Higher Education Quick Takes
Two Kentucky newspapers -- The Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal -- recently obtained open records showing that the reported attendance at University of Kentucky football games far exceeded what some people would consider actual attendance (the number of actual tickets scanned at each game). When the journalists attempted to find the data for the last home game, they found that they couldn't get it. As The Courier-Journal reported, the university announced that it was no longer keeping attendance -- so it had no information to give out.
The 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order is going to the authors of a book on non-violence. Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the University of Denver, and Maria Stephan, a foreign affairs officer with the U.S. State Department, were honored for Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict, published by Columbia University Press published the book in 2011. The award is worth $100,000.
The McGraw-Hill Companies has sold its education division to Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. Lloyd G. (Buzz) Waterhouse, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education, said in an interview Monday that customers who use McGraw-Hill products and services should expect "very little" change in the short term, "and definitely not a change in service levels." Waterhouse said that the company would continue to expand in digital education, and that -- as a private company -- "we won't need to worry about short-term focus and pressures."
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to hear Liberty University's challenge to provisions of President Obama's health care overhaul. The Fourth Circuit had dismissed Liberty's lawsuit contesting the health care law's provisions on the employer mandate to provide insurance and contraception coverage, citing the fact that the provisions had not yet taken effect. But the Supreme Court said that its ruling this summer upholding the overall health care law did not preclude Liberty's suit.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, on Monday called for community colleges -- many of which in his state already offer bachelor's degrees -- to do so for total student costs of $10,000, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Those community colleges with bachelor's programs generally cost more than that. Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has championed the idea of the $10,000 degree and several such programs have launched in Texas. But close analysis of the programs suggests that students in other programs are subsidizing the $10,000 program students, and that the reforms have been more about pricing (for a small number) rather than college costs generally.
Four music students at the conservatory of Baldwin Wallace University face charges that they were stealing equipment and chemicals from the university to set up a lab to produce the drug ecstasy, The Plain Dealer reported. The article details the investigation into the students, and the role of their text messages in implicating themselves. Dennis Bort, the lead investigator for the local police, said some of the texts were funny. One student messaged that "he had a really sweet hat" for a break-in and was told by one of his alleged drug partners that "a fedora is not B-and-E [breaking and entering] wear."
Alabama State University's board has placed its president, in office only since September, on leave, Alabama.com reported. Citing various press reports in the state, the article said that the president, Joseph Silver, said he was being forced out because he had tried to fire two officials for insubordination. One of those officials has now been named interim president.
Each day, the College Board offers an online "Official SAT Question of the Day" to help students prepare. The question also indicates what percentage of those who tried it answered correctly. The question for Friday shows an unusually low correct answer rate (28 percent). But that may not reflect a weakness in mathematics education. Until some time over the weekend, the College Board's website was telling people who answered correctly that they were wrong, and those who selected one of the incorrect answers that they were correct.
The question: If 24/15 = 4/n, what is the value of 4n
Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote at the website of Rational Mathematics Education that he answered B (the correct answer) and was told by the website that the correct answer was A. He also noted that the explanation for the incorrect answer (A) actually pointed to B being the real answer.
Michael Pearson, executive director of the Mathematical Association of America, said that the explanations were correct from the start (even when the answer was incorrect), so that "it's clear that someone simply set the wrong answer among the multiple-choice selections."
In an e-mail Sunday, a College Board spokeswoman confirmed that the error was in programming the answer key, and said that "we have resolved the issue and apologize for any confusion this may have caused."
Saint Augustine's University, in North Carolina, is in talks with Saint Paul's College, in Virginia, to acquire the institution, The News & Observer reported. Both institutions are historically black and were founded by the Episcopal Church. Saint Paul's lost its accreditation in June, setting off concerns about the viability of the institution without its students being eligible for federal aid. (Accreditation has been restored by a court injunction.) If Saint Paul's became a part of Saint Augustine's, the former could operate under the accreditation of the latter.