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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: May 30, 2012, 05:21:16 PM »

An excellent read Mick smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: May 31, 2012, 03:41:46 PM »



Chubb and Moe: Higher Education's Online Revolution

The substitution of technology (which is cheap) for labor (which is expensive) can vastly increase access to an elite-caliber education

By JOHN E. CHUBB And TERRY M. MOE

At the recent news conference announcing edX, a $60 million Harvard-MIT partnership in online education, university leaders spoke of reaching millions of new students in India, China and around the globe. They talked of the "revolutionary" potential of online learning, hailing it as the "single biggest change in education since the printing press."

Heady talk indeed, but they are right. The nation, and the world, are in the early stages of a historic transformation in how students learn, teachers teach, and schools and school systems are organized.

These same university leaders mentioned the limits of edX itself. Its online courses would not lead to Harvard or MIT degrees, they noted, and were no substitute for the centuries-old residential education of their hallowed institutions. They also acknowledged that the initiative, which offers free online courses prepared by some of the nation's top professors, is paid for by university funds—and that there is no revenue stream and no business plan to sustain it.

In short, while they want to be part of the change they know is coming, they are uncertain about how to proceed. And in this Harvard and MIT are not alone. Stanford, for instance, offers a free online course on artificial intelligence that enrolls more than 150,000 students world-wide—but the university's path forward is similarly unclear. How can free online course content be paid for and sustained? How can elite institutions maintain their selectivity, and be rewarded for it, when anyone can take their courses?

This challenge can be met. Over the long term, online technology promises historic improvements in the quality of and access to higher education. The fact is, students do not need to be on campus at Harvard or MIT to experience some of the key benefits of an elite education. Moreover, colleges and universities, whatever their status, do not need to put a professor in every classroom. One Nobel laureate can literally teach a million students, and for a very reasonable tuition price. Online education will lead to the substitution of technology (which is cheap) for labor (which is expensive)—as has happened in every other industry—making schools much more productive.

And lectures just scratch the surface of what is possible. Online technology lets course content be presented in many engaging formats, including simulations, video and games. It lets students move through material at their own pace, day or night. It permits continuing assessment, individual tutoring online, customized reteaching of unlearned material, and the systematic collection of data on each student's progress. In many ways, technology extends an elite-caliber education to the masses who would not otherwise have access to anything close.

Skeptics worry that online learning will destroy the "college experience," which requires that students be at a geographical place (school), interacting with one another and their professors. But such a disconnect isn't going to happen. The coming revolution is essentially about finding a new balance in the way education is organized—a balance in which students still go to school and have face-to-face interactions within a community of scholars, but also do a portion of their work online.

In this blended educational world, the Harvards and MITs will not be stuck charging tuition for on-campus education while they give away course materials online. They and other elite institutions employ world-renowned leaders in every discipline. They have inherent advantages in the creation of high-quality online content—which hundreds of other colleges and universities would be willing to pay for.

In this way, college X might have its students take calculus, computer science and many other lecture courses online from MIT-Harvard (or other suppliers), and have them take other classes with their own local professors for subjects that are better taught in small seminars. College X can thus offer stellar lectures from the best professors in the world—and do locally what it does best, person to person.

Don't dismiss the for-profit colleges and universities, either. Institutions such as the University of Phoenix—and it is hardly alone—have embraced technology aggressively. By integrating online courses into their curricula and charging less-than-elite prices for them, for-profit institutions have doubled their share of the U.S. higher education market in the last decade, now topping 10%. In time, they may do amazing things with computerized instruction—imagine equivalents of Apple or Microsoft, with the right incentives to work in higher education—and they may give elite nonprofits some healthy competition in providing innovative, high-quality content.

For now, policy makers, educators and entrepreneurs alike need to recognize that this is a revolution, but also a complicated process that must unfold over time before its benefits are realized. The MITs and Harvards still don't really know what they are doing, but that is normal at this early stage of massive change. Early stumbles and missteps (which edX may or may not be) will show the way toward what works, and what is the right balance between online and traditional learning.

But like countless industries before it, higher education will be transformed by technology—and for the better. Elite players and upstarts, not-for-profits and for-profits, will compete for students, government funds and investment in pursuit of the future blend of service that works for their respective institutions and for the students each aims to serve.

Mr. Chubb is interim CEO of Education Sector, an independent think tank, and a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Mr. Moe is professor of political science at Stanford and a senior fellow at Hoover. They are the authors of "Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education" (John Wiley & Sons 2009).

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #202 on: June 07, 2012, 11:20:55 AM »

"I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented than cured. I think moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven..." --Benjamin Franklin
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bigdog
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« Reply #203 on: July 10, 2012, 04:27:39 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303561504577496863632059058.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Is it true that college students today are unprepared and unmotivated? That generalization does injustice to the numerous bright exceptions I saw in my 25 years of teaching composition to university freshmen. But in other cases the characterization is all too accurate.

One big problem is that so few students are readers. As an unfortunate result, they have erroneous, and sometimes hilarious, notions of how the written language represents what they hear. What emerged in their papers and emails was a sort of literary subgenre that I've come to think of as stream of unconsciousness.

Some of their most creative thinking was devoted to fashioning excuses for tardiness, skipping class entirely, and failure to complete assignments. One guy admitted that he had trouble getting into "the proper frame of mime" for an 8 a.m. class.

Then there were the two young men who missed class for having gotten on the wrong side of the law. They both emailed me, one to say that he had been charged with a "mister meaner," the other with a "misdeminor."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #204 on: July 26, 2012, 03:35:15 PM »

From WRM's American Interest website, selected as 'notable and quotable' in the WSJ:

[The University of Missouri] has just announced that it is closing its university press after losing its annual subsidy of $400,000. Now professors and students are up in arms over the closure, decrying the move as an attack on scholarly discourse and taking to Facebook petitions to protest the decision.

Look past the uproar, however, and it is clear that this is part of a wider trend. A number of other universities, including prestigious schools like Rice, have shuttered their presses, and six more have joined it in the past three years alone. As state budgets contract, and as private universities face higher costs, schools across the country are all finding out the same thing—the money just isn't there.

Fewer university presses with higher standards would probably serve humanity better than the current system. Some of the problem stems from the nature of the tenure system, in which every academic in the country is under pressure to publish books whether he or she has anything worth saying or not. In that sense the university press problem is a symptom rather than a cause of academia's woes. Parts of the university press system work like vanity presses, where the driving force in the system is the author's need to be published rather than the reader's need to know.

What's going on here, however, is less about quality than it is about money and the outmoded foundations of American institutions and practices built in the post World War Two era. The baroque inefficiency of the academic enterprise—and especially the research model university, which . . . has built a system that demands enormous outside resources to continue to function.

In a handful of cases, notably the best endowed private universities, there is enough money on hand to make this system work. But less affluent private universities and virtually all public universities face a harsher climate. And as state governments in particular face claims on their tight revenues from more powerful constituencies than university faculty and staff, the public universities are being systematically starved of cash.

There are two ways for the system to respond. One is by cheese paring: cutting costs on "extraneous" or "non-core" activities while trying to preserve the heart of the old model. This looks like simple common sense to most administrators, and it is often the thinking that leads to the closure of university presses as well as other activities that, in the cold light of a budget crunch, suddenly look like frills.

The second way is more difficult, but it is ultimately what the academy must do: it must reinvent itself and radically restructure. This would involve not merely closing down an expensive university press but rethinking the relationship of scholarship to teaching, and re-examining the relevance of the "publish or perish" system for the large group of disciplines and institutions where it doesn't really make sense.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:40:01 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #205 on: July 29, 2012, 09:44:41 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120729
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #206 on: August 09, 2012, 08:24:07 AM »

The Friendly, Neighborhood Internet School
We have the technology, the people and the institutions we need to usher an online-education revolution
By DAVID GELERNTER

We have big problems with our schools—and need new ideas about how to fix them. Deep changes are needed in our attitude toward teaching, leading education scholar Diane Ravitch wrote recently in the New York Review of Books. We need smarter, better-educated recruits to the profession. We need to value a teacher's experience properly and discard the thought that idealistic college graduates with no experience make brilliant teachers automatically.

Fair enough. But we need other solutions too. We need plans that make direct use of our biggest assets: parental anger, and people's selfish but reasonable willingness to give some time to improve their own children's education now, versus someone else's in 20 years.

Local Internet schools are a promising way to mobilize existing talent. Much infrastructure is required that doesn't exist. But the parts are all spread out on the table. All we need is to fit them together properly.

Is there a problem? "We have to see this as a wake-up call," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan responded to the latest international survey of 15-year-olds in 2010. "We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we're being out-educated." Of course this was only the latest wake-up call. We slept through the first 30 years' worth of ringers and buzzers and alarms, starting with the devastating report "A Nation At Risk," commissioned by the Reagan administration in 1983. And as matters stands, our plans are to go on sleeping.

Among 65 participating nations in the latest survey, the United States ranked 15th in reading, 23rd in science, 31st in math. In "science literacy" we were beaten by such intellectual powerhouses as Slovenia and crushed by the likes of Japan and Finland. But take heart: We beat Bulgaria!

Unfortunately, science is one of our strong subjects. "American students are less proficient in their nation's history than in any other subject, according to results of a nationwide test," the New York Times reported last year. "Most fourth graders [were] unable to say why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure." The exam found 12% of high school seniors "proficient" in American history.

But statistics can't measure the outright grotesqueness of our failure. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post reported on "Lunch Scholars," a high-school student's video about his fellow students. "Do you know the vice president of the United States?" the filmmaker asks. One student volunteers "bin Laden." "In what war did America gain independence?" No one had the right answer without a hint.

A local Internet school sounds like a contradiction in terms: the Internet lets you discard geography and forget "local." But the idea is simple. A one-classroom school, with 20 or so children of all ages between 6th and 12th grade, each sitting at a computer and wearing headsets. They all come from nearby. A one-room Internet school might serve a few blocks in a suburb, or a single urban apartment building.

In front sits any reliable adult whom the neighbors vouch for—often, no doubt, some student's father or mother, taking his turn. He leads the Pledge of Allegiance, announces regular short recesses to clear everyone's head, proclaims lunchtime. He hands out batteries and Band-Aids and sends sick children home or to a doctor. He reloads the printers and futzes with malfunctioning scanners, no doubt making any problem worse. But these machines are cheap, and each classroom can deploy several.

Each child does a whole curriculum's worth of learning online, at the computer. Most of the time he follows canned courses on-screen. But for an hour every day, he deals directly, one-to-one over phone or videophone with a tutor. Ideally there's a teaching assistant on an open phone line throughout the day, each assistant dealing with a few dozen students. In early years, parents will need to help here too. And each child needs a mentor who advises parents on courses and keeps track of the student's progress. The wealthy conservative foundation, think tank or consortium that spends liberally to get this idea off the ground will probably provide mentors, in early years, from its own staff.

The online courses—some exist already but not enough—are produced by teaching maestros. As these new schools gather momentum, they will make use, as tutors or assistants, of the huge number of people who are willing and able to help children in some topic for a few hours a week but can't or won't teach full time: college and graduate students and retirees, lawyers, accountants, housewives, professors.

Parents must be far more involved in children's educations than most are today. They must choose—with online help and advice from mentors and friends—a set of courses for each child every year. They must talk to their children about school every day, to make sure things are moving forward. They might need to take turns supervising the class. A few will have taken the hugely time-consuming step of organizing the school to begin with.

Obviously these schools aren't for everyone. But for many thousands of students, they are likely to work well—and better every year, as the pool of courseware, tutors and assistants grows.

We have the technology, the people and the institutions we need. Of course in-person education will always be better than online teaching—if the teacher is any good. Of course these local Internet schools are a huge, daunting project. Of course it's much easier just to shrug and pump another class-full of imbeciles straight into our heavily polluted cultural atmosphere.

But each newly minted ignoramus is a child we have failed, who will likely lug around the burden of a third-rate education his whole life; who deserved better of this nation. Maybe we'll go on doing nothing. But there are times to act, and this is one.

Mr. Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, is the author of "America-Lite" (Encounter, 2012).

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: August 09, 2012, 09:14:28 AM »

Second post of the day:

College Debt Hits Well-Off
Upper-Middle-Income Households See Biggest Jumps in Student Loan Burden
By RUTH SIMON and ROB BARRY

Rising college costs and a sagging economy are taking the biggest toll on a surprising group: upper-middle-income families.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of recently released Federal Reserve data, households with annual incomes of $94,535 to $205,335 saw the biggest jump in the percentage with student-loan debt from 2007 to 2010, the latest figures available. That group also saw a sharp climb in the amount of debt owed on average.

The surge is leading many such families to look closer at cost and value when choosing colleges. If the new frugality continues, experts say, it could make it difficult for all but the most selective schools to keep pushing through large tuition increases.

