Notes in the Margins: Gap years, playing and Apollo's founder

Want to get your kids into college? Let them play Every day where we work, we see our young students struggling with the transition from home to school. They’re all wonderful kids, but some can’t share easily or listen in a group. Some have impulse control problems and have trouble keeping their hands to themselves; others don’t always see that actions have consequences; a few suffer terribly from separation anxiety. We’re not talking about preschool children. These are Harvard undergraduate students whom we teach and advise. They all know how to work, but some of them haven’t learned how to play. (CNN)

Md. to weigh own ‘DREAM’ tuition act Maryland would offer in-state college tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants who have attended state high schools and whose parents are taxpayers if a measure being proposed by state Democrats becomes law. (The Washington Post)

GAO: Bush-era rules helped schools evade banned practices Bush-era rules defanging the Education Department have helped for-profit schools evade a federal ban on some recruitment and lending practices, according to a new government report. (

More Students Taking ‘Gap Year’ Before College Gap years have long been common in England, but organized programs are gaining traction in the U.S. While many students take a year off to earn money for tuition, programs involving international travel or service work are more common among affluent students or those from competitive high schools, where pressure to get good grades and gain admission to an elite college is most intense. Lower-cost options have increased in recent years, too, as government community-service programs have expanded. (Wall Street Journal)

Plunge of For-Profit College Shares Makes Patriarch Sperling Rail at Obama University of Phoenix founder John Sperling, whose fortune peaked at $1.9 billion in 2005, and who had until recently been tending to non- educational interests ranging from cloning to longevity, has plunged back into the fight to defend his creation. As the value of his Apollo common stock plummeted by about $300 million this year, he traveled at least twice to Washington, drawing on his history of donations to Democrats to see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other legislative leaders. (