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Patricia McGuire
Patricia McGuire is president of Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. She earned her B.A. in political science from Trinity and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and received honorary degrees from Georgetown University, College of New Rochelle, College of St. Elizabeth and Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom. She is a board member of the D.C. College Success Foundation, Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, Women’s College Coalition, Washington Metropolitan Consortium of Universities, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Washington Hospital Center, United Educators, and the UNIFI Mutual Holding Company and she is a member of the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.

President McGuire is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, is a passionate advocate for women, and is committed to the transformative power of education. She has testified before US Senate and House committees and she writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics. Her writings have been published by the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed and other publications. She blogs about contemporary issues at

Entries by Patricia McGuire

Teacher Regulations Worthy of George Orwell

(55) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 2:22 PM

Who will remain to teach the nation's schoolchildren when the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) succeeds in its plan to force every single pupil, teacher, school, college and university to conform to its Orwellian plan for constant surveillance and measurement of teachers via standardized tests and surveys?


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'Free' Community College: Gift Horse or Trojan Horse?

(8) Comments | Posted January 11, 2015 | 10:58 AM

I'm all in favor of any plan to get more people to become more educated, and in particular, to help more people who live on the margins to get the educational tools they need to gain greater economic security. So, from that perspective, President Obama's "America's College Promise"...

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Confessions of an Altar Boy Wannabe

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 10:54 AM

Envy, the nuns warned us in Catholic grade school, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I had to go to confession a lot when I was a kid --- especially when it came to envy of the stuff my brothers had that I craved. Lincoln Logs. Tonka...

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Teaching, Learning and the College Ratings Framework

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 12:36 PM

In a tale worthy of O.Henry's combs and watch fob, just as colleges and universities across the country have begun to get the hang of good practices in learning outcomes assessment, in large part due to pressure for accountability imposed by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on...

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Wearing of the Pink

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 11:51 AM

When the NFL wears pink, I see red.

Watching NFL football in October can be very hard on the eyes, and I'm not just talkin' 'bout any game involving Washington's football team. Hot, shocking pink is plastered everywhere on those behemoth bodies...

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Perfect v. Good: Higher Ed Reform Edition

(1) Comments | Posted September 7, 2014 | 5:38 PM

Government officials are spending quite a lot of time these days in a well-meaning quest to make higher education perfect. The continuous imposition of new and increasingly complicated regulations on colleges, as well as a new rating system, seems to arise from a deeply held belief that if only presidents,...

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College Presidents Must Lead on Sexual Assault

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2014 | 12:55 PM

College presidents, usually a verbose bunch, have been remarkably silent in the media on the topic of campus sexual assault and remedies for this plague. Why the silence? Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of this issue; every single president I know agrees that sexual assault...

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Putting the Oxygen Back into Improving Education

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2014 | 12:40 PM

"I believe testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools." -- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a blog post.

Oops. Did Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just say the equivalent of "never mind" on high stakes tests?...

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Ferguson's Lessons for the Fall Semester

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2014 | 1:52 PM

The most serious educational failure in America was on display in Missouri last week, and it has nothing to do with high stakes testing even though the stakes are very high for our nation. Ferguson is the latest, but not the only, community...

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Perilous Plagiarism

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 3:48 PM

The accused claimed that the plagiarism was a mistake, the result of a medical condition, no big deal, surely offset by an otherwise stellar record. These words were shockingly familiar to me as a college president who has seen my fair share of plagiarism cases. They are part of the...

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A College President's Worst Nightmare

(7) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 9:58 AM

Elliot Rodger is a college president's worst nightmare: the unstable student whose deep illness only becomes clear in the aftermath of a homicidal rampage. Even as our hearts go out to his victims, their families and the community of the University of California at Santa Barbara,...

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Lost Girls Are Everywhere

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 12:59 PM

How many girls are lost? Consciousness is growing of the massive tragedy in Nigeria, where nearly 300 schoolgirls are kidnapped and possibly sold into sex trafficking rings by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Closer to home, the face of Relisha Rudd haunts...

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Giving Dreamers a Chance

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Dreamers received a remarkable boost for their educational aspirations last week when Donald Graham and a bipartisan group of visionary business and civic leaders announced the creation of TheDream.US, a scholarship program to help undocumented young people achieve their dream of a college degree....

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Bill Gates' Rose-Colored Glasses

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Bill Gates must own the most advanced pair of rose-colored glasses in all of history. Being the richest man in the world (or second riches, depending on the daily wealth value race with Carlos Slim Helu) means never having to see the world through...

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Over-Reaching on Undermatching

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 6:21 PM

"Undermatching" is the latest buzzword to afflict higher education, a theory that "high achieving low income" students should choose only elite or "competitive" colleges and universities instead of the often-local institutions that serve low income students in large numbers. Skim the best off the top, the theory seems...

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Scandalous Options

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 5:30 PM

I had to stop reading when I got to the part of the amended complaint in the Options Charter School case that revealed the salaries of the people who used to run the school. Wow. I'm clearly in the wrong business! Who knew that being in...

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What's Out, What's In: 2014 Education Edition

(1) Comments | Posted December 29, 2013 | 9:31 PM

Since "Out" and "In" lists are in favor as the calendar flips, here are my nominees for what should be "Out" and "In" in education for 2014:

OUT: School Reform
IN: Transformed Teaching and Learning

"School Reform" as a phrase has all the charm of Nurse Ratched...

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The Humbug Factor

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 12:36 PM

A generous scholarship from a Trinity alumna made my college education possible. My folks put a premium on education, but with seven kids and only a very modest income, they needed help with college expenses. I have never forgotten that benefactor, though I never met her, and to...

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Silence of the Lame

(3) Comments | Posted December 14, 2013 | 1:18 PM

sandy hook vigil

Moments of silence erupted across the country on December 14 as the nation paused to observe the first anniversary of the massacre of 20 school children and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,...

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Of Marxists, Mouthpieces and Men of the Cloth

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 4:36 PM

No less a learned philosopher than Rush Limbaugh has called Pope Francis a Marxist. Worse things, far worse, have been said about men of the cloth, some of them actually true --- but not this particularly ignorant remark in reference to the Pope's

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