For Thomas and Mary Beth Hofmeister of Albany, N.Y., the news in December that their son was accepted to the University of Notre Dame, Ms. Hofmeister's alma mater, was met with equal parts excitement and anxiety. The family's financial-aid package included only a tiny grant, meaning the family will have to sink deep into debt to cover the annual cost of nearly $58,000.

Enlarge Image

Close.Ms. Hofmeister, an insurance broker and financial planner, says she and her husband, an operations manager, combined earn a six-figure income that puts them in the upper-middle class and were surprised by the amount they will have to borrow. She says she feels trapped in financial purgatory, between "people with lower incomes who have a lot of subsidy, and the truly affluent, for whom this isn't a problem."

The Journal's analysis defined upper-middle-income households as those with annual incomes between the 80th and 95th percentiles of all households nationwide. Among this group, 25.6% had student-loan debt in 2010, up from 19.5% in 2007. For all households, the portion with student loan debt rose to 19.1% in 2010 from 15.2% in 2007.

The amount borrowed by upper-middle-income families, meanwhile, has soared. They owed an average of $32,869 in college loans in 2010, up from $26,639 in 2007, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Journal's analysis.

Borrowing has also increased for lower-income families, but by a smaller amount. Families with lower incomes tend to send their children to lower-cost schools and to cover a greater portion of their costs through financial aid, according to Sallie Mae. The typical low-income family receives grants and scholarships totaling 36% of the cost, the lender says, while for higher-income families such packages total 21%.

The figures put this segment at the heart of a larger trend striking across income groups. More than three million households now owe at least $50,000 in student loans, up from about 794,000 in 2001 and fewer than 300,000 in 1989, after adjusting for inflation.

"There's no doubt that this is a squeeze on a lot of household incomes that many people did not anticipate," says Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia.

Many well-off families remain willing to dig deep for the most prestigious schools and should be able to handle higher debt loads. The upper-middle-income households now repaying student loans spend just 3.2% of their monthly incomes on debt payments, according to the Journal's analysis, meaning they should have an easier time meeting those obligations than less-affluent families.

Even after adjusting for inflation, the average sticker price of four-year colleges has more than doubled since 1985, according to the College Board. Now there are signs that financial pressures are fostering a greater cost consciousness, even among wealthier families, and an increased focus on value.

According to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California at Los Angeles, which surveys more than 200,000 freshmen, the portion of last year's freshmen who said cost was a "very important" factor when picking a college increased by 20.7% since 2007 for students with family incomes of $150,000 or more, the biggest jump for any income group, says John Pryor, the program's director.

Rhonda Ker, a private-college counselor in the Los Angeles area, says some well-off families she works with are now willing to apply to second-tier schools where their total cost can be cut by half. Adds Ms. Ker, "I've been seeing these more realistic calculations and choices, rather than families just going for highest-ranked schools."

Even if the economy rebounds strongly, "this downturn has been long enough and severe enough that, for a generation, it will alter the way families think about price and higher education," says Richard Bischoff, vice president for enrollment management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. A July 26 report from Moody's Investors Service noted that reductions in net worth, lackluster job growth and stagnant incomes have "created the stiffest tuition price resistance that colleges have faced in decades."

To be sure, some families are turning to loans because they spent heavily or used extra cash to save for retirement. More than one-third of parents with incomes of $95,000 to $125,000 with a child who entered college in 2011 didn't save or invest for that child's education, according to a survey by education consultants Human Capital Research.

But with college costs rising, twin blows from falling home values and the stock market plunge of 2008-09 have sent many families over the edge. On average, upper-middle-income households' median net worth fell 19%, to $369,320, in 2010 from three years earlier, according to Journal calculations.

Robert Bremer, a sales manager, expected college savings to cover two years of tuition for each of his two children, a senior and a freshman. But he says he "lost a lot of paper money" and now only has enough for one year apiece. He plans to borrow to cover the shortfall.

Some well-off households are squeezed because of their preference for costly private colleges. Mary Nucciarone, associate director of financial aid at Notre Dame, says families earning $125,000 to $250,000 pose the biggest challenge for private institutions because "the contributions expected from them are probably higher than what the family is prepared to do."

But public universities also are seeing a shift. At Pennsylvania State University, where tuition has increased 21% over the last five years and state appropriations have fallen by 25%, "we've seen unsubsidized loans skyrocket," says Anna M. Griswold, executive director of the Office of Student Aid, partly because of stepped up borrowing by families that don't qualify for subsidized interest rates.

With their finances strained, some higher-earning parents are making their children pick up more of the tab. Among families earning $100,000 or more, students paid 23% of their college costs in 2012 through loans, income and savings, according to Sallie Mae, up from 14% in 2009; the share covered by parents fell to 52% from 61%.

"The boomers are the first generation shifting the cost of college to their kids," both through increased student borrowing and reduced taxpayer support for higher education, says Susan Dynarski, a professor of education and public policy at the University of Michigan.

Some families are trying to keep debt to a minimum. Laura Casey's daughter initially planned to attend the University of Arizona at Tucson this fall, but instead will work and attend a community college in South Carolina. Her goal is to qualify for in-state tuition at Clemson University and eventually attend medical school. "Her goal is to avoid borrowing," says Ms. Casey. "Even though it's a little painful upfront, it is probably what all of us should do."

A version of this article appeared August 9, 2012, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: College Debt Hits Well-Off.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #208 on: October 12, 2012, 02:44:41 PM »

Paying Professor Warren
Scott Brown explains why college is less affordable. .
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How refreshing to see a politician say that more money isn't always the answer for American education. In Wednesday night's Massachusetts debate, GOP Senator Scott Brown had the audacity to suggest that more taxpayer subsidies for college education may simply transfer wealth to colleges—and their faculty.

The fun began when Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, a law professor at Harvard, attacked Mr. Brown for voting against the umpteenth Senate bill to expand student-loan subsidies. According to the New York Times, Mr. Brown responded that "she makes $350,000 to teach one course" and received a no-interest loan from Harvard. This, he added, is "one of the driving forces behind the high costs of education."

Rising federal subsidies have allowed colleges to raise their prices, pocketing the increased aid that is allegedly intended to help students. According to the College Board, average tuition and fees in the last decade at private schools like Harvard surged a full 2.6% per year faster than the general rate of inflation. Price hikes at public universities have been worse—rising almost 6% per year faster than the consumer price index.

Like health care and everything else that politicians decide to make "affordable," higher education has become unbearably expensive. Kudos to Mr. Brown for suggesting there may be a better way to make college affordable, perhaps by requiring professors like Ms. Warren to spend more time in the classroom.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: October 25, 2012, 05:25:52 PM »



How to Avoid a Bonfire of the Humanities
'English majors are exactly the people I'm looking for,' one successful Silicon-Valley entrepreneur recently told me..
By MICHAEL S. MALONE

A half-century ago in his famous "Two Cultures" speech, C.P. Snow defined the growing rift between the world of scientists (including, increasingly, the commercial world) and that of literary intellectuals (including, increasingly, the humanities). It's hard to imagine the sciences and the humanities ever having been united in common cause. But that day may come again soon.

Today, the "two cultures" not only rarely speak to one another, but also increasingly, as their languages and world views diverge, are unable to do so. They seem to interact only when science churns up in its wake some new technological phenomenon—personal computing, the Internet, bioengineering—that revolutionizes society and human interaction and forces the humanities to respond with a whole new set of theories and explanations.

Not surprisingly, as science has grown to dominate modern society, the humanities have withered into increasing irrelevancy. For them to imagine that they have anything approaching the significance or influence of the sciences smacks of a kind of sad, last-ditch desperation. Science merely nods and says, "I see your Jane Austen monographs and deconstructions of 'The Tempest' and raise you stem-cell research and the iPhone"—and then pockets all of the chips on the table.

All of this may seem like a sideshow—in our digital age the humanities will limp along as science consolidates its triumph. There is, after all, a distinct trajectory to industries and disciplines that are about to be annihilated by technology. Typically, those insular worlds operate along with misplaced confidence. They expect an industry evolution; they fail to recognize that they are facing a revolution—and if they don't utterly transform themselves, right now, it will destroy them. But of course, they never do.

I watched this happen in almost every tech industry, and now it is spreading to almost every other industry and profession. Medicine, education, governance, the military and my own profession of journalism. And so I found myself earlier this year talking with the head of the English department where I teach. The department's tenured faculty had been reduced to just a handful of professors, many nearing retirement; the rest of the staff was mostly part-time adjunct lecturers. And the students? Little more than half the number of majors of just a decade earlier. I had seen this before.

I asked him: How bad is it? "It's pretty bad," he said. "And this economy is only making it worse. There are parents now who tell their kids they will only pay tuition for a business, engineering or science degree."

Aversion to risk, lack of research money, dwindling market share, a declining talent pool. That is how mature industries die; perhaps it is the same story with aging fields of thought. But hope for the humanities may be on the horizon, coming from an unlikely source: Silicon Valley.

A few months back I invited a friend to speak in front of my professional writing class. Santosh Jayaram is the quintessential Silicon Valley high-tech entrepreneur: tech-savvy, empirical, ferociously competitive, and a veteran of Google, GOOG +0.07%Twitter and a new start-up, Dabble. Afraid that he would simply run over my writing students, telling them to switch majors before it was too late, I asked him not to crush the kids' hopes any more than they already were.

Santosh said, "Are you kidding? English majors are exactly the people I'm looking for." He explained: Twenty years ago, if you wanted to start a company, you spent a month or so figuring out the product you wanted to build, then devoted the next 10 or 12 months to developing the prototype, tooling up and getting into full production.

These days, he said, everything has been turned upside down. Most products now are virtual, such as iPhone apps. You don't build them so much as construct them from chunks of existing software code—and that work can be contracted out to hungry teams of programmers anywhere in the world, who can do it in a couple of weeks.


But to get to that point, he said, you must spend a year searching for that one undeveloped niche that you can capture. And you must also use that time to find angel or venture investment, establish strategic partners, convince talented people to take the risk and join your firm, explain your product to code writers and designers, and most of all, begin to market to prospective major customers. And you have to do all of that without an actual product.

"And how do you do that?" Santosh said. "You tell stories." Stories, he said, about your product and how it will be used that are so vivid that your potential stakeholders imagine it already exists and is already part of their daily lives. Almost anything you can imagine you can now build, said Santosh, so the battleground in business has shifted from engineering, which everybody can do, to storytelling, for which many fewer people have real talent. "That's why I want to meet your English majors," he said.

Asked once what made his company special, Steve Jobs replied: "It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough—it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing."

Could the humanities rebuild the shattered bridge between C.P. Snow's "two cultures" and find a place at the heart of the modern world's virtual institutions? We assume that this will be a century of technology. But if the competition in tech moves to this new battlefield, the edge will go to those institutions that can effectively employ imagination, metaphor, and most of all, storytelling. And not just creative writing, but every discipline in the humanities, from the classics to rhetoric to philosophy. Twenty-first-century storytelling: multimedia, mass customizable, portable and scalable, drawing upon the myths and archetypes of the ancient world, on ethics, and upon a deep understanding of human nature and even religious faith.

The demand is there, but the question is whether the traditional humanities can furnish the supply. If they can't or won't, they will continue to wither away. But surely there are risk-takers out there in those English and classics departments, ready to leap on this opportunity. They'd better hurry, because the other culture won't wait.

Mr. Malone is the author of the recently published "The Guardian of All Things: The Epic Story of Human Memory" (St. Martin's Press). This op-ed is based on his speech at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University on Oct. 18.
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bigdog
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« Reply #210 on: October 25, 2012, 05:47:08 PM »

She is hardly the only one. Republicans have done the same.

Paying Professor Warren
Scott Brown explains why college is less affordable. .
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How refreshing to see a politician say that more money isn't always the answer for American education. In Wednesday night's Massachusetts debate, GOP Senator Scott Brown had the audacity to suggest that more taxpayer subsidies for college education may simply transfer wealth to colleges—and their faculty.

The fun began when Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, a law professor at Harvard, attacked Mr. Brown for voting against the umpteenth Senate bill to expand student-loan subsidies. According to the New York Times, Mr. Brown responded that "she makes $350,000 to teach one course" and received a no-interest loan from Harvard. This, he added, is "one of the driving forces behind the high costs of education."

Rising federal subsidies have allowed colleges to raise their prices, pocketing the increased aid that is allegedly intended to help students. According to the College Board, average tuition and fees in the last decade at private schools like Harvard surged a full 2.6% per year faster than the general rate of inflation. Price hikes at public universities have been worse—rising almost 6% per year faster than the consumer price index.

Like health care and everything else that politicians decide to make "affordable," higher education has become unbearably expensive. Kudos to Mr. Brown for suggesting there may be a better way to make college affordable, perhaps by requiring professors like Ms. Warren to spend more time in the classroom.

