Category Archives: Uncategorized

Higher education spending by state

A story in Inside Higher Education (“A few states are spending more on higher ed than before the recession hit”) shows which state are rebounding in 2012-13 from the drop in higher ed spending associated with the economic downturn and which are still cutting support for schools.

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The good news is that states are starting to spend on higher education again. The bad news is that Texas is not.

 


Digital transcripts?

Inside Higher Ed has a story (“Colleges move to digital transcripts managed by outside firms“) that outlines the advantages of digital transcripts.

Isn’t it time we upgraded transcripts?

 


Higher-Ed Trends for 2014

National Journal has a story previewing  5 Higher-Ed Trends for 2014. The article identifies five broad trends that look likely to impact higher education this year. National Journal does excellent reporting and their list looks solid to me.


Grade Inflation

National Journal has a story (“Harvard Is Completely Ordinary When It Comes to Grade Inflation“) how an A has become the most common grade in the US and the average GPA has risen from 2.52 in 1966 to 3.11 in 2006.

The rise of grade inflation is on display every day at GradeInflation.com. The picture isn’t pretty.

Chart of grade inflation

This is a problem that faculty need to take responsibility for. Why aren’t we doing a better job holding the line?


Binge drinking and critical thinking skills

A story in Inside Higher ed (Study links binge drinking and low critical thinking skills, with a caveat“) reveals that students who enter college with poor critical thinking skills don’t develop these skills if they binge drink. That’s not surprising. However, students who start college with good critical thinking skills seem to seem not to have this problem.

 


Congress is talking about Higher Ed Reform

Congress seems to be getting more interested in looking at reforming accreditation and other aspects of higher education (“Calls from Washington for streamlined regulation and emerging models“). It’s hard to believe that they could break the deadlock they’ve experienced on other issues. However, more tinkering with higher ed seems inevitable.


Is Perry “Going After” UT-Austin?

New accusations that Rick Perry is trying to go after the University of Texas and President Bill Powers (“Willeford: Perry “Going After” UT-Austin, Powers“).

Perry probably has little real interest in going after UT. However, he has shown an inclination to tag along on some of the half-baked ideas spawned by Jeff Sandefer and other large donors. However, Perry is smart enough to avoid a public fight with the UT. He ditched Sandefer and this “reforms” every bit as quickly as he ditched mandatory HPV vaccines and the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Perry makes mistakes. He seldom repeats them.


A Guide to Grade Complainers

“Ms. Mentor” has some great advice in an article (“Taming the Complainers – Do Your Job Better“) about how to deal with those students who complain about grades.

 


The Risks of Performance-Based Funding

There’s a an interesting discussion on performance-based funding in a article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (“Trustees Hear About Risks of Performance-Based Support for Colleges“). Community college leaders are worried about  poorly designed incentives and  unintended consequences of such formulas.


Reduce cheating while improving learning

Here’s s short interview (“Author of new book discusses ways to reduce cheating and improve student learning“) with James Lang about some of what he learned as he looked more deeply at the causes of cheating and the kinds of assignments faculty can use that encourage learning while discouraging teaching.

It looks interesting. I’m adding Lang’s book to the long list of books I wish I had time to read.