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September 1, 2011
Earlier this week I had a pair of meetings right on top of each other that made for a hell of a contrast.The first involved a discussion of academic programs that haven’t been achieving the results they should. When I suggested that years of sustained underperformance constituted a pretty good case for trying something different, I was upbraided by a long-tenured professor who was Shocked and Appalled that I would dare to suggest that the program was anything less than perfect. As far as she was concerned, the only possible formula for improvement involved more of the same.
September 1, 2011
My Kindle is cannibalizing my media consumption. Not so much the Kindle device, which I look forward to Amazon making big improvements upon. It is more the Kindle ecosystem, specifically the ability to instantly purchase any newly published book for the cost of a softcover. This week I purchased Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers the day it came out ($12.99). No waiting the interminable 2 days for Amazon to ship the book.
September 1, 2011
When I was in my graduate program in economics, and chose Labor Economics as one of my fields, I would joke that I would someday deliver a baby and be, once again, “in labor.” Today, I remain a labor economist who focuses on the economics of nonprofit organizations, and it is this background in labor economics that makes me reflect this weekend as our country celebrates “Labor Day.”
September 1, 2011
According to the Chair of my program – my application had to be “pretty dismal” in order to be rejected. She was being flippant of course; she had carefully reviewed my transcript and suggested a couple of courses to take to increase my chances of acceptance. However her point really was to warn me that being a part-time student meant that I wouldn’t be offered funding, implying that there wasn’t much reason to reject my application, assuming that I met all eligibility requirements.
August 31, 2011
What’s the role of ESL at a community college?It isn’t obvious.ESL refers to English as a Second Language. In many states, responsibility for ESL classes falls on community colleges. It can be an awkward fit, since it isn’t obvious how to gauge success.One model puts ESL alongside other languages. If we give general education credit for, say, French 1, then why shouldn’t we for ESL 1?
August 31, 2011
Do you work with someone who works remotely? Do you have someone on your team who telecommutes full-time, or a significant part of each month? Are you working at a distance?
August 31, 2011
Today my daughter starts second grade, my step-daughter moves into the dorms at a college four hours away, and I prepare to meet my own students when my class begins next week.These are different kinds of beginnings. This is my first semester as an administrator; I’m teaching just one course and so my schedule will not change significantly when classes resume. My daughter has her first male teacher and will be in a combined second/third grade, but she’s still at the same (wonderful) public school with all of her friends.
August 31, 2011
It seems the political party that's been prattling on about the failure of the US education system is absolutely correct.But they're not going to like the evidence.
August 31, 2011
[Editor's note: This blog is the first of two parts. It is also complements Scott McLemee's piece today, "Education is in the Streets".]

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