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Today in academia: homeschooling memories, online course enrollment aren't booming, brutal early decision numbers and guns are still allowed on Oregon college campuses.

  • When homeschooling had a progressive bent. Margaret Heidenry's New York Times magazine essay on her experience being homeschooled with by her globe-trotting, progressive parents is well worth the weekend long-read on the history of the subculture (and see this 1975 Times article her mother wrote for the magazine). Aside from her own personal history, the article also comments on how homeschooling has evolved toward mostly being practiced by Christian conservatives, of which she remarks: "Home schooling is still embraced by those with progressive ideas (Julian Assange was taught at home), but what was once the province of the bohemian few is now more likely to be embraced by religious conservatives. Today, according to a poll by the Department of Education (PDF), 83 percent of parents who home-school their children — nearly two million children are now taught at home — do so out of 'a desire to provide religious or moral instruction.'" [The New York Times Magazine]
  • Oregon colleges won't be fighting in court to keep handguns off campus. In September, Oregon's Court of Appeals overturned a long-standing gun ban, allowing students with permits to carry weapons on campus. Today, Inside Higher Ed reports that the school system won't be fighting the overturned law in court, even though the "system had said at the time it would consider an appeal." The Oregon's school system chancellor came out with this statement: "While we feel strongly that the court decision is not in the best interests of our students and campus communities, we do not want to go through a long and costly process that may produce the same outcome." [Inside Higher Ed, The Oregonian]
  • A depressing thing to read if you just applied, early decision, to Princeton. If you just sent off your application to a prestigious institution and felt like you represented yourself the best way you could with a few pieces of paper, well, give yourself a pat on the back. And avoid reading about the bleak early admissions numbers, like these at Princeton: "3,547 students had applied by last week’s deadline through its 'single-choice early action' program. To put that figure in perspective, it is nearly triple the size of the entire freshman class." Which presumably is a small amount compared to when the rest of the applications flood in. Not to make you anxious or anything. [The New York Times Choice blog]
  • Online college course enrollment isn't booming as much as it used to. So says an annual study that found very big gains for students enrolling in digital courses in 2009 and 2010 but seemed to taper off this year, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. And academics, by the way, still don't appear happy about the shift: "Fewer than one-third of chief academic officers feel their faculty 'accept the value and legitimacy of online education. This percent has changed little over the last eight years.'" Well, at least some things don't change. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

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