government. The military has mounted four coups since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.

Foreign Policy and US Elections

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
September 30, 2012 |

CAMPAIGN season in the United States is in full swing, with the presidential election scheduled to take place within one month’s time.

Early voting in some states has already started. Washington’s policy wonks are planning their election night parties, while campaign workers gear up for the home stretch, making last-minute phone calls to voters asking for donations and reminding them to vote.

For foreign policy enthusiasts, this election has been less than thrilling. With the exception of Iran and Israel, foreign policy is not a priority in this election.

A Changed Narrative

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
November 4, 2012 |

The 2008 election results couldn’t have delivered a more crystal-clear message about the American desire for change — a yearning that President Barack Obama’s political strategists rightly tapped into with its core campaign theme: change we can believe in.

But more than the substance of his policy platform, Americans drew their support for Obama from two factors. First, the combination of his family background, personal history and achievements proved the American dream was possible.

The Case for Letting Foreigners Become President

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
January 18, 2013 |

As Barack Obama prepares for his second swearing-in as America’s chief executive, it’s worth considering how little is legally required to apply for the job. According to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, you need to be at least 35 years old, a resident of the United States for at least 14 years, and a “natural born” citizen. That’s it—no degree, no managerial experience, no strategic vision is explicitly required. You don’t even need to be born in the U.S.

The Sidebar: Top Picks

January 10, 2013
Emily Parker, Colonel Thomas Lynch, and Brian Fishman weigh in on Obama's picks for top national security and foreign policy posts. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

No Girls Allowed

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
January 9, 2013 |

Oh, boy.

Or maybe I should say: Oh, boys!

Because here we go again! As a female columnist at Foreign Policy, it is apparently my solemn duty to point out that President Obama has populated the top ranks of the national security and foreign policy establishment exclusively with fellas. Where are those binders full of women when you need them?

Hagel: A New Era In Foreign Policy?

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
January 7, 2013 |

If media reports are true, Barack Obama will soon nominate Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. If so, it may prove the most consequential foreign-policy appointment of his presidency. Because the struggle over Hagel is a struggle over whether Obama can change the terms of foreign-policy debate.

Programs:

Kelly: DeMint's Departure Is Just the Beginning

  • By
  • Lorelei Kelly,
  • New America Foundation
December 18, 2012 |

Late last week, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., announced he was leaving the Senate to become president of The Heritage Foundation, the country’s most influential conservative think tank. From his new office perch just five minutes from the Senate floor, DeMint, a tea party gladiator, will enjoy unrestricted power to pursue America’s ideological renewal at six times his Senate salary. Members of Congress cashing in on their experience is nothing new. But it would be wrong and simplistic to assume DeMint is trading his institutional power as a senator for money and ideological purity.

Hagel: The New Eisenhower

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
December 18, 2012 |

In signaling that he’s likely to select Chuck Hagel as his secretary of defense, Barack Obama is sending a message about his second term. In the decade since 9/11, the spirit of Harry Truman has dominated American foreign policy. Now it may be giving way to the spirit of Dwight Eisenhower. And that could make all the difference in the world.

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