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« Reply #211 on: October 25, 2012, 05:50:22 PM »

So?  We oppose them doing it too  grin
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« Reply #212 on: October 25, 2012, 06:30:53 PM »

So?  We oppose them doing it too  grin

I am SO glad to hear this. We can agree, then.
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« Reply #213 on: October 25, 2012, 06:32:39 PM »

And how do you do that?" Santosh said. "You tell stories." Stories, he said, about your product and how it will be used that are so vivid that your potential stakeholders imagine it already exists and is already part of their daily lives. Almost anything you can imagine you can now build, said Santosh, so the battleground in business has shifted from engineering, which everybody can do, to storytelling, for which many fewer people have real talent. "That's why I want to meet your English majors," he said.

Asked once what made his company special, Steve Jobs replied: "It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough—it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing."

Not surprising, really. And I concur, as I suspect you suspected I might.
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« Reply #214 on: October 25, 2012, 09:06:52 PM »

I should not be surprising you here BD.  I am NOT Republican-though I prefer them to the Dems.  I am Tea Party.  God willing, our efforts to take over the Republican Party will succeed.
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« Reply #215 on: October 25, 2012, 09:59:53 PM »

The strength of the tribe comes from the shared history, beliefs, and ethics that bind the tribe together. Not technology be it sticks, stealth fighters or iPhones.
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« Reply #216 on: December 10, 2012, 02:38:49 PM »

Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 10, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The effort to turn public school classrooms into laboratories for government propaganda has reached a new milestone. Common Core State Standards in English is a program already adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. It calls for an increase in the reading of “informational text” instead of fictional literature. When the new standards are fully implemented in 2014, nonfiction texts will comprise 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, with a required increase to 70 percent by grade 12. Thus, timeless literature such as Of Mice and Men, or Catcher in the Rye will be replaced by recommended nonfiction works such as “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” or “Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency.”

Proponents of Common Core, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, claim U.S. students have grown used to easy reading assignments that leave them unprepared to comprehend complex nonfiction. This leaves too many students unprepared for the rigors of college and the demands of the workplace, experts say. And while some of the recommended texts are legitimate, such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” those mentioned in the first paragraph, or a New Yorker essay titled “The Cost Conundrum,” which would give students the impression that the Affordable Healthcare Act is good policy, are little more than thinly-veiled efforts to promote a progressive agenda masquerading as education.

Jamie Highfill, an eighth-grade English teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville, AK reveals some of the “unintended consequences” of the rollout. “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling,” said the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year. “With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They’re getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen,” she added.

David Coleman, the chief architect of the Common Core, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said educators are overreacting as the standards move from concept to classroom. “There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” he contended.

There ought to be, but not just for the concerns expressed by teachers such as Ms. Highfill. As National Review’s Stanley Kurtz explains, there is a good reason why control over public schools was kept out of federal hands by the Founding Fathers. They realized that one political party or ideology shaping the curriculum in public schools was a direct route to tyranny. What the Obama administration has done has conditioned Department of Education funding and regulatory waivers on state acceptance of Common Core. That such a move is constitutionally suspect at best, and another naked power grab at worst, should infuriate Americans who still believe an education is about teaching children how to think, not what to think. (Furthermore, considering the reality that this is being sold as an alternative to “easy reading assignments,” they should ask themselves how and why the public school curriculum was dumbed-down in the first place).

Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Mary Grabar reveals how 48 state governors were lured into entering a contest called “Race to the Top” for a portion of $4.35 billion of funds made available by the stimulus package. “It was one of the many ‘crises’ exploited by the Obama administration,” she writes. “While the public was focused on a series of radical moves coming in rapid-fire succession, like the health care bill and proposed trials and imprisonment of 9/11 terrorists on domestic soil, governors, worried about keeping school doors open, signed on.”

Far more importantly, she reveals the players involved. The educational component of Common Core is controlled by Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William Ayers, former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, who became a professor of education — and a friend of Barack Obama’s. Both Darling-Hammond and Ayers have advocated ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” The big picture here is to eliminate objective measurement of knowledge and skills, and replace them with teachers offering up subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.

In a 2009 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond extolled these initiatives as the Obama administration’s “opportunity to transform our nation’s schools.” Grabar reveals what such “transformation” is intended to achieve. ”When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools,” she warns.

Some state governors have wised up. Virginia opted out when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell was elected. Georgia, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina, and others have also begun, or completed, the effort to do the same. Last February, Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley explained her rationale for doing so. “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the Federal government,” she wrote in a letter to a state lawmaker, “neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan characterized Haley’s fear of losing control as “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.” Yet when Utah dumped the program, Duncan was far more conciliatory. “States have the sole right to set learning standards” he wrote in a letter.

Legally they do, but the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) application says exactly the opposite, noting that any applicant is required to adopt “a set of content standards…that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium.” In other words, any states that wish to compete for RTTT school funding must embrace Common Core. Thus, a portion of federal funding for schools is nothing less than an effort to coerce the states into adopting a de facto national educational system. In many instances, such coercion is hardly necessary: the public school system is dominated by progressive-supporting unions who contribute virtually all of their campaign dollars to Democrats. Thus, the progressive agenda is already welcomed in many public schools. The Common Core curriculum is nothing less than an effort to coordinate that agenda on a national level.

In 2009, Bill Ayers was one of three keynote speakers at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group. The other two speakers were Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter. The Renaissance Group is purportedly interested in finding ways to educate the “New American Student,” part of which deals with the alleged inability of white teachers to deal with the issues of poverty, diversity and multiculturalism that affect their students. While some Americans might contend that the emphasis on such obvious progressive talking points is overblown, they should still ask themselves why those in charge of overseeing the federal government’s education programs would associate with a terrorist thug whose contempt for American culture, tradition and history is well-documented.

Just before he was elected in 2008 President Obama told his followers, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It would appear that he and his progressive minions intend to make good on that promise, state by state, school by school–and child by child.
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« Reply #217 on: December 10, 2012, 04:35:41 PM »

Combine that with this:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid949801312001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAACEco_Vk~,9bOat4XcfB_88ri1a3UMdKnLpH9aM8Fv&bclid=0&bctid=1271237687001 shocked angry angry
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« Reply #218 on: December 10, 2012, 05:25:00 PM »

A Turkish 'Trojan Horse' for Loudoun?

Center for Security Policy | Dec 10, 2012

By Frank Gaffney, Jr. - December 10, 2012.

It is a commonplace, but one that most of us ignore:  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  That applies in spades to a proposal under active consideration by the school board in Virginia's Loudoun County.  It would use taxpayer funds to create a charter school to equip the children of thatWashington exurb with enhanced skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  Ostensibly, they will thus be equipped to compete successfully in the fields expected to be at the cutting edge of tomorrow's workplace.
 
What makes this initiative, dubbed the Loudoun Math and IT Academy (LMITA), too good to be true?  Let's start with what is acknowledged about the proposed school.
 
LMITA's board is made up of a group of male Turkish expatriates.  One of them, Fatih Kandil, was formerly the principal of the Chesapeake Science Point (CSP) Public Charter School in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  Another is Ali Bicak, the board president of the Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation, which owns CSP and two other charter schools in Maryland.  The LMITA applicants expressly claim that Chesapeake Science Point will be the model for their school.
 
The taxpayers of Loudoun County and the school board elected to represent them should want no part of a school that seeks to emulate Chesapeake Science Point, let alone be run by the same people responsible for that publicly funded charter school.  For one thing, CSP has not proven to be the resounding academic success the applicants claim.  It does not appear anywhere in the acclaimed US News and World Report lists of high-performing schools in Maryland, let alone nationwide - even in the subsets of STEM or charter schools.
 
What is more, according to public documents chronicling Anne Arundel Public Schools' dismal experience with CSP, there is significant evidence of chronic violations of federal, state and local policies and regulations throughout its six years of operations, with little or inconsistent improvement, reflecting deficiencies in fiscal responsibility and organizational viability.
 
Why, one might ask, would applicants for a new charter school cite so deeply problematic an example as their proposed institution?  This brings us to aspects of this proposal that are not acknowledged.
 
Chesapeake Science Point is just one of five controversial schools with which Mr. Kandil has been associated: He was previously: the director at the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, Ohio; the principal at the Wisconsin Career Academy in Milwaukee and at the Baltimore Information Technology Academy in Maryland; and one of the applicants in a failed bid to establish the First State Math and Science Academy in Delaware.
 
These schools have something in common besides their ties to the peripatetic Fatih Kandil.  They have all been "inspired" by and in other ways are associated with Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish supremacist and imam with a cult-like following of up to six million Muslims in Turkey and elsewhere around the world.  More to the point, Gulen is the reclusive and highly autocratic leader of a global media, business, "interfaith dialogue" and education empire said to be worth many billions and that is run from a compound in the Poconos.
 
This empire - including its roughly 135 charter schools in this country and another 1,000 abroad - and its adherents have come to be known as the Gulen Movement.  But those associated with it, in this country at least, are assiduously secretive about their connections to Imam Gulen or his enterprise.  For example, the LMITA applicants, their spokeswoman and other apologists have repeatedly misled the Loudoun school board, claiming that these Turkish gentlemen and their proposed school havenothing to do with Gulen.
 
There are several possible reasons for such professions.  For one, the Gulen schools are said to be under investigation by the FBI.  A growing number of them - including Chesapeake Science Point - have also come under critical scrutiny from school boards and staff around the country.  In some cases, they have actually lost their charters for, among other reasons, chronic financial and other mismanagement and outsourcing U.S. teachers' jobs to Turks.
 
The decisive reason for the Gulenist lack of transparency,however, may be due to their movement's goals and modus operandi.  These appear aligned with those of another secretive international organization that also adheres to the Islamic doctrine known as shariah and seeks to impose it worldwide: the Muslim Brotherhood. Both seek to accomplish this objective by stealth in what the Brotherhood calls "civilization jihad" and Gulen's movement describes as "jihad of the word."
 
This practice enabled the Gulenists to help transform Turkey from a reliable, secular Muslim NATO ally to an Islamist state deeply hostile to the United States - one aligned with other Islamic supremacists, from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas to al Qaeda.  Fethullah Gulen's followers clearly don't want us alive to the obvious dangers posed by their penetration of our educational system and influence over our kids.
 
The good news is that members of the Loudoun County school board have a code of conduct which reads in part: "I have a moral and civic obligation to the Nation which can remain strong and free only so long as public schools in the United States of America are kept free and strong."  If the board members adhere to this duty, they will reject a seductive LMITA proposal that is way too "good" to be true.
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« Reply #219 on: December 29, 2012, 05:18:20 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9cbM18bTj4&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #220 on: January 07, 2013, 02:28:11 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/education/massive-open-online-courses-prove-popular-if-not-lucrative-yet.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130107&_r=0


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — In August, four months after Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng started the online education company Coursera, its free college courses had drawn in a million users, a faster launching than either Facebook or Twitter.




Virtual U.
This is the second article in a series that will examine free online college-level classes and how they are transforming higher education.
Related
Virtual U.: College of Future Could Be Come One, Come All (November 20, 2012)


The co-founders, computer science professors at Stanford University, watched with amazement as enrollment passed two million last month, with 70,000 new students a week signing up for over 200 courses, including Human-Computer Interaction, Songwriting and Gamification, taught by faculty members at the company’s partners, 33 elite universities.

In less than a year, Coursera has attracted $22 million in venture capital and has created so much buzz that some universities sound a bit defensive about not leaping onto the bandwagon.

Other approaches to online courses are emerging as well. Universities nationwide are increasing their online offerings, hoping to attract students around the world. New ventures like Udemy help individual professors put their courses online. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have each provided $30 million to create edX. Another Stanford spinoff, Udacity, has attracted more than a million students to its menu of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, along with $15 million in financing.

All of this could well add up to the future of higher education — if anyone can figure out how to make money.

Coursera has grown at warp speed to emerge as the current leader of the pack, striving to support its business by creating revenue streams through licensing, certification fees and recruitment data provided to employers, among other efforts. But there is no guarantee that it will keep its position in the exploding education technology marketplace.

“No one’s got the model that’s going to work yet,” said James Grimmelmann, a New York Law School professor who specializes in computer and Internet law. “I expect all the current ventures to fail, because the expectations are too high. People think something will catch on like wildfire. But more likely, it’s maybe a decade later that somebody figures out how to do it and make money.”

For their part, Ms. Koller and Mr. Ng proclaim a desire to keep courses freely available to poor students worldwide. Education, they have said repeatedly, should be a right, not a privilege. And even their venture backers say profits can wait.

