Notes in the Margins: Cocaine, poor kids and an admissions goof

For Some Vassar Applicants, Joy Then Misery as College Corrects Mistake Scores of early-decision applicants to the college were mistakenly told they had been accepted. (The New York Times)

Is college not for poor kids? A few weeks ago, we read about a group of students who were promised in 1988, when they were in elementary school, that their tuition would be paid if they worked hard and got into college. More than two decades later, only 11 have four-year degrees, a consequence of many bad turns, most of them related to growing up in poverty. (The Washington Post)

No-One Cares About the College Bookstore I want to rebut an idea that’s been doing the rounds as people have been thinking further about Apple’s strategy in the education market. On last week’s Hypercritical, John Siracusa discussed a recent post by McKay Thomas which argued that Apple is following a “brilliant strategy” in education of “going high school first [and] applying the heat to university textbook publishers and bookstores.” (Crooked Timber)

English Is Global, So Why Learn Arabic? In a recent essay, Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard University, wrote about preparing American students for the future. In the essay, he said that international experience was essential, arguing that English’s emergence as the global language makes the investment in other languages less essential. Does he have a point? (The New York Times)

Sophia Stockton, College Student, Finds Cocaine In Textbook Ordered From Amazon College junior Sophia Stockton got quite a surprise when she opened the textbook “Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues,” a bag of cocaine in between the pages. (The Huffington Post)