Monthly Archives: June 2012

3 out of 4 Americans Feel Higher Ed is a Right

According to A Carnegie poll of 1,000 Americans, 3 out of 4 Americans believe access to higher education should be a right with nearly half (46 percent) of Americans believe this strongly.  In contrast, only 20 percent feel higher education is not a right with 9 percent feel that way strongly.

Details of the report are online at: Carnegie Corporation of New York: Carnegie Corporation Calls for Renewed Commitment in Higher Education.

WSJ on Higher Education cuts

The Wall Street Journal has a story outlining the cuts to higher education and the impact it may be having on competitiveness (” Funding Cuts Lead to University Battles, Warning From Panel“).

It’s good to see the Wall Street Journal and other major publications taking note of the declining support we’re getting from states. Now we need to get people to understand you can’t get something for nothing.

The Texas GOP platform

The 2012 Republican Platforms has a plank that states:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Anybody know what’s behind that (especially since the 2010 GOP platform specifically called for teaching critical thinking)? And, can we get the assessment mandates coming from the Coordinating Board labeled “Outcome-Based Education”?

Certificates and the future of higher education

A blog post at the Washington Post (“Are certificates the future of higher education?“) argues that certificates could rival traditional degrees in higher education’s future.

It’s an interesting argument. Traditionally in the US we have defined completion in relatively large large chunks. Are they smaller pieces of what we teach that could be valuable to students?

Competency-based education

There’s a good story on the barriers to competency-education catching on (“Barriers to competency-based education may be lifting, panel says‘). There’s growing interest in this approach but there are also lots of resistance.


On writing

I’d like to dedicate this strip to the copy editor on the last edition of our textbook.

Texas agencies asked to cut more

The Austin-American Statesman is reporting (“Texas agencies asked to cut more in spite of brighter financial outlook“) that state agencies have been instructed to submit budget proposals that do not exceed what they are getting in the current budget and provide plans for how to implement a 10 percent reduction during 2014-15.

I hope that the state begins by cutting money from the slush fund that the state uses for kickbacks to select businesses. If the state can’t afford to pay for public schools we can’t afford Formula One racing.

Online Cheating

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story about online cheating (“Online Courses Can Offer Easy A’s via High-Tech Cheating“). It reflects one of those worries a lot of us have when we think about online courses.