“Monetization is not the most important objective for this business at this point,” said Scott Sandell, a Coursera financier who is a general partner at New Enterprise Associates. “What is important is that Coursera is rapidly accumulating a body of high-quality content that could be very attractive to universities that want to license it for their own use. We invest with a very long mind-set, and the gestation period of the very best companies is at least 10 years.”

But with the first trickles of revenue now coming in, Coursera’s university partners expect to see some revenue sooner.

“We’ll make money when Coursera makes money,” said Peter Lange, the provost of Duke University, one of Coursera’s partners. “I don’t think it will be too long down the road. We don’t want to make the mistake the newspaper industry did, of giving our product away free online for too long.”

Right now, the most promising source of revenue for Coursera is the payment of licensing fees from other educational institutions that want to use the Coursera classes, either as a ready-made “course in a box” or as video lectures students can watch before going to class to work with a faculty member.

Ms. Koller has plenty of other ideas, as well. She is planning to charge $20, or maybe $50, for certificates of completion. And her company, like Udacity, has begun to charge corporate employers, including Facebook and Twitter, for access to high-performing students, starting with those studying software engineering.

This fall, Ms. Koller was excited about news she was about to announce: Antioch University’s Los Angeles campus had agreed to offer its students credit for successfully completing two Coursera courses, Modern and Contemporary American Poetry and Greek and Roman Mythology, both taught by professors from the University of Pennsylvania. Antioch would be the first college to pay a licensing fee — Ms. Koller would not say how much — to offer the courses to its students at a tuition lower than any four-year public campus in the state.

“We think this model will spread, helping academic institutions offer their students a better education at a lower price,” she said.
==================================


Page 2 of 3)



 Why would colleges pay licensing fees for material available free on the Web? Because, Ms. Koller said crisply, Coursera’s terms of use require that anyone using the courses commercially get a license, and because licensing would give colleges their own course Web site, including access to grades.

Just three days before the announcement, Ms. Koller discovered that the deal would have a very modest start. For the pilot, Antioch planned to have just one student and a faculty “facilitator” in each course. She expressed surprise but took the news in stride, moving right on to greet a delegation from the University of Melbourne that was waiting for her in the conference room.

Coursera recently announced another route to help students earn credit for its courses — and produce revenue. The company has arranged for the American Council on Education, the umbrella group of higher education, to have subject experts assess whether several courses are worthy of transfer credits. If the experts say they are, students who successfully complete those courses could take an identity-verified proctored exam, pay a fee and get an ACE Credit transcript, a certification that 2,000 universities already accept for credit.

Under Coursera’s contracts, the company gets most of the revenue; the universities keep 6 percent to 15 percent of the revenue, and 20 percent of gross profits. The contracts describe several monetizing possibilities, including charging for extras like manual grading or tutoring. (How or if partner universities will share revenue with professors who develop online courses remains an open question on many campuses, with some professors saying the task is analogous to writing a textbook and should yield similar remuneration.)

One tiny revenue stream has begun flowing into the nondescript Silicon Valley office building where Coursera’s 35 employees work to keep up with the demand for their courses: the company is an Amazon affiliate, getting a sliver of the money each time Coursera students click through the site to buy recommended textbooks or any other products on Amazon.

“It’s just a couple thousand, but it’s our first revenue,” Ms. Koller said. “When faculty recommend a textbook and people buy it on Amazon, we get some money. The funny thing is that we’re getting more than twice as much money from things like Texas Rangers jackets as from what the textbooks are bringing in.”

Other possibilities around the edges include charging a subscription fee, after a class is over, to continue the discussion forum as a Web community, or perhaps offering follow-up courses, again for a fee. And advertising sponsorships remain a possibility.

Like the Antioch deal, some early attempts have gotten off to a slow start. For example, the University of Washington has already offered credit for a fee in a few Coursera courses. But while thousands of students enrolled in the free version, only a handful chose the paid credit-carrying option. David P. Szatmary, the vice provost, said part of the problem was that the credit option was posted only shortly before the course started, when most students had already enrolled free.

“We’re going to try it again,” he said. “We think that if students know about the possibility of doing it for credit, they might be willing to pay a fee and get their own discussion board, an instructor who guides them through the course and some additional readings and projects.”

Some Coursera partners say they are in no hurry to cash in.

“Part of what Coursera’s gotten right is that it makes more sense to build your user base first and then figure out later how to monetize it, than to worry too much at the beginning about how to monetize it,” said Edward Rock, a law professor serving as the University of Pennsylvania’s senior adviser on open course initiatives.

=============================


Page 3 of 3)



 The Coursera co-founders have become oracles of higher education, spreading their gospel of massive open online courses at the World Economic Forum in Abu Dhabi, the Web Summit in Dublin and the Aspen Ideas Festival. They describe how free online courses can open access to higher education to anyone with an Internet connection; liberate professors from repeating the same tired lectures and jokes semester after semester; and generate data, because the computers capture every answer right or wrong, that can provide new understanding of how students learn best.

 
“We think this model will spread,” said Daphne Koller, a computer professor at Stanford and a co-founder of Coursera.


Many educators predict that the bulk of MOOC revenues will come from licensing remedial courses and “gateway” introductory courses in subjects like economics or statistics, two categories of classes that enroll hundreds of thousands of students a year. Even though less than 10 percent of MOOC students finish the courses they sign up for on their own, many experts believe that combining MOOC materials with support from a faculty member or a teaching assistant could increase completion rates.

The University of Pennsylvania has high hopes for the mass marketing of Robert Ghrist’s single-variable calculus course, which starts this month and features his hand-drawn animations.

“What Rob has done is figure out how to make PowerPoint dance,” Mr. Rock said. “I think it’ll revolutionize the teaching of calculus both by allowing kids to take it on Coursera and by making the normal textbooks obsolete. It could become a way that more high schools that want to offer BC Calc can do so, and junior colleges that don’t have good quality calculus instruction can license it and use it in a blended format, with the teacher now not giving frontal lectures but answering questions and exploring concepts in great detail.”

Mr. Rock, whose university has produced 16 Coursera courses, said each one costs about $50,000 to create, the biggest expenses being the videography and paying the teaching assistants who monitor the discussion forum. The University of Pennsylvania is just beginning to think about how to recover those costs. Last fall, at the conclusion of its Listening to World Music course, for example, the university sent out a questionnaire asking students whether they would be interested in a follow-up course, what they would want to cover and how much they would be willing to pay for it.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a Penn bioethicist who served as health adviser to the Obama administration, is teaching two Coursera courses: one on the Obama health care law, the other on rationing scarce medical resources.

He said he was not trying to produce a course that can be offered over and over, with no additional costs, but simply hoping to spread understanding of important health issues. And rather than reuse his materials from last summer’s course on the new law, Dr. Emanuel overhauled the course, using not one but two videographers to film his live classes at Penn.

But Dr. Emanuel is not immune to the commercial possibilities: he is considering whether to develop a MOOC that could be marketed to those seeking health care ethics certification.

Even Ms. Koller is unsure about the future of MOOCs — and her company.

“A year ago, I could not have imagined that we would be where we are now,” she said. “Who knows where we’ll be in five more years?”

« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 02:31:34 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #221 on: January 07, 2013, 07:25:26 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/bruni-how-to-choose-a-college.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
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« Reply #222 on: January 10, 2013, 10:24:15 AM »



By MICHAEL CORKERY
The demand for four-year college degrees is softening, the result of a perfect storm of economic and demographic forces that is sapping pricing power at a growing number of U.S. colleges and universities, according to a new survey by Moody's Investors Service.

Students at the University of Washington in Seattle. Gov. Chris Gregoire wants the Legislature to give college parents a break during the next two years by freezing tuition, but officials at Washington's universities say that won't help them solve their budget problems.

Facing stagnant family income, shaky job prospects for graduates and a smaller pool of high-school graduates, more schools are reining in tuition increases and giving out larger scholarships to attract students, Moody's concluded in a report set to be released Thursday.

But the strategy is eating into net tuition revenue, which is the revenue that colleges collect from tuition minus scholarships and other aid. College officials said they need to increase net tuition revenue to keep up with rising expenses that include faculty benefits and salaries. But one-third of the 292 schools that responded to Moody's survey anticipate that net revenue will climb in the current fiscal year by less than inflation.

For the fiscal year, which for most schools ends this June, 18% of 165 private universities and 15% of 127 public universities project a decline in net tuition revenue. That is a sharp rise from the estimated declines among 10% of the 152 private schools and 4% of the 105 public schools in fiscal 2012.

The financial pressures signal that many schools are starting to capitulate to complaints that college has become unaffordable to many American families, observers say. At least two dozen private colleges froze tuition this fall, roughly double the previous year's total.

"It's pretty clear that pricing power of colleges has reached an inflection point," said John Nelson, a managing director at Moody's who oversaw the survey team.

For colleges, the declines in net revenue could portend cuts to academic programs and a search for alternative sources of revenue such as more online courses and recruiting wealthy students from overseas who can pay full tuition.

Many smaller private schools that depend heavily on tuition revenue are under particular pressure. But even some public universities that have had success raising tuition recently told Moody's that it will be increasingly hard to keep doing so. Highly selective and highly rated colleges still experience "healthy student demand,'' according to Moody's, and many have large endowments that can help pay for scholarships and boost revenue.

Wittenberg University, a roughly 1,730-student school in Springfield, Ohio, froze tuition at $37,230 for the 2013-14 academic year in an effort to make the private college more affordable. The school is also reviewing academic departments to make sure it is offering programs that have the greatest demand from students.

"If colleges do not adapt to shifting demographics and the weak economy making families more price sensitive, there will be fewer institutions," Wittenberg President Laurie Joyner said in an interview.

Public School, Big Tab
The cost of attending public colleges is rising faster than the cost of private colleges, as states reduce funding. This graphic shows the published tuition and fees for state residents in 2012-13, and in 2006-07, for 72 public universities with substantial research activity, including many state "flagship" schools.

Nearly half of the schools surveyed by Moody's reported enrollment declines this fall, though overall median enrollment remained relatively flat from the previous year. A stagnant high-school graduate population, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, is contributing to the declines at some schools.

Moody's also attributed the enrollment decline at some public universities to a "heightened scrutiny of the value of higher education" after years of tuition increases and stagnating family income. The credit-rating firm said in its report that more students are "increasingly attending more affordable community colleges, studying part time, or electing to enter the workforce without the benefit of a college education."

Private universities and colleges with lower credit ratings, as well as smaller public universities, reported the most enrollment pressure, according to Moody's.

"We have a more informed class of college consumers," said Bonnie Snyder, founder of Kerrigan College Planning in Lancaster, Pa. "Everyone today knows someone who went to college and ended up with a career that didn't justify the cost. They see college as a more risky investment."
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« Reply #223 on: February 05, 2013, 10:47:25 AM »

Jane Shaw: Higher Learning, Meet Lower Job Prospects
Outrage greets a governor who dared to suggest that college degrees should lead to employment..
By JANE S. SHAW

When North Carolina's new governor, Pat McCrory, was interviewed last week on the syndicated radio show hosted by former U.S. Education Secretary William J. Bennett, the talk naturally turned to education. According to some listeners—or those who heard about the interview in the media echo chamber—Gov. McCrory committed a major error.

No, he actually just stated an uncomfortable truth. Gov. McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte, said he is concerned that many college graduates can't get decent jobs. The problem, he suggested, might be that many academic disciplines have no real practical applications.

Referring specifically to North Carolina's 16-campus state university system, Mr. McCrory wondered if state funding incentives should encourage areas of study that align with the job market. Other disciplines, such as gender studies, Mr. McCrory said, might be subsidized less. The funding formula, he said perhaps a bit indelicately, should not be based on the number of "butts in seats, but how many of those butts can get jobs."

The education establishment immediately went bonkers. The pundits piled on. But Mr. McCrory raised a legitimate concern. And the solution he proposed, sketchy as it is at this stage, is not a bad one.

The truth is: Elite universities, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are doing a disservice when they lead students into majors with few, if any, job prospects. Stating such truths doesn't mean you're antagonistic to the liberal arts.

Yet some, always eager for a fight, misconstrued the governor's comments as a call for abolishing liberal-arts education in favor of vocational training. UNC-Chapel Hill geography professor Altha Cravey said the governor "was not elected to decide what has intellectual value and what does not." Sociology professor Andrew Perrin said that the governor's comments reflected "a fundamental misunderstanding" of higher education.

Instead of treating Mr. McCrory's statements as an attack on liberal arts—and thus missing his point—the education community might instead pause to consider the validity of his criticism. They could even acknowledge the possibility that many taxpayers, perhaps a majority, share his views.

The governor may have understated the case. Many liberal-arts graduates, even from the best schools, aren't getting jobs in large part because they didn't learn much in school. They can't write or speak well or intelligently analyze what they read.

The National Association of Educational Progress indicates that literary proficiency among adults with "some" college is declining. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, authors of the 2011 book "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," found that 36% of college students made no discernible progress in the ability to think and analyze critically after four years in school.

