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William McGuinness
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William McGuinness is the senior editor of HuffPost College and is based in New York City. Formerly, the Fall River, Mass. native had edited and written for several outlets including CBS and The Boston Globe.

Entries by William McGuinness

Arne Duncan Announces No Child Left Behind Waivers For 3 More States, Washington. D.C.

(8) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 3:59 PM

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced on Monday that three more states would join the ranks of those given permission to ignore parts of the federal No Child Left Behind law in favor of their own school improvement plans.

The addition of Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia brings to...

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Aimee Copeland, Flesh-Eating Bacteria Victim, Got Bionic Hands In Transplant

(115) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 5:18 PM

University of West Georgia student Aimee Copeland received new, bionic hands this week, after losing both hands, two feet and a leg last year when a freak zip-line accident exposed her to a flesh-eating bacteria, according to ABC News.

The 25-year-old Gwinnett County, Ga., resident was...

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Top School Districts With Most Affordable Housing: ZipRealty's List Of The Best Places For Families To Live

(4) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 12:50 PM

If you listen to real estate experts, 2013 is an excellent time to buy a house. As a parent, that means considering not only where you want to live, but what kind of schools are in the area. Unfortunately, real estate listings rarely rarely inform prospective buyers about...

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This Is One Badass Prom Entrance (PHOTO)

(14) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 10:58 AM

There are great entrances to prom, and then there's this one.

Redditor Runebsa posted this photo to Reddit where it quickly soared up the ranks to hit the front of the pics page. It's not hard to see why. A wrist corsage is a little standard by...

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An Open Letter To Mike Jeffries From an "Uncool Kid"

(5) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 12:07 PM

Anup Samanta responds to Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries declaring his target market “The Cool Kids,” on The Good Men Project. It is republished here with permission.

Dear Mr. Jeffries,

Since you are a seasoned business executive, please define the “cool kids” market segment that is the...

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College Exam 'Error' Reveals A Thorough Grader, A Kind Fate (PHOTO)

(54) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 12:04 PM

From a World Wide Web of embarrassing possibilities, this student may have made out just peachy after what one can only hope was an accidental copy-and-paste error wound up on the "Works Cited" page of a final paper.

Instead of linking to a source that explained the Munich...

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Student Loan Delinquency Maps Suggest Complex Relationship Between Debt, Trouble

(45) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 3:58 PM

New data released by the New York Federal Reserve Bank shows that the percentage of delinquent student loans dropped slightly in the first quarter of 2013, even though overall student debt levels continue to rise, The Wall Street Journal reports. However, two maps released within the report may...

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Your First Days Home as An Unemployed College Grad |

(17) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 3:46 PM

This piece comes to us from Follow him on Twitter! Why not?

By Andy Moore for

Congrats, graduate! You did it! You somehow suckered your school into giving you a degree. How was the ceremony? Miserable, right? I know. I know.

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The 'Late Show With David Letterman' Top 10 Reasons I've Decided To Become a Teacher

(17) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 3:39 PM

Teaching can be a thankless job. If you've read Randy Turner's "A Warning to Young People: Don't Become a Teacher," then you already know teachers could be more stressed and less valued than at any previous time in history.

Luckily Dave Letterman recently hosted 10 budding educational professionals...

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AIG CEO's Commencement Speech Will Offer No-Nonsense Advice To Grads

(287) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 6:41 PM

While happy graduation speeches may be the norm, the class of 2013 at New York State’s Alfred University will get some no-nonsense advice from its speaker, AIG CEO Robert Benmosche.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, the Brooklyn-born business titan and former Coca-Cola delivery truck driver said...

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Five Colleges With The Best Return On Investment (SLIDESHOW)

(9) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 3:00 PM

College students on campuses across the country are crossing stages this month, on their way to shake someone's hand and receive their diplomas. But those diplomas aren't equal, according to's list.

Economists at PayScale, a company that provides compensation data to individuals and employers, say some colleges...

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Florida Judge Henry Davis Bans 14-Year-Old From All County Schools

(1106) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 3:12 PM

The Duval County Public School District in Florida says Circuit Court Judge Henry Davis cannot ban a 14-year-old girl from every public school in the county, even if Davis says the student poses a serious danger to others, CBS News reports.

Davis issued his injunction after a March...

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Protestor In 'Naked Pope' Costume Is Charged After Uproar

(30) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 6:04 PM

A Carnegie Mellon University student faces misdemeanor charges after she dressed as the pope during an art school parade last month. Police said her costume was indecent because it failed to cover her pubic hair, which was crafted to resemble a crucifix, not because she parodied the leader...

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16 Reasons Why Extra Credit Is Better Than Regular Credit

(6) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 12:01 PM

1. Teachers, the power is all yours.


As time is increasingly doled out to teach to standards, it's good to know that something is the classroom is still dependent upon your whim and good grace.

