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April 14, 2015

"Our Undemocratic Teachers’ Unions"

When the Liberals call for more "democracy," this would be worth mentioning.

This teachers’ union claims to champion democratic values, but it hasn’t scheduled a single vote by its teachers in 50 years.

"The impending surge for the University of Everywhere"

George Leef reviews Kevin Carey's The End of College.

I don't know about all college courses, but having both taken and taught large lecture sections, I'm sure that online courses can easily replace them.

April 13, 2015

"A delicate balance: Are professors teaching too little?"

Whether or not you agree that professors are teaching too little, I'd hope we could agree on solutions to two problems in higher education, especially at state schools, raised by this article.

Relatively small problem:

Faculty members at area universities say teaching load is not the same as workload. They say in addition to research and teaching, they are meeting with and mentoring students, serving on various committees . . . 

Fix: cut the committees by 50% and cut the number of meetings of the remaining committees by 50%.

Bigger problem:

"We've received calls from professors who were absolutely aghast that I would even bring such a subject up," [NC State Senator] McInnis said last week.

Fix: hey, arrogant jerks, try remembering who you work for.

"At Success Academy Charter Schools, High Scores and Polarizing Tactics"

The New York Times is appalled--simply appalled!--that at Success Academy students who are performing poorly are publicly shamed. But here's the bottom line:

. . . this year, the network said, it received more than 22,000 applications for 2,688 seats.

And here's another one, something you don't find in the regular public schools:

When the students were sitting on the floor and he [the principal] noticed that they were not sitting properly, he interrupted the lesson and said, “Ms. Vistocco, can you reset your carpet expectations?”

April 09, 2015

"Tongue Rolling and 5 Other Oversimplified Genetic Traits"

Some more lies--excuse me, "oversimplification"--educators tell kids

April 08, 2015

"When Writing Your First Draft, Don't Be Afraid to Write Like Crap"

Impressed into teaching writing to upperclassmen and master's students, I stressed this. I think they got the first part of it really well.

The other part, about revising the first draft, not so much.

"10 free online resources that will make you more successful"

I don't know about "more successful," but if for some reason you're bored and looking for things to do, these links may well help.

April 06, 2015

"What Happens When A 38-Year-Old Man Takes An AP History Test?"

Funny and parts are uncomfortably true.

For each essay, I was asked to supply a thesis (oh god, THESES … I bet they wanted a topic sentence, too) . . . As I was writing, I knew I was failing the test. I was making broad generalizations about America and spewing horseshit talking points without any backing evidence of any kind. I was Tom Friedman, basically. The AP History test makes you Tom Friedman.


April 03, 2015

"UO [University of Oregon] hiring VP to oversee Sexual Assault and Title IX"

Story here.

Via Fark, who write "Evidently the Dean of Vice and Amoral Behavior was overloaded."

April 02, 2015

"Science’s Big Scandal: Even legitimate publishers are faking peer review"

From Slate:

We’re entering an era of cargo cult peer review. It now appears that even major scientific publishers are peddling products that have all the trappings of a scholarly journal but are fundamentally hollow at core.

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I certainly enjoyed the seminal papers "Cuckoo for Coco Puffs" and "Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List".

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