For many students, college is a smorgasbord of easy courses chosen for their lack of academic rigor. There is no serious "core curriculum." Students spend limited time studying. Faculty and administrators make matters worse by allowing students to fill up their time with courses like UNC-Chapel Hill's "Dogs and People: From Prehistory to the Urbanized Future" and "Music in Motion: American Popular Music and Dance." When students can get a minor in "Social and Economic Justice" without ever taking a course in the economics department, it's hardly surprising that businesses aren't lining up to hire them.

As it happens, North Carolina's Pat McCrory is not alone. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who recently took over the helm of Purdue University, has suggested much the same. In an open letter to the Purdue community, Mr. Daniels cited a long list of challenges facing universities, including complaints that "rigor has weakened."

To meet such challenges, he said, those in higher education can't afford to look the other way. "We would fail our duty of stewardship either to ignore the danger signs all around us, or to indulge in denial and the hubris that says that we are somehow uniquely superb and immune."

U.S. colleges and universities aren't "uniquely superb," nor should they be immune from criticism. This is the time for humility and introspection, not circling the wagons.

Ms. Shaw is president of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, N.C.
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« Reply #224 on: February 05, 2013, 08:57:26 PM »

http://eagnews.org/texas-6th-graders-design-flags-for-a-new-socialist-nation/
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« Reply #225 on: February 07, 2013, 02:10:12 PM »



https://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=517&load=8006
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« Reply #226 on: February 12, 2013, 10:28:45 AM »



Push to Gauge Bang for Buck from College Gains Steam .
Article Video Comments (186) more in US | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
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By RUTH SIMON And MICHAEL CORKERY
U.S. and state officials are intensifying efforts to hold colleges accountable for what happens after graduation, a sign of frustration with sky-high tuition costs and student-loan debt.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) are expected to reintroduce this week legislation that would require states to make more accessible the average salaries of colleges' graduates. The figures could help prospective students compare salaries by college and major to assess the best return on their investment.

Bryce Harrison, who graduated last May from Goucher College, a private school in Baltimore, said wage data could have helped him pick his major.

A similar bipartisan bill died last year, but a renewed push has gained political momentum in recent weeks. "This begins to introduce some market forces into the academic arena that have not been there," said Mr. Wyden, adding that support for the move is unusually broad given the political divide in Washington. Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.), the House majority leader, said he intends to support a similar measure in the House.

High-school seniors now trying to decide which college to attend next fall are awash with information about costs, from dorm rooms to meal plans. But there is almost no easy way to tell what graduates at specific schools earn—or how many found jobs in their chosen field. Supporters say more transparency is needed as students graduate deeper in debt and enter the rocky job market.

The Wyden-Rubio bill doesn't spell out exactly how this information has to be assembled. The goal is that students and parents could use the U.S. Department of Education website to query data from all 50 states. But the bill relies on states to knit together wage data submitted by employers with information on graduates submitted by colleges.

Virginia, which recently began publishing wages by colleges and program on its own, linked these two data sets using Social Security numbers. It didn't publish the Social Security numbers.

Mr. Harrison hoped his political-science degree would land him a job with the government, but has had no luck.

Some colleges are resisting the broader push, saying it would be a burden for states to compile the information, and that it would tell students little they don't know already.

"You don't need a database to tell you that people who major in fine arts won't earn a lot of money when they graduate," said Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, a trade group that hasn't taken a position on the bill by Messrs. Wyden and Rubio. Some officials worry that salary is too narrow a measure of the value of a liberal-arts education.

Privacy advocates have concerns with compiling so much data. One potential issue, they say, is that the data could be sliced so thinly that it would reveal information about individuals. "It's the risk of re-identification in small samples," says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.

Still, Bryce Harrison, who graduated last May from Goucher College, a private school in Baltimore, said wage data could have helped him pick his major. Mr. Harrison, 23 years old, hoped his political-science degree would land him a job with the government.

He has had no luck. With about $100,000 in student loans to repay, Mr. Harrison spent the summer working for his father, power-washing houses. But business slows in the winter, so he is now unemployed and is considering joining the National Guard.

"Was college worth getting in the amount of debt I'm in?" he asks. "At this point, I can't answer that."

 
Providing more information about outcomes will be a priority during President Barack Obama's second term, a Department of Education spokeswoman said. Last spring, the Obama administration began developing a "College Scorecard" that would add salary information for graduates and average debt load to existing data on costs, graduation rates and loan repayment rates. The Department of Education declined to detail how it might do this.

About 10 U.S. states already publish or are expected to start releasing this year data showing how salaries of recent graduates vary by school and program. The states include California, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

States typically match salary information from employers with separate data provided to states by colleges. The college lists typically include the course of study for recent graduates, the year of graduation and degree earned. The information is linked using Social Security numbers, though personal data isn't included in the final reports.

The state data have shortcomings. Paychecks for the same job can vary widely by location. Salary data don't reflect self-employed graduates or those who work for the U.S. government or move to another state.

Last year, Virginia lawmakers began requiring the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to produce annual reports on the wages of college graduates 18 months and five years after they receive their degrees. Beginning this year, the reports must also include average student loan debt.

While it is still early, some students are already using the information in making decisions about where to go for graduate school, says Tod Massa, director of policy research and data warehousing for the State Council.

Among graduates who live in Virginia, the highest starting wages for a bachelor's degree were $56,400 for graduates of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, a Roanoke school that largely turns out nursing graduates.

That was 42% higher than the University of Virginia's average of $39,648. Overall, students with associate's degrees in technical fields, such as health care, earned more than recipients of bachelor's degrees. A spokesman for the University of Virginia declined to comment.

"It's much easier to plan when you have this information," said Jerusalem Solomon, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

At first, Ms. Solomon followed her parents' advice to pursue a major in the medical field because they assumed it had the best job prospects. Then she switched to public relations because she believes she can still earn a good salary doing a job she loves.

The California Community College Chancellor's Office soon will publish data showing median pay for graduates of more than 100 community colleges two years before they earn their degrees and two and five years after they graduate.

Florida officials will start publicizing later this year data showing, by school and major, the percentage of students who graduate and find jobs, their starting salaries and average debt loads. Florida community colleges already have begun posting data on their websites.

College Measures, a research group in Rockville, Md., that works with states to turn data they already have into information that can be used by the public, has prepared reports for Virginia and Tennessee. The group's president, Mark Schneider, expects to release data for Colorado this month and Texas soon afterward.
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« Reply #227 on: March 06, 2013, 01:44:05 PM »

Another article by Matthew Vadum exposing the truth about Harvard Law School and
other Ivy-League Law Schools:



Return to the Article

March 5, 2013We Have Ted Cruz's List: Harvard Law Really Is Littered with
CommunistsBy Matthew Vadum

It turns out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was correct when he claimed Harvard Law School
had significant numbers of what might reasonably be called "communists."

Anyone who knows the Ivy League knows the question shouldn't be, Who at Harvard is
Marxist? but Who at Harvard isn't Marxist?

Cruz, a U.S. senator for almost two months now, made the offending statement in a
speech almost three years ago.  He described Barack Obama as "the most radical"
president "ever to occupy the Oval Office."

Obama "would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School" because "there
were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than communists!"
said Cruz.  "There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were
Marxists who believed in the communists' overthrowing the United States government."
Dan McLaughlin, a law school classmate of Cruz, confirms that the senator "is
absolutely right on the basic point here:  there were multiples more Marxists on the
Harvard Law faculty at the time than open Republicans."

Does any of this mean that Cruz believes actual dues-paying, card-carrying members
of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) dominate the Harvard Law faculty?  No, but he
knows that Harvard, like so many institutions of higher learning across America, is
infected with Marxist fellow travelers who are ideologically sympathetic to
communism.  To distinguish such people from actual CPUSA members, they are often
referred to as small-c communists or neo-communists.

Like most Americans, Cruz wasn't using the plural form of the word communist with
the precision of a political theory scholar.  He was referring to people who believe
that markets are fundamentally unjust and that physical force should be used to
create a classless society.  They believe in extreme, forced equality and boring
sameness at the expense of freedom and individual rights.

A Cruz spokeswoman later explained that her employer's "substantive point was
absolutely correct:  in the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included
numerous self-described proponents of 'critical legal studies' -- a school of
thought explicitly derived from Marxism -- and they far outnumbered Republicans."

Greg Sargent, the Washington Post's in-house ideological purity enforcer, pounced on
Cruz, calling the clarification the "latest blast of unhinged nonsense from Cruz's
office."

Sargent is wrong.

Critical legal theory takes the neo-Marxist perspective that the law is concerned
with power, not justice.  Because the law is a fraud perpetrated on the people, an
oppressive tool of capitalism, imperialism, sexism, racism, and whatever other ism
it is currently fashionable to attack, the legal system should be criticized
endlessly as a means of tearing it down.  If you're a communist it's natural to
embrace critical legal theory as a way of changing American society.Judge Alex
Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eloquently describes critical legal
studies (CLS) as "horse manure."

As I understand this so-called theory, the notion is that because legal rules don't
mean much anyway, and judges can reach any result they wish by invoking the right
incantation, they should engraft their own political philosophy onto the
decision-making process and use their power to change the way our society works.
Imagine the chaos that would ensue if "Crits" dominated the judiciary.  There would
be no fixed rules.  The only certain criterion for decisions would be so-called
social justice, whatever that might mean on a particular day.  As the judicial
branch became an instrument of naked redistribution, Karl Marx would look up from
his fiery torments and cheer as America degenerated into kleptocracy.

There are more than a few Harvard Law academics associated with critical legal
studies.Harvard has been ground zero for the CLS movement for decades, a fact Time
acknowledged in 2005.  The magazine identified Harvard law professors Roberto
Mangabeira Unger, Morton Horwitz, and Duncan M. Kennedy as "three of the best-known"
CLS adherents.  (Kennedy is also a member of the far-left Democratic Socialists of
America and the radical, pro-terrorist National Lawyers Guild.  Bernardine Dohrn,
incidentally, used to be an organizer for the NLG.)Other Crits on the Harvard
faculty are Mark Tushnet and David W. Kennedy.  In a 1981 law review article titled
"The Dilemmas of Liberal Constitutionalism," Tushnet wrote that if he were a judge
he "would decide what decision in a case was most likely to advance the cause of
socialism."

Crits Northeastern University law professor Clare Dalton and University of Wisconsin
law professor emeritus David Trubek taught at Harvard Law but failed to earn tenure.
CLS-friendly law professors with ties to Harvard are easy to find.  Yale's Jack
Balkin and Georgetown's Gary Peller and Louis Michael Seidman (author of the
infamous column "Let's Give Up On the Constitution") all received their law degrees
from Harvard.  So did academic Peter Gabel (who is also associate editor at leftist
magazine Tikkun).

Stanford professor Robert W. Gordon, who has a Harvard law degree, organized a
campaign at Harvard Law in support of Dalton and Trubek when they were trying to get
tenure.  Gordon whined at the time that Harvard had engaged in "red-baiting" the two
academics.

CLS enthusiast Mark G. Kelman, a highly cited law professor and vice dean of
Stanford Law School, also earned his law degree from Harvard.

And don't forget that while Barack Obama was a law student at Harvard, he studied
under CLS guru Unger.  Moreover, Derrick Bell, Obama's racist, Marxist mentor at
Harvard Law, was a proponent of critical race theory, the multiculturalist Left's
race-obsessed spinoff of critical legal theory.

Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has
described critical race theorists as the "lunatic core" of "radical legal
egalitarianism."At the heart of this ugly, destructive, balkanizing worldview is the
idea that the white-dominated American system is hopelessly racist.  To remedy this
imbalance, the views of non-whites on the system should be given greater weight.
As one commentator has written, this perspective appears to be shared by Supreme
Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia "Wise Latina" Sotomayor, along with Attorney
General Eric Holder who is reluctant to investigate civil rights complaints when the
victim is white.Harvard is not the only university infected by CLS-loving
communists.

Virtually all major colleges and universities across the fruited plain are dominated
by small-c communists.  Far-left insurrectionists such as Northwestern University
School of Law professor Bernardine Dohrn, a leader of the Weather Underground
terrorist group, are not outliers.  In the groves of academe today communists are
mainstream or close to it.

It's been this way for decades.

Communists, who reject the core values of American society and want radical change,
don't like being labeled and compelled to defend their subversive beliefs in public.
  When they are identified as communists, they marginalize adversaries by calling
them crazy or by letting the media do their dirty work for them.

Communism may have faded as a threat to U.S. national security, but its lingering
influence on the culture is powerful enough that, to quote Ann Coulter in Treason,
accusing someone of being a communist "makes you the nut."

