Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 03/09/2011

  • In this editorial, Representatives Dunshee and Hope argue that establishing a branch campus of Washington State University in Everett will allow more of our citizens to get the skills they need to fill 21st century jobs, such as those created by the Air Force refueling tanker deal won recently by Boeing. Without such opportunities, we will continue to bring in talent from other states (and countries).

    This is a continuation of the same tired, misleading rhetoric used in the debate for a standalone university, then a branch of the University of Washington.  The topic deserves, and will get get, a full Advisory Bored blog post, but for now let's just focus on the notation that Snohomish county residents aren't getting engineering degrees because of the distance to a college.  Attendance in engineering programs and all of STEM subjects has been dropping across the country for over a decade.  While the slide seems to have hit bottom, programs aren't bursting at the seams just yet.

    Hope and Dunshee seem to be taking a "if we build it they will come" attitude.  However, the idea that engineering enrollment will surge merely because of the geographic proximity to a school of engineering is laughable.  Which means that we will stop importing engineers and start importing engineering students.  Oh great!
  • The Herald's editorial board sides with the Governor in her efforts to consolidate the various education boards and committees into a single entity reporting directly to her (to the dismay of the publicly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction).

    I so rarely agree with any thing the Herald's editorial board has to say about education, the fact that I agree this time warrants a comment.  Our education system is many things, but it is not a system. Bringing focus to this effort by consolidating the groups is necessary, but not sufficient to bring about reform.

    One area were I disagree is the Herald's advise to leave high-ed out of the discussion.  Again, it's a system and all parts should be included.  The Herald's own article about Running Start the previous week should make that point.  But even without inclusion of post-secondary education, the reform is worth implementing.
  • Myandie Burton is a 67 year-old woman attending Edmonds Community College's adult basic education program to learn to read for the first time.  The article discusses her history and her return to school to learn to read and, perhaps, to earn a GED.

    Beyond the individual achievement story is another story about the profound impact basic adult education programs can have on families and communities. It is not critical that this woman at this time in her life earn a GED, but it sends a powerful message to those around her how important education is.  If we believe that all citizens need high school and beyond education to be successful, then a culture of education needs to be infused into all communities. Adult basic education is part of that effort.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 03/04/2011

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