Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Links for 4/27/10

Forrest Hinton
this kind of competition among elementary and middle school teachers isn’t limited to bulletin boards. Teachers face pressure from their principals and peers to pull off impeccable school plays, make beautiful outdoor gardens, and stylize their doorframes in ways Van Gogh couldn’t imagine. The trouble with all of this is that teachers are competing to be the best in creating the illusion of learning rather than focusing their energies and resources on actually helping students learn.
The most common nationality of the students in my undergraduate class in the Netherlands is German. They pay the same fees as Dutch students. The same would be true for Dutch students in Germany — or in most other EU countries — under the agreements referred to as the Bologna Process…

The problem is that fees never cover average costs. Taxpayers in the net-receiving countries subsidize the education of net-sending countries’ students. I don’t see how this can be a stable equilibrium politically…
Peter Schmidt
Mr. Bastedo and Mr. Bowman say, "clearly, rankings drive reputation, and not the other way around," with the reputations of institutions appearing to change "in concert with the introduction and widespread use of a particular rankings system."

"From our perspective," the paper says, "the inclusion of reputation largely serves to maintain the status quo, establishing the credibility of the rankings and ensuring stability in results over time." But, given how susceptible reputational assessments are to anchoring effects and the close correlation between reputation scores and rankings, "reputation scores may add relatively little to the value of university rankings systems,"…
David Mulry
Students, however, are often not the main problem for the community-college professor. Administrators are.

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