Curriculum: The Shadow Schools

Instead of seizing deans or buildings, a growing number of students are showing their dissatisfaction with U.S. higher education by participating in a gentler rebellion. Out of idealism (and self-indulgence), they are busily starting "free universities"—academic Utopias where students and teachers can pursue what ever subjects interest them without formal examinations, grades or degrees.

The Center for Educational Reform places the total of such institutions in the U.S. at 450; three years ago there were scarcely a dozen. Most free universities are shadow schools that have arisen on existing campuses as...

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