The Education Optimists blog takes on ten myths about affirmative action in college admissions:

“As many as 15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission, according to Peter Schmidt, deputy editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. These kids are ‘people with a long-standing relationship with the university,’ or in other words, the children of faculty, wealthy alumni and politicians. According to Schmidt, these unqualified but privileged kids are nearly twice as common on top campuses as Black and Latino students who had benefited from affirmative action.”

New census data show the devastating effect of the current recession on young adults:

“‘Their really high levels of underemployment and unemployment will haunt young people for at least another decade,’ Sum said. Richard Freeman, an economist at Harvard University, added, ‘These people will be scarred, and they will be called the ‘lost generation’ – in that their careers would not be the same way if we had avoided this economic disaster.'”

Campus police at UC Irvine held a mock protest drill last week, complete with a SWAT team deployment:

“I am on campus today and I am currently witnessing a protest simulation complete with UC Irvine SWAT teams, police, fake protesters, and the fire department. It looks like a really strange farce. They are ‘protesting’ outside of Gateway in a closed off area around the library. The protesters are simulating what ‘protesters’ act like, confronting officers, yelling, and running around the building with picket signs and megaphones. There are also photographers and camera men ‘capturing’ the event . . . . There were a lot of SWAT on campus and I thought they had a real emergency going on. It seems it has been going on for over an hour. The protesters even have fake ‘speeches’ and chants.”

Cuts to public higher ed are causing disproportionate pain to community colleges:

“‘Budget cuts might mean larger classes, fewer full-time faculty, shorter hours in the library, or it might be less frequent cutting of the grass,’ he says. ‘But community colleges are pretty bare bones. The vast majority of money they receive goes to academics,’ not to prettifying the grounds, sports teams, or other extracurriculars.”