Naturally, Cruz, who earned his J.D. magna cum laude at Harvard Law School in 1995,
has been vilified by left-wingers and mocked by the antique media for speaking truth
to power.  He is portrayed as a liar, a bully, and a lunatic.

The senator has been attacked by leftist Obama-worshipers such as MSNBCers Chris
Matthews and Rachel Maddow, The Daily Beast'sMichael Tomasky, and an ever-expanding
echo chamber of radical journalists and useful idiots.

Jane Mayer, a reporter on the New Yorker's anti-conservative beat, started the ovine
stampede recently by reporting Cruz's otherwise unremarkable comments about
communists on campus.  Like her comrades, Mayer smeared Cruz after he tried to hold
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to account at his recent confirmation hearing by
comparing the Texan to Sen. Joe McCarthy, the Red-hunting Wisconsin Republican from
the 1950s.  Hagel scoffed at congressional demands for details about who has been
paying his speaking fees and Cruz responded by speculating about the sources.
That's what happens when cabinet nominees thumb their noses at Congress.  Things get
ugly.

For pressing Hagel, Cruz was accused by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) of conducting
an ideologically motivated witch hunt.  Boxer said she was reminded of "a different
time and place, when you said, 'I have here in my pocket a speech you made on
such-and-such a date,' and of course there was nothing in the pocket."

Of course, the late Sen. McCarthy had nothing to do with much of what has come to be
known as McCarthyism.  And he was correct about the presence of real, live,
pro-Soviet Communist agents in the U.S. government, as M. Stanton Evans proved in
his exhaustively researched book,Blacklisted By History.
In his pursuit of Communist spies, McCarthy was a great deal more accurate than
Cruz's critics are about the freshman senator.

Vadum is senior editor at Capital Research Center
and author of Obama/ACORN expose Subversion Inc. and Government Unions.

from:http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/03/we_have_ted_cruzs_list_harvard_law_really_islittered_with_communists.html
at March 05, 2013 - 04:54:16 PM CST
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« Reply #228 on: March 26, 2013, 10:02:55 AM »

Florida Atlantic University: Another Left-Wing Seminary
Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Question: What is the difference between Christian seminaries and American universities?

Answer: Christian seminaries announce that their purpose is to produce committed Christians. American universities do not admit that their primary purpose is to produce committed leftists. They claim that their purpose is to open students' minds.

This month Florida Atlantic University provided yet another example of how universities have become left-wing seminaries.

An FAU professor told his students to write "JESUS" (in bold caps) on a piece of paper and then step on it.

One student who did not, a junior named Ryan Rotela, complained to the professor and then to the professor's supervisor. He explained that he had refused to do so because it violated his religious principles.

Two days later, Rotela was told not to attend the class anymore. The university then went on to defend the professor in an email to a local CBS TV station: "Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate."

FAU further pointed out that the stomping exercise -- to "discuss the importance of symbols in culture" -- came from a textbook titled "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach."

After the story became national news, FAU issued an apology: "We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs."

Of course, this "apology" was meaningless. Apologizing for "giving offense" has nothing to do with condemning the act. Not to mention that kicking Rotela out of the class belied the university's claim of open discourse.

This story is significant because it provides yet another example of the deteriorated state of American higher education. There are some excellent professors in the so-called "social sciences" at American universities. But they are in the minority. The left has taken over American universities as well as most high schools, and like almost everything the left has influenced -- education, religion, the arts and the economies of most countries -- this influence has been destructive.

The argument that the professor represents no one but himself is refuted by the fact that the university defended the professor until it feared the national outcry that resulted.

Moreover, in another nationally reported incident, Northwestern University acted similarly in 2011. One of its professors invited his 600 students to stay after class to watch a live demonstration of female ejaculation, the subject of that day's class. A naked young woman (not a student) then used a motorized sex toy to come to orgasm. About 120 of the students watched.

When word got out, Northwestern defended the professor: "Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and at the leading edge of their respective disciplines. The university supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge."

Like FAU, only after national condemnation increased did Northwestern "apologize."

Entire books have been written providing hundreds of examples of left-wing indoctrination having replaced education in American universities. FAU is just the latest example.

It is also instructive that the name to be stepped on was JESUS, not, for instance, MUHAMMAD, ALLAH or, for that matter, BILL CLINTON or MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Imagine the reaction at FAU if a professor had told students to step on the name MUHAMMAD. The professor would be condemned at huge rallies organized by the university to protest "Islamophobia." And he would fear for his life. Desecrate Christianity and you get tenure. Desecrate Islam and you get bodyguards.

Or, imagine if the name had been MARTIN LUTHER KING. FAU professors would have competed with one another in expressing outrage at this example of the racism that pervades the university and America. The president of the university would have issued a statement condemning the professor and distancing FAU from his action.

And is there one reader of this column who is surprised to learn that the FAU professor, Deandre Poole, is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party? Or that the party defended him?

This is why I founded Prager University (www.prageru.org): to undo in five-minute courses the intellectual and moral damage that universities do over four years. And unlike FAU and Northwestern, PragerU is free.

The universities' damage is huge and enduring. And you don't have to believe in JESUS to recognize it.
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« Reply #229 on: April 02, 2013, 01:19:53 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/02/want-to-see-what-cscope-and-common-core-even-homeschooling-lessons-look-like-these-parents-opened-up-to-theblaze/
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« Reply #230 on: April 03, 2013, 10:18:53 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/education/crucible-of-change-in-memphis-as-state-takes-on-failing-schools.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130403&_r=0
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« Reply #231 on: April 04, 2013, 10:20:36 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/education/restorative-justice-programs-take-root-in-schools.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130404
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« Reply #232 on: April 07, 2013, 09:54:18 AM »

Click 'Listen' at the link for a brief Colorado Public Radio interview.  A bold experiment, what if kids get exposed to this stuff?  http://www.cpr.org/#load_article|University_Appoints_First_Professor_of_Conservative_Thought
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« Reply #233 on: April 07, 2013, 11:02:55 AM »


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/education/in-history-departments-its-up-with-capitalism.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130407
A specter is haunting university history departments: the specter of capitalism.



After decades of “history from below,” focusing on women, minorities and other marginalized people seizing their destiny, a new generation of scholars is increasingly turning to what, strangely, risked becoming the most marginalized group of all: the bosses, bankers and brokers who run the economy.

Even before the financial crisis, courses in “the history of capitalism” — as the new discipline bills itself — began proliferating on campuses, along with dissertations on once deeply unsexy topics like insurance, banking and regulation. The events of 2008 and their long aftermath have given urgency to the scholarly realization that it really is the economy, stupid.

The financial meltdown also created a serious market opportunity. Columbia University Press recently introduced a new “Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism” book series (“This is not your father’s business history,” the proposal promised), and other top university presses have been snapping up dissertations on 19th-century insurance and early-20th-century stock speculation, with trade publishers and op-ed editors following close behind.

The dominant question in American politics today, scholars say, is the relationship between democracy and the capitalist economy. “And to understand capitalism,” said Jonathan Levy, an assistant professor of history at Princeton University and the author of “Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America,” “you’ve got to understand capitalists.”

That doesn’t mean just looking in the executive suite and ledger books, scholars are quick to emphasize. The new work marries hardheaded economic analysis with the insights of social and cultural history, integrating the bosses’-eye view with that of the office drones — and consumers — who power the system.

“I like to call it ‘history from below, all the way to the top,’ ” said Louis Hyman, an assistant professor of labor relations, law and history at Cornell and the author of “Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink.”

 The new history of capitalism is less a movement than what proponents call a “cohort”: a loosely linked group of scholars who came of age after the end of the cold war cleared some ideological ground, inspired by work that came before but unbeholden to the questions — like, why didn’t socialism take root in America? — that animated previous generations of labor historians.

Instead of searching for working-class radicalism, they looked at office clerks and entrepreneurs.

“Earlier, a lot of these topics would’ve been greeted with a yawn,” said Stephen Mihm, an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia and the author of “A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men and the Making of the United States.” “But then the crisis hit, and people started asking, ‘Oh my God, what has Wall Street been doing for the last 100 years?’ ”

In 1996, when the Harvard historian Sven Beckert proposed an undergraduate seminar called the History of American Capitalism — the first of its kind, he believes — colleagues were skeptical. “They thought no one would be interested,” he said.

But the seminar drew nearly 100 applicants for 15 spots and grew into one of the biggest lecture courses at Harvard, which in 2008 created a full-fledged Program on the Study of U.S. Capitalism. That initiative led to similar ones on other campuses, as courses and programs at Princeton, Brown, Georgia, the New School, the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere also began drawing crowds — sometimes with the help of canny brand management.

After Seth Rockman, an associate professor of history at Brown, changed the name of his course from Capitalism, Slavery and the Economy of Early America to simply Capitalism, students concentrating in economics and international relations started showing up alongside the student labor activists and development studies people.

“It’s become a space where you can bring together segments of the university that are not always in conversation,” Dr. Rockman said. (Next fall the course will become Brown’s introductory American history survey.)

While most scholars in the field reject the purely oppositional stance of earlier Marxist history, they also take a distinctly critical view of neoclassical economics, with its tidy mathematical models and crisp axioms about rational actors.

Markets and financial institutions “were created by people making particular choices at particular historical moments,” said Julia Ott, an assistant professor in the history of capitalism at the New School (the first person, several scholars said, to be hired under such a title).

To dramatize that point, Dr. Ott has students in her course Whose Street? Wall Street! dress up in 19th-century costume and re-enact a primal scene in financial history: the early days of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Some of her colleagues take a similarly playful approach. To promote a two-week history of capitalism “boot camp” to be inaugurated this summer at Cornell, Dr. Hyman (a former consultant at McKinsey & Company) designed “history of capitalism” T-shirts.

The camp, he explained, is aimed at getting relatively innumerate historians up to speed on the kinds of financial data and documents found in business archives. Understanding capitalism, Dr. Hyman said, requires “both Foucault and regressions.”

It also, scholars insist, requires keeping race and gender in the picture.

As examples, they point to books like Nathan Connolly’s “World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida,” coming next year, and Bethany Moreton’s “To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise” (Harvard, 2009), winner of multiple prizes, which examines the role of evangelical Christian values in mobilizing the company’s largely female work force.

The history of capitalism has also benefited from a surge of new, economically minded scholarship on slavery, with scholars increasingly arguing that Northern factories and Southern plantations were not opposing economic systems, as the old narrative has it, but deeply entwined.

And that entwining, some argue, involved people far beyond the plantations and factories themselves, thanks to financial shenanigans that resonate in our own time.

In a paper called “Toxic Debt, Liar Loans and Securitized Human Beings: The Panic of 1837 and the Fate of Slavery,” Edward Baptist, a historian at Cornell, looked at the way small investors across America and Europe snapped up exotic financial instruments based on slave holdings, much as people over the past decade went wild for mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations — with a similarly disastrous outcome.

 Other scholars track companies and commodities across national borders. Dr. Beckert’s “Empire of Cotton,” to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, traces the rise of global capitalism over the past 350 years through one crop. Nan Enstad’s book in progress, “The Jim Crow Cigarette: Following Tobacco Road From North Carolina to China and Back,” examines how Southern tobacco workers, and Southern racial ideology, helped build the Chinese cigarette industry in the early 20th century.

Whether scrutiny of the history of capitalism represents a genuine paradigm shift or a case of scholarly tulip mania, one thing is clear.

“The worse things are for the economy,” Dr. Beckert said wryly, “the better they are for the discipline.”
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« Reply #234 on: April 18, 2013, 11:38:49 AM »

Other than the passage of time, one can find no real distinction between the cowardly actions of last Monday’s Boston murderer and the terror carried out by [Columbia Prof.] Boudin and her accomplices.
...
Forty-three years ago last month, Kathy Boudin, now a professor at Columbia but then a member of the Weather Underground, escaped an explosion at a bomb factory operated in a townhouse in Greenwich Village...Three weeks earlier, Boudin’s Weathermen had firebombed a private home in Upper Manhattan with Molotov cocktails.
...
The Web site of Columbia’s School of Social Work sums up Boudin’s past thus: “Dr. Kathy Boudin has been an educator and counselor with experience in program development since 1964, working within communities with limited resources to solve social problems.”

“Since 1964” — that would include the bombing of [the author's] house, it would include the anti-personnel devices intended for Fort Dix and it would include the dead policeman on the side of the Thruway in 1981.
...
Maybe, if he is caught, Monday’s bomber can explain that, like Boudin, he was merely working within the community to solve social problems.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/tale_of_two_terrorists_3WtcmY2p7PwFkbO1NheqNL
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bigdog
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« Reply #235 on: April 19, 2013, 08:31:07 AM »


http://www.cnbc.com/id/100642178

From the article:

What do American businesses want from their college hires? According to a new survey, creative thinkers and better communicators—both of which are said to be in short supply.

