Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Links for 10/13/10

Ali Akbar Dareini
Iran’s leader issued a decree yesterday paving the way for a state takeover of the country’s largest private university, in a crushing blow to the nation’s moderates.

The Islamic Azad University is the center of power for the Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a pragmatist and key supporter of Iran’s moderates.

The institution, founded in 1982, was a major site for opposition protests against the 2009 disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which opponents say was fraudulent.
The decree of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, declared the university’s endowment, which keeps it financially independent, to be religiously illegitimate and therefore null and void…
Joanne Jacobs
Some 80 percent of new nurses should earn a bachelor’s degree before entering the profession, urges a new report. Nurses with two-year degrees would have to earn a bachelor’s within five years. Community college leaders charge degree inflation: Associate-degree nurses are just as likely to pass the licensing test as nurses with four-year degrees.
Kevin Carey
The Chronicle is publishing a series of articles titled "Measuring Stick," which explores the highly charged debate over assessing how much college students learn. The reaction from readers has been fascinating. While many embrace the assessment challenge, others reject it on principle. "I did not give birth to any of these students, and I am, therefore, not responsible for their ability or inability to learn anything," wrote one.

But even those with a more enlightened view of their teaching responsibilities tend to balk at anything that hints of standardization and comparability. Subjecting university teaching to the kind of public, widely shared standards of quality that we routinely apply to university research remains a bridge too far. Learning is too complex, we are told, and the available measures too crude. The specters of homogenization and government control are often invoked, and for good reason. It's not hard to imagine the consequences of assessment done wrong.

It is, by contrast, hard to fully imagine the consequences of assessment done right…

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