Required Readings

Diploma mills, information overload, college contraception, Scientology in the schools, and more: Required Readings, 7.8.14

According to some researchers, 40-45,000 legitimate PhDs are awarded annually in the United States, while another 50,000 spurious PhDs are purchased here. Further study is needed, however, to collect data on the extent of the problem. In the meantime, check out this list of animals who bear fraudulent degrees

Recent graduates of legitimate universities may nonetheless find themselves At Sea in a Deluge of Data, says Project Information Literacy, a national study about how today’s college students find and use information. In a survey of employers. respondents noted that “their fresh-from-college hires frequently lack deeper and more traditional skills in research and analysis. Instead, the new workers default to quick answers plucked from the Internet.” Filling this knowledge gap will require effort and shifts in thinking by faculty members, administrators, librarians, and students alike.

In a somewhat related vein, here’s a guide on How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions. Of course, doing so might require thoughtful reflection and civilized discussion, and I’m not sure if those are allowed anymore.

In the wake of last week’s SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling, attention has moved to related cases involving the objections of religious nonprofits, including several colleges and universities, to the accommodations provided by the federal government. One legal scholar lays out the relevant facts and arguments about the initial Wheaton injunction. Those who currently or in the future may work for religious institutions, however secular they may be on the surface, will want to follow these cases when the court reconvenes in October.

A few months ago, Required Readings looked at a story about the role of the Scientology-based antidrug program Narconon in California public schools. It seems that such efforts are not limited to the Left Coast, as representatives from a different Scientology-sponsored antidrug program have visited about 20 percent of New York City public schools according to its own estimates.

Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!


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Librarienne is a university librarian who sees her professional mission as teaching the masses how to separate the wheat from the chaff in today's expanding universe of information, that everything you read requires a critical eye, and how to properly use apostrophes.

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