The survey of CEOs by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 74 percent said they would recommend a 21st-century liberal education in order to create a more dynamic worker. The survey of 320 business leaders was conducted in January. Results were released last week.

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« Reply #236 on: May 06, 2013, 08:23:41 AM »

Colleges Cut Prices by Providing More Financial Aid
•   
By RUTH SIMON
Private U.S. colleges, worried they could be pricing themselves out of the market after years of relentless tuition increases, are offering record financial assistance to keep classrooms full.

The average "tuition discount rate"—the reduction off list price afforded by grants and scholarships given by these schools—hit an all-time high of 45% last fall for incoming freshmen, according to a survey being released Monday by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

"It's a buyer's market" for all but the most select private colleges and flagship public universities, said Jim Scannell, president of Scannell & Kurz, a consulting firm in Pittsford, N.Y., that works with colleges on pricing and financial-aid strategies.

It is likely that some private colleges will be forced to be even more generous with discounts this fall. As of the May 1 deadline for many high-school seniors to commit for their freshman year of college, early reports suggest some non-top-tier schools fell 10% to 20% short of enrollment targets, said Mr. Scannell.

The jump in aid shows that many colleges are losing pricing power as more families focus on cost and value, with about 65% increasing their discount rate in the fall of 2012. Except for the most exclusive schools, private colleges increasingly are vulnerable to the stagnant wages of many families, deepening student debt, the uncertain job market, growing questions about the value of costly four-year degrees and unfavorable demographics.
 
About one of every eight U.S. undergraduates is enrolled at a private nonprofit college. Such schools provided 70% of all grant aid to undergraduate students in 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, Nacubo says.

The average discount rate at private colleges has climbed for seven years in a row, and the latest increase was smaller than the jump in 2011, said Natalie Pullaro Davis, the study's author. But colleges also are having a tougher time boosting their sticker prices. That makes it harder for colleges to generate enough new revenue to offset the impact of higher aid and their own rising costs.

Because of economic factors and political pressure on colleges to hold the line on tuition, "we have hit a tipping point on price," said John Nelson, managing director at Moody's Investors Service MCO +3.51% . Last year, the median sticker price at about 280 private colleges and universities tracked by the debt-rating firm rose 3.9%, the smallest increase in at least 12 years.

Tuition increases for the 2013-14 year at these schools are likely to be about the same or slightly smaller, Mr. Nelson said.

Meantime, at four-year public colleges and universities, tuition and fees for in-state students rose 4.8% in the 2012-13 academic year, the smallest increase since 2000-01, according to the College Board. Tuition at these schools for out-of-state students rose 4.2%.

The discount rate for public universities fell modestly in 2012, said Mr. Nelson of Moody's, after rising from 2007 to 2011.

Last fall, enrollment fell at 46% of the 383 private colleges in the new Nacubo survey as the pool of high-school seniors declined. John Walda, the group's president, said the financial squeeze from fewer students is forcing such colleges to find ways to boost revenue, control costs and seek a way to stand out from the crowd. Some of those that can't eventually will shrink, merge or fold, he predicted.

Bill Hall, president of Applied Policy Research Inc., said about 10 of the 20 undergraduate colleges he advises on pricing and aid strategies still are scrambling to fill seats for this fall's freshman class. Officials at some schools are asking accepted applicants who haven't said yes or no if "there are financial issues within reason where we can make an adjustment," he said.

Some private colleges are seeing just 20% of the students they accepted actually enrolling, down from about one-third of accepted students five years ago, Mr. Scannell said.
The economic downturn boosted the number of families who qualify for aid. In addition, even those earning too much to demonstrate need under aid formulas "expect to see some sort of merit aid," unless the school is highly selective, said Trey Chappell, a college adviser in Scottsdale, Ariz.

John Ames said the College of Saint Benedict increased his daughter's scholarship to $17,800 from $14,000—and added a $2,800 work award—after he told the St. Joseph, Minn., school about student-athlete awards she had won and a better offer she received from another college. The school's tuition and fees are $37,926 this fall.

"The end result indicates that I had more power than I thought I did," he said, adding that he appreciated the college's "willingness to meet us in the middle."

Saint Benedict's executive director of financial aid, Stuart Perry, said he couldn't discuss individual students. In general, the roughly 2,000-student college makes "a very small number of revisions to academic-based scholarships," typically in response to new information, and revises need-based awards due to changes in a family's financial situation.
Discounting can help private colleges compete against public institutions. Maureen Anderson, who lives in Detroit Lakes, Minn., said a $55,740 scholarship, which covers tuition, fees and certain other expenses, sealed her daughter's decision to attend New York University instead of her other top choice, the University of California, Berkeley, which made her a less-generous offer. NYU's tuition and fees are about $44,800 for the 2013-14 year.

"Money talks," said Ms. Anderson, host of a syndicated radio program. "Many people look to private colleges because they have those pools of money to draw from."
A Berkeley spokeswoman said 40% of undergraduates pay no tuition because of grants and scholarships, while 65% get at least some financial aid.

Some colleges are trying to raise their appeal by experimenting with new pricing. Sewanee, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., cut tuition 10% to $41,500 in the 2011-12 academic year. While it raised it for freshmen arriving this fall to $45,900, it guaranteed that rate for four years.

As part of the new pricing strategy, Sewanee no longer negotiates merit-based scholarships. "Our first offer is our final and best offer," said John McCardell, Sewanee's vice chancellor. "We have deliberately removed ourselves from the bidding wars."

Sewanee's tuition revenue rose $1.5 million to $33.5 million in the current academic year, after a decline of about $920,000 in the first year of the tuition cut.

One reason: Last fall's entering class of 453 students was 13% larger than two years earlier. The applicant pool rose by nearly 500 to roughly 3,400 last year, allowing the school to take more students while being more selective, said Mr. McCardell, who believes publicity surrounding the new pricing played a roll.

Meantime, Sewanee's current tuition discount of 42% is down from 45% before the price cut.

Write to Ruth Simon at ruth.simon@wsj.com
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« Reply #237 on: May 06, 2013, 10:27:04 AM »

second post of the morning

http://salary.com/8-college-degrees-with-the-worst-return-on-investment/
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« Reply #238 on: May 06, 2013, 10:31:06 AM »

"Colleges Cut Prices by Providing More Financial Aid "

It is a strange system, almost modeled after the airlines where every customer pays a different price.  My daughter is in her first year at college.  I almost never discuss with other parents what she is paying, receiving, or was offered at other places because everyone seems to have their own arrangement.  Like the airlines, I suppose someone is willing to pay full price so they keep that number really high.

The easiest to compare academic measure for colleges I found is the 25th and 75th percentile ACT score.  The goal for the college is not to take a kid who is above the minimum, but to enroll the kids who move the college's percentiles upward.  People need to know in advance that colleges pay cash for ACT scores.  (SAT too I'm sure.)  We thought the tests were only for admittance.  My advice even for students who do will great anyway on these tests is prepare all you can and take the test more than once.  If you bump your score up just slightly, it doesn't just change where you are admitted, it changes the price.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 10:33:19 AM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #239 on: May 18, 2013, 12:17:30 AM »

Gov't reaps windfall profits on student loans
When President Obama pushed his student loan legislation he said it would stop greedy banks from getting handouts, but in reality it led to the government takeover of student loans. Since Obama has taken office, student loan debt has risen 250% and the administration projects windfall profits of $51 billion dollars, or nearly the same amount the major banks earn combined.

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« Reply #240 on: May 20, 2013, 05:14:57 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/05/20/huge-cscope-is-out-of-texas/?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2013-05-20_221812&utm_content=5054942&utm_term=_221812_221820
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« Reply #241 on: June 18, 2013, 10:57:52 AM »



http://www.freeenterprise.com/education-workforce/building-21st-century-workforce
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« Reply #242 on: June 29, 2013, 03:32:32 PM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o1ivyhCHpGw
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DougMacG
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« Reply #243 on: July 15, 2013, 03:42:05 PM »

It is my expectation that the name of one of our own will find its way onto this list.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/introducing-the-power-line-100.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/07/the-power-line-100-alan-jacobs.php
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 03:45:40 PM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #244 on: July 24, 2013, 09:10:28 AM »

Rebekah Bell: It's Possible to Graduate Debt-Free. Here's How
Scout out scholarships, take courses online, use your skills to make money and get a summer job.
By REBEKAH BELL

In 2009, when I was applying to my dream college, my parents had one stipulation: graduate without debt. I burst out laughing.

There was no feasible way that a middle-class 19-year-old with average grades could attend a college with a price tag of nearly $40,000 a year without taking out loans. But now that I've graduated loan-free, I realize how lucky I am that my parents made this seemingly ridiculous demand.

Figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveal that 37 million Americans have student loan debt. About two-thirds of students receiving bachelor's degrees borrow to fund their education, with the average student debt at an all-time high of $26,000. Total student-loan debt is estimated to be $1 trillion.

Only 38% of borrowers are making payments on their loans. The rest are either still in school, postponing payments or not paying them back. Almost one in 10 students who started repayment in 2009 defaulted within two years. At least 40% of student borrowers put off a major purchase such as a car or home because they couldn't afford it, and many are delaying marriage and families.


The lesson here is that students should do everything within their power to avoid this kind of debt. Although attending school without loans is difficult, it is not impossible. Here's what I learned about avoiding the debt trap:

• Think creatively. I attended a college close to home during my freshman year because it offered a scholarship. I also took classes online to save money. Some of my friends completed dual-enrollment classes during high school, got college credits from the College-Level Examination Program in subjects where they were already proficient, or attended a less expensive community college before moving to a four-year school. Others attended trade or vocational schools instead of college. The aim should always be: Reduce the number of credits you're paying for at the premium rate.

• Look hard for scholarships. I received an academic scholarship and need-based aid through my university. I also received several community and church scholarships and a matching grant through my father's workplace. Searching for scholarships and aid is tiring but can definitely pay off.

• Use your skills. Figure out a way to use your college interests to earn extra money—and to beef up your résumé and gain real-world experience. I competed on my university's speech team and worked as a videographer for the college newspaper in exchange for several thousand dollars' worth of scholarship money. Some of my friends received athletic or theater scholarships. A friend who was an English major worked in the on-campus tutoring center.

• Generate income. There are creative ways to make money. For me, it meant raising and selling cattle (one of the perks of being raised as a 4-H kid on a farm). One friend became a wedding photographer, earning cash and working only on weekends. My older sister taught piano lessons. A tech-savvy friend did Web design. These were all jobs that brought in money without interfering with classes.

• Make the most of summers. I worked full-time but also spent time interning for film companies. Some of my friends found paid internships during the summer, worked at camps, or took classes at community college for a fraction of the cost. One friend who did this was able to graduate a semester early, thereby saving several thousand dollars on tuition.

• Live frugally. I had a 10-meal per week plan and bought groceries for the rest of my meals. I also lived in a less expensive dorm and had two roommates instead of one, which saved money on room and board. Figure out simple ways to save money. Even if it's only $20 or $30 a month, it adds up over a year.

More than one financial-aid counselor told me it would be impossible to graduate debt-free. It often seemed like the naysayers were right. But persistence helped me pull it off. And even if I had fallen short, I still would have had to borrow much less than the average student. I may not have had as much free time as some classmates, but I enjoyed a rich and fulfilling college experience while also graduating debt-free. Graduating without debt means that now I can apply for jobs that I really want—instead of feeling like I have to grab the first one that will help me start paying off a student loan. Today, I'm indebted only to my parents for being so unreasonable.
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« Reply #245 on: July 28, 2013, 02:22:04 PM »


http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
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« Reply #246 on: July 30, 2013, 08:48:46 PM »

Benno Schmidt: Mitch Daniels's Gift to Academic Freedom
His skepticism about the merits of a sacrosanct liberal history textbook has sparked an overdue debate.
By BENNO SCHMIDT

Most Americans would agree that academic freedom is a sacred right of the academy and crucial to the American experiment in democracy. But what is it really?

That's the question raised by the Associated Press's July 16 release of emails between Mitch Daniels, when he was the governor of Indiana, and his staff concerning Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." The emails were written in 2010 and Mr. Daniels, whose second term as governor ended this January, is now president of Purdue University in Indiana.

Published in 1980, Zinn's "A People's History" (the author died in 2010 at age 87) has been a staple of Advanced Placement courses at the high-school level and omnipresent in college syllabi for decades. Praised by some for focusing on American history from the ground up, the book has been condemned by others as emblematic of the biased, left-leaning, tendentious and inaccurate drivel that too often passes as definitive in American higher education.



Mr. Daniels falls squarely among the critics. Zinn's history, the then-governor wrote in February 2010, "is a truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page." Then Mr. Daniels asked: "Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before any more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?"

