Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 3:00am

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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jeremy Green of King’s College London explains how Alan Turing’s mathematical genius continues to guide scientists more than fifty years after his death. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 3:00am

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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 3:00am

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."

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:11am

Governor Chris Gregoire, who is finishing her time leading Washington State, has appointed her daughter to the board of the Seattle Community Colleges, The Seattle Times reported. The appointment was made October 29, but was not announced until Tuesday. A spokesman for the governor said that Courtney Gregoire, a lawyer for Microsoft who has worked as a legislative director in the U.S. Senate and deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Commerce, has "more than ample experience to serve on this community college board."

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Florida officials have agreed to declare Florida Christian College's students eligible for a state student aid program, settling a lawsuit by the college, The News Service of Florida reported. The college "requires a Bible emphasis of all who earn a degree," and Florida officials had declared it too sectarian for its students to qualify for state aid. But the college argued that its programs have secular educational purposes, and that the state was discriminating against the college on the basis of its religious beliefs.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:15am

The Kansas City Art Institute is suing Larry and Kristina Dodge, for whom the art college named a building, because they haven't made good on a $5 million pledge to pay for the project, The Kansas City Star reported. The institute says that it has a valid legal agreement with the Dodges, and that it made the decision to go ahead with the building based on that pact. The Dodges say that they are struggling financially in the wake of the economic downturn and can't afford to give the money. Kristina Dodge told the Star that the art institute is "completely ruthless and heartless."

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 3:00am

A Texas jury last week ordered H. Scott Norville, the head of Texas Tech University's civil and environmental engineering department, to pay $590,000 for defaming and physically assaulting a former faculty member, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. Norville declined to comment on the finding. R. Scott Phelan, the former faculty member, had received positive reviews from the department and had been winning outside grants. But he charged that he was denied tenure in retaliation for reporting to the university that he believed Norville was using university time and equipment for a consulting business -- charges Norville disputed.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Football coaches' salaries continue to increase, even as raises for most of those who work in higher education remain modest, according to a new analysis from USA Today. The average salary for head coaches at major college football programs is $1.64 million, up nearly 12 percent in a year. Further, the newspaper found this shift: while six years ago, 42 coaches earned at least $1 million, this year 42 coaches earned at least $2 million.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 3:00am

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

A. 6

B. 10

C. 12

D. 30

E. 60

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."

 

 

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