The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child and What You Can Do About It

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RBdigital Magazines. Community Links. Community Events. Contact Us. Ask A Librarian. Average Rating. Brandon, Craig, Choose a Format. Available from another library. Quick Copy View.

See Full Copy Details. Place Hold. Date Publisher Phys Desc. Language Availability [] BenBella Books ; xix, pages ; 23 cm. English Available from another library. More Info Place Hold. Add a Review. Add To List. The difference is that it isn''t fiction. The alcohol-soaked, sex-saturated, drug-infested campuses that Mr. Brandon writes about are real. His book is a roadmap for parents on how to steer clear of the worst of them The Five-Year Party is a useful handbook for parents to pack when they take their teenager on a college tour, and its list of suggested questions is smart.

My favorite: How many of the school''s professors send their own children there? The Five-Year Party is packed with illuminating stories and details about this crisis situation, and helps readers to avoid the dangers and get the most for their money.

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Buyer beware! I suspect the author of The Five-Year Party exaggerated a bit, but the basics are correct. Students are entitled to their privacy. Some students, like my friend, are serious, work hard, search out the demanding professors, and comport themselves like the adults they are fast becoming. But the students are surrounded by an ambience of fun-fun-fun rather than scholarship and love of learning.

Colleges and universities are all about marketing these days, climbing the page on the US News and World Report college rankings, offering more hot tubs, taller climbing walls, more plush accommodation in the dorms, more specialized foods at every hour of the day and night, and whatever else entices young people to choose one school over another. The cost? Well, somebody has to pay for all those amenities, and the number of administrators has increased by a factor of In fact, most schools now use graduate students to do much of the undergraduate teaching, along with adjunct faculty who are paid starvation wages.

And as long as we all believe everybody has to have a college degree though not necessarily a college education the colleges can keep raising their prices and the parents have to pay. Any school that tried to compete by cutting costs — less fancy dormitories and amenities, fewer classrooms, larger classes, less spectacular libraries, and on-line classes — well, good luck getting accredited.


Helping Children with Learning Disabilities

There are some folks who, looking at all this and watching it get increasingly out of hand, predict that this bubble is going to burst. If enough parents refuse to go along with this game — and it has become a game — and begin sending their children to for-profit schools, or find apprenticeships for them, or skip college altogether, if colleges can no longer entice students to come to their campus and parents to pay outrageous amounts of money for who knows what —measures of outcome of a college education are not released by the schools if they even attempt to discover them — then schools will be unable to find enough students and will begin going out of business.

One of the things those authors are talking about is the campaign by David Horowitz for what he calls an academic bill of rights, or academic freedom for students.

Why the American School System is Failing (And what we can do about it)

He points out that many schools have a statement of academic freedom for faculty — nobody can tell them what to teach or how to interpret what they choose to present to their students. But students have no such guarantees. Horowitz was one of the radicals back in the 60s.

Craig Brandon - College Education -

As time went by he changed his mind about that rebellious time and became increasingly conservative. Horowitz thinks students should be protected from proselytizing by professors on the far left and from being ridiculed or shamed for asking questions and interpreting events from the point of view of the right.

Polls have repeatedly shown college faculties to have voted Democratic by margins of 8 or 9 to 1.

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Some of those people are ideologues and Horowitz has dug up enough cases of discrimination against conservative students or classes in which no mention is made of any opposing viewpoints that he has come to believe that students need a written and enforceable bill of rights assuring them a balanced education. His campaign is not getting anywhere except to alarm some of the more excitable faculty on the left. His is not a particularly interesting or entertaining or alarming book. Nov 30, Angel rated it it was ok Shelves: business-and-economics , education.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Initially, this book started interesting, but after a while Brandon's strong biases, including his desire for more in loco parentis and treating year-olds like minors, basically overwhelmed the book. And the thing is that a lot of what he writes about is true, and that something needs to be done about it.

However, after a while, the messages seem to get lost in the alarmist writing. So, what are the bas Initially, this book started interesting, but after a while Brandon's strong biases, including his desire for more in loco parentis and treating year-olds like minors, basically overwhelmed the book.

So, what are the basic messages of the book? OK, this is not really new, and we could go on a new rant just discussing how public schools have basically become holding pens rather than actual educational institutions. Thus, they are less ready for college. The big deal is that colleges have gone from educational institutions to business ventures. In the spirit of being business ventures, keeping the customers i. Course too hard? Dumb it down?

Professor grades too hard and makes you work? Get him or her to make class more fun, grade less, give less homework, and curve the grades. And if he does not comply, well, the customer student can get even at the end of year evaluation. You can rest assured that guy won't be getting tenure when review time comes around.

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This is another thing I could go on another rant about because working in higher education I have seen and lived it. As an adjunct many moons ago, I had students throw tantrums because they thought the classwork was too hard and interfered with their partying. And that is just one example. We are dealing with kids who just became adults; legal adulthood in most places is 18 years of age whether Mr. Brandon and other paternalistic people like it or not. Sadly, for many of these new adults, it means extreme freedom, and they will do stupid and even deadly things.

The problems really surface when the administration just wants to hide it using things like FERPA and just cooking the books in relation to the Clery Act. This is where the author and I disagree. Author advocates basically treating the college students like children again. I say, if they are adults, treat them as such. Let the local police handle them after all, they are adults living in the college town and let the students take their consequences.

Expel them if need be too. This would make sense, but see the previous point about school being a business; you can't expel your source of revenue. And this is just going to keep getting worse as states and society give up on their social contract of investing in the future generations and the families have to turn more to loans to pay for their students' educations.

Loan money that the colleges are glad to take again, see school as a business pattern. Do you get the idea now? However, the longer the kids stay in school, the more money they get. The book makes some very important points. I do think a lot of parents should be reading it, especially the section at the end with the key questions and red flags about what makes a party school.

By the way, I don't think a lot of what he says applies to only "party" schools.

Labour's Education Manifesto

However, as I said, much of the good message gets lost in the demonizing of colleges; see the chapters on college safety. While there are dangers, Brandon makes it sound like most colleges in America are teeming with rapists, murderers, and drug dealers waiting for your kids to come out from their nightly Greek house drunken bacchanalias.

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Yes, there are dangers. Yes, in many instances, a lot of kids party way too much. No, not all campuses are like that, but the ones that are need to be exposed. And students certainly need to have better work ethic, but society needs to demand it too.


So, overall, there is some food for thought here, but as a reading, it is not too great. Once you get the basic points, the rest seems a bit redundant. Aug 10, Blog on Books rated it it was amazing. Many parents are not so sure. Where professors are forced to dumb down classroom requirements in order to keep enrollment levels up and where college sales brochures and tours are designed to show students how much fun a campus can be as opposed to highlighting its educational virtues.

Welcome to the party school.