Did Mr. Daniels—the future university president—violate academic freedom with his outburst? A July 22 open letter signed by 90 Purdue professors suggested as much, saying the teachers were "troubled" by his actions, in particular by his continuing to criticize Zinn's book after taking over at the university. Demanding retaliatory funding cuts or preventing college faculty from teaching or publishing certain ideas would have amounted to such a violation. It appears Mr. Daniels, either as governor or as Purdue president, did none of these. In his emails, he aired his unhappiness with Zinn's account of American history, but there is currently no evidence that anything was done by him or his staff to act upon his heated remarks.

Moreover, in a written response to the Purdue professors' letter, he explained that as governor he was only concerned about the teaching of Zinn's book in Indiana's K-12 schools, and that he is "passionately dedicated to the freest realm of inquiry possible at Purdue."

But what about his criticism? Do politicians or outside groups violate academic freedom when they criticize academics? Again, the answer is no.

Inquiries of this sort about teaching materials are not unusual in the life of a university president. Presidents take such inquiries seriously and follow up to make sure that the curriculum and materials are of the highest quality. Public scrutiny helps institutions fulfill their mission. It rightly keeps institutions on their toes.

Academic freedom is faculty's freedom to teach. But, more important, it is also students' freedom to learn. It is, as University of Wisconsin Prof. Donald Downs writes in the American Council of Trustees and Alumni guidebook, "Free to Teach, Free to Learn": "the right to pursue the truth in scholarship and teaching, and to enjoy authority regarding such academic matters as the nature of the curriculum, [and] faculty governance." At the same time, it is "maintaining respect for the truth (which means avoiding bias in its various forms), exercising professional and fair judgment, and maintaining professional competence."

In other words: Academic freedom is a right and a responsibility. In recent times, the academy has too often been focused on rights and privileges rather than responsibility and accountability.

Mr. Daniels surely won't be the last politician hoping to do something in the face of frequent imbalance and bias in the academy. And it won't be the last time that faculty and others raise rightful concerns about inappropriate interference. That is why the recent email revelation offers not only Purdue, but the academic community at large, a long-overdue opportunity to undertake a robust self-examination of what academic freedom is—and isn't.

Politicians can't dictate course syllabi or reading lists in higher education. But nor should faculty be allowed to engage in indoctrination and professional irresponsibility without being held to account. And yet, over the past 50 years, that is essentially what has happened. The greatest threat to academic freedom today is not from outside the academy, but from within. Political correctness and "speech codes" that stifle debate are common on America's campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind.

If academics want to continue to enjoy the great privilege of academic freedom, they cannot forget the obligations that underline the grant of that privilege. The American Association of University Professors itself recognized those obligations in its seminal statement, the 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom, which is today nearly forgotten: "If this profession should prove itself unwilling to purge its ranks of the incompetent and unworthy, or to prevent the freedom which it claims . . . from being used as a shelter for inefficiency, for superficiality, or for uncritical and intemperate partisanship, it is certain that the task will be performed by others."

It's time that college and university trustees, presidents and faculty made a concerted effort to ensure and engender a culture of academic freedom—and responsibility. If integrity is not maintained from within, the public will attempt to impose it from without. Mr. Daniels's emails have sparked a needed debate on this defining value.

Mr. Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York Board of Trustees, is a former president of Yale University and a contributor to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni guidebook, "Free to Teach, Free to Learn."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #247 on: July 31, 2013, 11:28:03 PM »


http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1337.msg57724#msg57724   wink
    
Education: College degree or equivalent: MIT OCW
« Reply #128 on: December 13, 2011, 10:00:34 AM »

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/

2000 courses online, free.  No tuition, no admissions screening, no degrees.  Just courses, syllabuses, tests, lecture notes, etc. from one of the greatest technical institutions in the world on an amazing array of topics.

Google: 'MIT OCW' (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Open Course Ware)
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bigdog
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« Reply #248 on: August 02, 2013, 07:07:07 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/tony-bennett-resigns_n_3688690.html

From the article:

Less than eight months after starting his job, Florida's education commissioner Tony Bennett resigned on Thursday, amid a growing scandal over policy changes he made while serving as schools superintendent in Indiana.

"I asked Governor Scott to accept my resignation, and he did," Bennett said during a press conference.

Bennett's plans to resign were first reported by the Tampa Bay Times. He has faced increasing pressure to step down since the Associated Press published emails on Monday showing that he quietly changed Indiana's school grading formula. The emails show that the formula change happened when Christel House Academy, a charter school backed by influential Republican donors, received a low grade under the original formula.
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« Reply #249 on: August 03, 2013, 12:22:28 PM »

http://www.youngresearch.com/researchandanalysis/economy-researchandanalysis/after-disrupting-publishing-internet-sets-its-sights-on-education/?awt_l=PWy8k&awt_m=3Vt1FBZ2Pizlu1V


==================================


The $4 Million Teacher
South Korea's students rank among the best in the world, and its top teachers can make a fortune. Can the U.S. learn from this academic superpower?
By  AMANDA RIPLEY

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country's private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.
[image] SeongJoon Cho for The Wall Street Journal

Kim Ki-Hoon, who teaches in a private after-school academy, earns most of his money from students who watch his lectures online. 'The harder I work, the moreImake,' he says. 'I like that.'

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students' online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

"The harder I work, the more I make," he says matter of factly. "I like that."

I traveled to South Korea to see what a free market for teaching talent looks like—one stop in a global tour to discover what the U.S. can learn from the world's other education superpowers. Thanks in part to such tutoring services, South Korea has dramatically improved its education system over the past several decades and now routinely outperforms the U.S. Sixty years ago, most South Koreans were illiterate; today, South Korean 15-year-olds rank No. 2 in the world in reading, behind Shanghai. The country now has a 93% high-school graduation rate, compared with 77% in the U.S.

Tutoring services are growing all over the globe, from Ireland to Hong Kong and even in suburban strip malls in California and New Jersey. Sometimes called shadow education systems, they mirror the mainstream system, offering after-hours classes in every subject—for a fee. But nowhere have they achieved the market penetration and sophistication of hagwons in South Korea, where private tutors now outnumber schoolteachers.

Viewed up close, this shadow system is both exciting and troubling. It promotes striving and innovation among students and teachers alike, and it has helped South Korea become an academic superpower. But it also creates a bidding war for education, delivering the best services to the richest families, to say nothing of its psychological toll on students. Under this system, students essentially go to school twice—once during the day and then again at night at the tutoring academies. It is a relentless grind.

The bulk of Mr. Kim's earnings come from the 150,000 kids who watch his lectures online each year. (Most are high-school students looking to boost their scores on South Korea's version of the SAT.) He is a brand name, with all the overhead that such prominence in the market entails. He employs 30 people to help him manage his teaching empire and runs a publishing company to produce his books.

To call this mere tutoring is to understate its scale and sophistication. Megastudy, the online hagwon that Mr. Kim works for, is listed on the South Korean stock exchange. (A Megastudy official confirmed Mr. Kim's annual earnings.) Nearly three of every four South Korean kids participate in the private market. In 2012, their parents spent more than $17 billion on these services. That is more than the $15 billion spent by Americans on videogames that year, according to the NPD Group, a research firm. The South Korean education market is so profitable that it attracts investments from firms like Goldman Sachs, the Carlyle Group and A.I.G.

It was thrilling to meet Mr. Kim—a teacher who earns the kind of money that professional athletes make in the U.S. An American with his ambition and abilities might have to become a banker or a lawyer, but in South Korea, he had become a teacher, and he was rich anyway.

The idea is seductive: Teaching well is hard, so why not make it lucrative? Even if American schools will never make teachers millionaires, there are lessons to be learned from this booming educational bazaar, lessons about how to motivate teachers, how to captivate parents and students and how to adapt to a changing world.


To find rock-star teachers like Mr. Kim, hagwon directors scour the Internet, reading parents' reviews and watching teachers' lectures. Competing hagwons routinely try to poach one another's celebrity tutors. "The really good teachers are hard to retain—and hard to manage. You need to protect their egos," says Lee Chae-yun, who owns a chain of five hagwons in Seoul called Myungin Academy.

The most radical difference between traditional schools and hagwons is that students sign up for specific teachers, so the most respected teachers get the most students. Mr. Kim has about 120 live, in-person students per lecture, but a typical teacher's hagwon classes are much smaller. The Korean private market has reduced education to the one in-school variable that matters most: the teacher.

It is about as close to a pure meritocracy as it can be, and just as ruthless. In hagwons, teachers are free agents. They don't need to be certified. They don't have benefits or even a guaranteed base salary; their pay is based on their performance, and most of them work long hours and earn less than public school teachers.

Performance evaluations are typically based on how many students sign up for their classes, their students' test-score growth and satisfaction surveys given to students and parents. "How passionate is the teacher?" asks one hagwon's student survey—the results of which determine 60% of the instructor's evaluation. "How well-prepared is the teacher?" (In 2010, researchers funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found classroom-level surveys like this to be surprisingly reliable and predictive of effective teaching in the U.S., yet the vast majority of our schools still don't use them.)

"Students are the customers," Ms. Lee says. To recruit students, hagwons advertise their results aggressively. They post their graduates' test scores and university acceptance figures online and outside their entrances on giant posters. It was startling to see such openness; in the U.S., despite our fetish for standardized testing, the results remain confusing and hard to interpret for parents.

Once students enroll, the hagwon embeds itself in families' lives. Parents get text messages when their children arrive at the academies each afternoon; then they get another message relaying students' progress. Two to three times a month, teachers call home with feedback. Every few months, the head of the hagwon telephones, too. In South Korea, if parents aren't engaged, that is considered a failure of the educators, not the family.

If tutors get low survey marks or attract too few students, they generally get placed on probation. Each year, Ms. Lee fires about 10% of her instructors. (By comparison, U.S. schools dismiss about 2% of public school teachers annually for poor performance.)

All of this pressure creates real incentives for teachers, at least according to the kids. In a 2010 survey of 6,600 students at 116 high schools conducted by the Korean Educational Development Institute, Korean teenagers gave their hagwon teachers higher scores across the board than their regular schoolteachers: Hagwon teachers were better prepared, more devoted to teaching and more respectful of students' opinions, the teenagers said. Interestingly, the hagwon teachers rated best of all when it came to treating all students fairly, regardless of the students' academic performance.

Private tutors are also more likely to experiment with new technology and nontraditional forms of teaching. In a 2009 book on the subject, University of Hong Kong professor Mark Bray urged officials to pay attention to the strengths of the shadow markets, in addition to the perils. "Policy makers and planners should…ask why parents are willing to invest considerable sums of money to supplement the schooling received from the mainstream," he writes. "At least in some cultures, the private tutors are more adventurous and client-oriented."

But are students actually learning more in hagwons? That is a surprisingly hard question to answer. World-wide, the research is mixed, suggesting that the quality of after-school lessons matters more than the quantity. And price is at least loosely related to quality, which is precisely the problem. The most affluent kids can afford one-on-one tutoring with the most popular instructors, while others attend inferior hagwons with huge class sizes and less reliable instruction—or after-hours sessions offered free by their public schools. Eight out of 10 South Korean parents say they feel financial pressure from hagwon tuition costs. Still, most keep paying the fees, convinced that the more they pay, the more their children will learn.

For decades, the South Korean government has been trying to tame the country's private-education market. Politicians have imposed curfews and all manner of regulations on hagwons, even going so far as to ban them altogether during the 1980s, when the country was under military rule. Each time the hagwons have come back stronger.

"The only solution is to improve public education," says Mr. Kim, the millionaire teacher, echoing what the country's education minister and dozens of other Korean educators told me. If parents trusted the system, the theory goes, they wouldn't resort to paying high fees for extra tutoring.

To create such trust, Mr. Kim suggests paying public-school teachers significantly more money according to their performance—as hagwons do. Then the profession could attract the most skilled, accomplished candidates, and parents would know that the best teachers were the ones in their children's schools—not in the strip mall down the street.

Schools can also build trust by aggressively communicating with parents and students, the way businesses already do to great effect in the U.S. They could routinely survey students about their teachers—in ways designed to help teachers improve and not simply to demoralize them. Principals could make their results far more transparent, as hagwons do, and demand more rigorous work from students and parents at home in exchange. And teacher-training programs could become far more selective and serious, as they are in every high-performing education system in the world—injecting trust and prestige into the profession before a teacher even enters the classroom.

No country has all the answers. But in an information-driven global economy, a few truths are becoming universal: Children need to know how to think critically in math, reading and science; they must be driven; and they must learn how to adapt, since they will be doing it all their lives. These demands require that schools change, too—or the free market may do it for them.
—Ms. Ripley is an Emerson Fellow at the New America Foundation. This essay is adapted from her forthcoming book, "The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way," to be published Aug. 13 by Simon & Schuster. Copyright © 2013 by Amanda Ripley

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