Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 06/05/2011

  • Barbara Hulit, president of Fluke and board member of Washington STEM, offers her thoughts on growing a well educated local workforce for a technology focused economy.  While I don't fundamentally disagree with any of her points, I do think she is missing something.  Like so many others, she fails to address the more significant problem of student disinterest in these fields which has plagued STEM for a decade or more.  Certainly the numbers have stabilized or rebounded slightly, but our best intentions won't lead to any improvements if there isn't a significant interest among students in these programs.  It will be interesting to what the program she cites in the article.

    What if you build it and they don't come?

  • Not all local political leaders think the WSU takeover of University Center is a good idea.  Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and Rep. Luis Moscoso weigh in on the subject, suggesting that the WSU proposal does nothing to strengthen educational opportunities and that we must be more focused in the allocation of limited resources.

  • The Herald's editorial board thinks much work lies ahead in establishing a trusting relationship between WSU and the other partner institutions at University Center if the larger goal of expanded educational opportunities is to be achieved.

    I would ask the Herald's editorial board just exactly why they think any of these partners would participate.  Seriously, these institutions have worked hard to establish these programs and to build up the University Center.  The editorial board would have them give it their all for a couple more years so WSU can create a plan to get rid of them.  Really?  You think that's something they ought to do?  Really?

    When it comes to 4-year education in Snohomish county, the Herald's editorial board has completely lost all sense of reason.  

  • Jerry Cornfield provides the background on the journey to the get Washington State University to take up residence on the Everett Community College campus with the long term goal of creating a 4-year, degree granting institution here in Snohomish county.

    While the legislation will make the coordinator for the multi-college University Center program at EvCC, there are no solid plans nor funding to move beyond this arrangement.  It seems to me that we risk losing eduction opportunities if the other existing partner colleges pull out of University Center or if the recently announced WGU online university takes hold.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advisory Bored Reading List 06/04/2011

  • Nicole Brodeur in the Times thinks the Washington legislature missed the mark related to education in the most recent session.  We cut pay across the board, but didn't build in any accountability for performance, Perhaps, Brodeur thinks, we need to lower our expectations for schools.  

  • PayPal tycoon Peter Thiel has started to award his 20 Under 20 scholarship, $100,000 to skip college for now and venture out to start an innovative business instead.  Thiel has been in the news lately for his thoughts on the education bubble and what he considers a lack of innovation.  

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/16/2011

  • Peter Thiel is a Pay Pal co-founder thinks we're in a bubble, again, and this time the bubble is education.  He says “A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed”, noting that you can't question the value of education today.

    And if you think about it, our description of education sounds an awful lot like our description of housing a few years ago (and internet stocks a few years before that).  Everyone needs to own property (bachelor's degree).  The value of property (education) never goes down. Borrow the money for property (education) and buy now -- it's an investment.

    Perhaps our problem is that we confuse education - life long learning - with degrees.  While ongoing learning/relearning has never been more critical to individual success, the value proposition of a 4-year degree in the first 4 years after high school becomes ever more questionable.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/15/2011

  • Truly a sad commentary.  The only state education institution that didn't participate in the University Center is the one that will be allowed to run it in the future.

    My favorite quote was "providing new approaches to old problems". Honestly, this providing old approaches to new problems.  But hey, it's only money.  We got plenty of it for post-secondary education.  Sigh ........  

  • Danny Westneat doesn't pull any punch in this article about the UW's decision to enroll more out-of-state students. In his opinion, the UW is doing exactly what we asked them to do - to get by with less and less money.

    "Sheesh, we weren't even willing to go along with a temporary, 2-cents-per-can tax on soda pop last year. Now we're going to get all indignant when the UW looks to the other 49 states because we're too cheap?"

    As Westneat points out, the funding is only going to get worse. The state paid 70% - 80% for the cost for me to attend the UW back in the ... well just you never mind. It's fallen to 45% today and heading south.

    Westneat thinks we need to fund education as we had in the past, but I have to wonder if that's possible. It's a lot easier to subsidize 80% of a student's tuition if only 10% of graduating high school seniors go on to college. In a world where k-16 is almost mandatory of the "best paying" jobs, well that's a lot of money.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/11/2011

  • Nice letter to the editor of the Everett Herald questioning the value of WSU running the University Center at EvCC.  I don't fully agree that north Snohomish county needs its own university, but her challenges to the idea of a "employer-centric" educational program and the replacement of the University Center with a WSU branch are right on target.

    WSU has done nothing to earn that position.  They failed to establish a presence at University Center when all the other universities choose to participate.   
  • Everett Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein tries to put a "face" on the UW entrance issue - where students with extremely hight GPA's aren't getting in.  As is often the case, Muhlstein's article seems short on analysis and heavy on drama.

    I've got several issues with the article, but my biggest is this sense that the UW is the only university worth going to in this state.  The former student featured couldn't get into the UW, so went out of state.  Huh?  No WSU, no Western, not even Evergreen?  Could have got two years at a local CC then transferred in as a junior.

    The mindset that every kid must go to the UW in the four years following high school graduation absurd.  Elite schools leave good students out, that's what elite means. Sometimes it just a numbers game, too many students chasing too few openings.

    I have little sympathy for the students or parents left out this year.  It won't be the end of their life.
  • The Virginia Board of Education has mandated local school boards to develop policies for teachers and the use of social media to interact with student following one particular molestation case.  But other teachers have found the tools useful from an educational standpoint. The article sites an example of one teacher using Twitter to help students write more concisely.  The question is how districts will balance the benefits of the tools with the misuses.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.