C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

39 articles in list

Higher Ed Rethinking

David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University, recently shared his vision of a radically different future for higher education.  We have explored this subject in some detail in a past quarterly letter, and the harsh realities of…

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Student Loan Bust

The rate of non-performance among federally guaranteed student loans is staggering. Despite protestations by agency officials that the overall portfolio is in good shape, the federal government seems almost certain to realize principal losses on this loan book. More than 40%…

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Retractions on the Rise

We recently shared an article where the author took academic journals and pop science media outlets for a ride.  Of course, the journals are not the only ones responding with poor behavior to the underlying economic incentives.  Academics have long…

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Kalamazoo Crosses the Rubicon

In an effort to improve its attractiveness against both larger state schools and more prestigious smaller colleges, Kalamazoo College (among a handful of others) began publishing test results purporting to demonstrate what its graduates had learned during their time in…

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New School Algebra

Ubiquitous touch interfaces, wide-spread broadband access, and easy-to-buy and download apps are a potent combination for creating and promoting new and interesting ways to learn.  This trend is opening up challenging material to varied learning styles.  A compelling example is…

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Flipped Classroom: Out of the Lab

Clintondale High School, just outside of Detroit, is giving the flipped classroom idea a real-world test. In many instances, teachers at the school are recording their own lessons to broadcast to students. Ultimately, we suspect that best-in-breed content will provide…

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From Mongolia to M.I.T.

The story of Battushig Myanganbayar, a 17-year-old Mongolian, highlights how Massive Open Online Courses provide widespread, global access to previously unavailable educational opportunities (the wireless infrastructure that enable all of this is increasingly important, as well).  Interestingly, the approach used to…

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From Trash to Musical Treasure

Alongside their teachers, students in a Paraguayan slum are reclaiming garbage to make musical instruments.  The results are cellos made from oil cans and violins crafted from scavenged wood, all played by the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra. Landfill Harmonic- The world…

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Credentialing in the Online Education Era

College degrees were not overly important a century ago, and that situation could recur.  If technology-enabled content providers can offer higher education at a significantly lower cost and if users can demonstrate proficiency without a degree, the lower end of…

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Korean Teachers: Unrestricted Free Agents

After-hour tutoring programs in Korea are meritocracies that have, by most indications, vastly improved the country’s academic performance.  This story highlights how teachers are using the internet to distribute lessons and enhance their earnings, a trend we suspect will eventually transform education in the U.S. Kim Ki-hoon earns…

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Disruption in Higher Education

Dr. Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, discusses disrupting innovation in education.

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Free Shoes From Korea

Massively open online courses (MOOCs) are increasingly disrupting traditional secondary education.  We follow this shift in learning closely, and Thomas Friedman recently weighed in with some telling anecdotes: I was picked up at Logan Airport by my old friend Michael…

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