<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Charles Miller, a business executive who is the commission's chairman...<p><hr></blockquote><p>Wow, he's sounds qualified. I bet he's doing a heckuva job!<br><br>The quote at the end pretty much sums it up.<br><blockquote>John R. Durbin, a mathematics professor at the University of Texas at Austin and former faculty council officer, said in an e-mail message, "It would be a sad state of affairs if the people at the top had so little confidence in our faculty that they really believed outside bureaucrats and committees could help us raise standards."</blockquote><br><br>
You know, if everyone in the work place were put under as close a scrutiny by overseers as faculty are, we'd have a rebellion in the work place that would make the French Revolution seem child's play. We get random visits from chairs and administrators. Every semester every student in every class gets to "evaluate" the professor. Every year every single thing that every single professor writes, every class s/he teaches, every committee s/he belongs to, every encounter s/he has with administrators, other faculty, and students . . . every single ass-wipe, it seems, gets evaluated, assessed, dissected, and commented on. I'm not quite sure what else can be done, really.<br><br>What kind of multiple-choice test do you think a college class in Milton should be able to take in order to show the differential acquisition of knowledge on the part of the student? Seriously . . . what exactly does a multiple choice test reveal? Or any other easily assessable "instrument"? Should I insist that students memorize the fact that Milton was born in 1606, that he went to Cambirdge University, that he was Latin Secretary under the Protectorate . . . or should I get them to think about and understand the difficult Christian theology that underlies Paradise Lost? I'm already seeing the consequence of the first kind of education in the high schools, in students who are quite capable of being good writers, for instance, but who've been taught to write in such a stupid way . . . and that's because the stupid way is easy to score . . . that it takes them a whole semester to get over the miseducation. Just yesterday I talked to a student I had last semester, a very very smart, sharp, intelligent young woman, who tells me that over January she went back to her high school and complained to her high school teachers about the poor job they did in writing instruction, only to be told by the teachers that what she had been taught was what the PSSA, the PA standardized ASSESsment "instrument," required the school to teach.<br><br>I DO NOT want such idiocy invading my space.<br><br>And I can guarantee that if it does invade the colleges and universities of the nation, the result is going to be a further erosion of American education. Up to this point, regardless of what you might think, higher education in the US is functioning quite well, thank you very much. If we have problems, they are problems associated with a post-literate culture and a dumbed-down, teach-to-the-test primary and secondary educational protocol. We're doing a fairly good job of responding to those pressures. Tell me to teach to the test, and you know what? Kids may be able to circle the response that provides the right factoid to a stupid question. They'll be able to tell you that Milton was born in 1608, that he went to Cambridge . . . . But that student will not be able to think her way out of a wet paper bag. Is that really what you want?<br><br>As for taping the professor. Why? Do you want further to intimidate professor so that students never get challenged on their basic assumptions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Do you want students so coddled by political correctness that they never hear a point of view that might shock or disturb them? Why, pray, tell, would you want such a thing? Will Johnny or Sally fall apart if the professor points out that Pres. Clinton's sexual escapades are a sign of the collapse of private virtue, in which the students themselves participate when they think of "virtue" as an old-fashioned word that means nothing at all in the 21st century? Or is that OK because it's Clinton who's the person being discussed? Should I steer clear of asking students to think about the behavior of characters in a 16th century play in terms that apply to the behavior of people in the 21st century?<br><br>What exactly do you think an educatin ought to be?<br><br>. . . . . Here's lookin' at [color:red]you</font color=red> kid.
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Loc: Syracuse, NY
At this point in the evening I need to drop back and punt. Obviously I have struck a nerve. If it is any consolation I will continue to pay for two of my four in higher education.<br><br>Shakespeare is /was one of my favorite subjects in college. <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mojo_jojo on 02/09/06 09:48 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Bidness 'zecutive. You beat me to it, Trog. Mike Bloomberg appointed a business executive, Joel Klien, to run the NYC public school system. A system that, despite some creaks ands groans and politics, was doing a damned good job. Well, Mr. Klien and his posse of snot-nosed MBAs are indeed running the system. Right into the ground. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>What exactly do you think an educatin ought to be?<p><hr></blockquote><p>I think you need to teach them typing and how to reboot their computer when they get the blue screen of death. That will make them valuable cogs in the wheel. When was Milton born? Who gives a shiit who Milton was? Is that going to make the new college student money? <br><br>High school is becoming grade school so it's time to turn college into high school. The ultimate red shirting of the educational system. Or something.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
Not just a nerve, mojo--the whole nervous system. Back when political correctness meant that you couldn't say anything that might damage the sensibility of a person of whatever sort (minority, female, gay, etc., etc.) I blissfully ignored the movement, assuming that it would pass because people would come to their senses. But now it's clear that teh enforcement of political correctness will make it impossible to teach. And I include in political correctness the notion that every thing that little Johnny and little Susy learn has to be quantified and documented. I see the insidious way that works at the elementary school level when my wife comes home to tell me that her day is so thoroughly planned out according to the rule of the PSSA that she doesn't have time to have the kids read. It makes me absolutely furious . . . it really does.<br><br>. . . . . Here's lookin' at [color:red]you</font color=red> kid.
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
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