2. It can encourage your class to do things it never thought...

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ALPHA Alternative School Celebrates Radical Past With 'Where Are They Now?' (PHOTOS)

(3) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 2:42 PM

Photographer Michael Barker helped the ALPHA Alternative school, one of Canada's first "free" schools and a radical experiment in education, celebrate its 40th anniversary with a portrait series that tracked down ALPHA's earliest students to see how they turned out.

ALPHA doesn't test students, grade them...

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Niall Ferguson Addresses 'Homophobic' Swipe At John Maynard Keynes In Letter to the Harvard Community

(21) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 11:44 AM

Editor's note: The following editorial was written by Harvard professor and economist Niall Ferguson and was originally published in the Harvard Crimson. It is presented here in partnership with the newspaper. As HuffPost's Mark Gangloff noted, this apology is generating a good deal of its own controversy.


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David Foster Wallace's Brilliant 'This Is Water' Commencement Address Is Now a Great Short Film

(33) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 8:20 PM

Take a break from reading and watch this fantastic short film -- an adaptation of David Foster Wallace's major commencement speech delivered on May 21, 2005 at Kenyon College. Don't forget to come back, though, to learn why I keep forgetting about it.

THIS IS WATER - By David Foster Wallace from The Glossary on Vimeo.

As celebrities' commencement addresses become headlines, it's important to note that "This Is Water" is perhaps the greatest commencement speech of all time. In a genre dominated by easy maxims and encouraging one-liners speakers aim at graduates more likely to immediately forget a theme than to carry it with them into their futures, Wallace's endures. I could never forget this theme, so it's perhaps surprising that I don't lean on it more.

Wallace, an Amherst College graduate, does his alma mater proud in a speech that defends the purpose of a liberal arts education -- a popular topic these days in the age when the cost of a college education is scrutinized with greater fervency than its quality -- but no one has done it like Wallace at Kenyon. The speech warns that much of life is a routine filled with long lines, dead-eyed clerks, empty phrases and scores of minor annoyances that, in total, can either drive a person insane or simply turn him into sort of a dick. He argues that the ability to choose what to think and how to perceive, coupled with an allergy to the automatic responses to our daily annoyances, inform the sympathy and awareness that are the purpose of a quality education.

Wallace and I shared a professor of moral literature who first passed this speech to me to inspire a column I was to write, and eventually did, as a senior. (It lives still in Google.) I graduated in triumph -- and miraculously -- after a hellish semester that featured the worst grades I'd ever received, shaky job prospects and the sudden and unexpected death of my father at 46 years old. Since I was celebrating and reflecting on a difficult moment I should have learned from, I was eager to summarize, print out and hand in my college experience, and that semester packaged neatly with Wallace's lesson to keep it together. Having digested the speech's essence and having quoted it somewhat gracefully, like many do nowadays, I did just that.

The only thing that's capital "T" True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of real education, of how to be well-adjusted. You get to decide what has meaning and what doesn't. That is real freedom. That is being educated and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness.

Woah. I was conscious. I was changed -- sort of.

Now, I smile when the speech inevitably surfaces every commencement season. Because the key word in the above passage is "try" and because it takes continuous effort to reframe, contextualize and tolerate the destructive elements of routine, I only remember how good it is about once per year, like I remember how amazing those Reese's Easter Eggs are when April rolls around. My routine eventually overmatched Wallace's epiphany. Turns out, who he describes as an enlightened, fundamentally educated person needs to remind himself of this education millions of times in a week. I know this because I accused a cab driver of taking "the scenic route" last night, mostly because I liked the sound of the line and my "default reaction" is pretty dickish. Constantly trying is pretty damn trying.

I expected what fog remained around Wallace's message to gradually lift and further guide my life. In the space between now and then, though, it didn't. I was mixing metaphors. This is water not fog.

My point, I suppose, is simply that I'm glad the speech is now also a really amazing short film. I plan to watch it often. Kudos to, the company that possess the genius to produce the video, and in May to boot. It's on its way to greater Internet virility, which is a good thing. Tuck it away and watch it again and again after graduation, will...

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Is This College Worth It?'s Worst College ROI List

(208) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:37 PM

The graduates from these colleges tend to work in education, social work and criminal justice -- all customarily underpaid professions -- so perhaps it's unsurprising that these institutions have landed in the bottom five of's list of colleges with the lowest return on investment, or ROI.


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Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers Head, Declares Ed Reform Victory In New Haven

(26) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 5:33 PM

This article comes to us courtesy of the New Haven Independent.

PALO ALTO—Three thousand miles away from New Haven, the city became Exhibit A in a showdown between a national union president and a charter school proponent about the future of school reform.

The president, Randi Weingarten (pictured)...

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Bobby Jindal's School Voucher Funding Ruled Unconstitutional By Louisiana Supreme Court

(1903) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 3:14 PM

Louisiana's Supreme Court issued a 6-1 decision on Tuesday that struck down Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) plan to power a private school voucher program with state funds, the AP reports.

With Justice Greg Guidry dissenting, the majority ruled in favor of the Louisiana Association of Educators,...

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