Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘flexible online degrees

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.

* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

Monday Night Links

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* Communists attempt to play climate change movie in North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, heroic museum director stops them.

* I was neither a drug addict nor an alcoholic, nor was I a criminal. But I had committed one of the more basic of American sins: I had failed. In eight years, my career had vanished, then my savings, and then our home. My family broke apart. I was alone, hungry, and defeated.

* From the archives: a 1998 piece on adjunctification from Salon asks whether “going adjunct” will be the next “going postal.” We’ve come a long way, I guess?

* UW’s flexible degree program begins accepting applications today.

* FFS: Texas Conservative Student Group To Hold ‘Catch An Illegal Immigrant’ Game.

The postdoc stage, when you’re doing your best impersonation of a human pinball, usually comes about in your late 20s or early 30s. It’s a time when it seems like all your non-academic friends are buying houses, getting married, having babies, and generally living what looks like a regular grown-up life. Meanwhile, chances are you’re residing in a single room in a short-term rental, wondering which country you’ll be living in next year. If you’re a woman, you might be keeping an eye on the latest research on fertility in older mothers, and mentally calculating how long you actually need to know someone before deciding to reproduce with them, because by the time you’re in one place long enough to think about settling down you’ll be, at best, pushing 40.

* I feel sure I’ve made this joke before: It’s a Wonderful Life Sequel in Development.

An oil company will pay a $60,000 penalty for discharging fracking fluid into an unlined pit in Kern County. Why not fine them $1 and be done with it?

* Meanwhile: House To Vote On Bill That Would Impose $5,000 Fee For Protesting Drilling Projects.

* Wal-Mart now accepting donations for their own employees following a mere $12 billion dollars in profit last year.

* How Not To Be A Male Feminist.

* Why do colleges tie academic careers to winning the approval of teenagers? When Students Rate Teachers, Standards Drop. (Thanks for the link, dad!)

* George Zimmerman arrested again.

* Tyler Cowen for one welcomes our new robot overlords.

* Happy days are here again!

* And Bernie is threatening to run for president in 2016.

Choose Between a Three-Month “All You Can Learn” Approach for $2,250 or an “Assessment Only” a La Carte Option

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Students in the new programs will be able to choose between a three-month “all you can learn” approach for $2,250 or an “assessment only” a la carte option where they pay for specific competency exams to progress through a degree program.

UW-Milwaukee has Higher Learning Commission approval to offer the following flexible degrees: a bachelor’s in nursing, a bachelor’s in diagnostic imaging, a bachelor’s in information science and technology, and a certificate in professional and technical communication. UWM plans to add another program, a master’s in nursing, in fall 2014.

UW System’s Flexible Option program gets $1.2 million grant from a foundation hooked up with ALEC. What could go wrong?

From the archives: Is the UW System Selling its Birthright for a Mess of Pottage? I’ve said this before, but the next step has got to be potential-based degrees. If we know from science that you could get the degree, do we really have to go through all the rigamarole of your actually getting it? Just take this IQ test instead.

Tuesday Links Soldier On

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* The tragedy of Cooper Union.

Then, when you turn the corner and look at what hulks across the street from the main Cooper Union building, you can see where a huge amount of the money went: into a gratuitously glamorous and expensive New Academic Building, built at vast expense, with the aid of a $175 million mortgage which Cooper Union has no ability to repay.

The bland name for the building is a symptom of the fact that Cooper’s capital campaign, designed to raise the money for its construction, was a massive flop: no one gave remotely enough money to justify putting their name on the building. It’s also a symptom of the fact that no one on the board had any appetite for naming it after George Campbell, the main architect of the scheme which involved going massively into debt in order to construct this white elephant.

Campbell, pictured grinning widely in a now-notorious 2009 WSJ article, claimed that Cooper was a financial success story when in fact it was on the verge of collapse. He’s the single biggest individual villain in the Cooper story, and it’s a vicious irony that Cooper’s latest Form 990 shows him being paid $1,307,483 in 2011 — after he left Cooper’s presidency. (Cooper Union explainsthat the amount represents six years of “deferred compensation/retention payments”, but the timing couldn’t be worse.)

Campbell’s enablers and cheering squad were a small group of trustees, many of them Cooper-trained engineers gone Wall Street, who had so internalized the ethos of the financial world that it never occurred to them that they shouldn’t be constantly trying to get bigger and better and shinier. Campbell was paid $668,473 in his last year at Cooper — he was one of the highest-paid college presidents in the country, despite running a naturally small institution with serious space and money constraints. Board-member financiers enabled his dreams of growth and glory, hoping that some of the glamor from the newly-revitalized institution would reflect back on themselves. Naturally, when the whole project turned out to be a disaster, they scurried ignobly off the board as fast as they could.

Duke University faculty members, frustrated with their administration and skeptical of the degrees to be awarded, have forced the institution to back out of a deal with nine other universities and 2U to create a pool of for-credit online classes for undergraduates.

The Adjunctification of Academic Librarianship.

At this point, both parties really just represent different fractions of the 1%; Wall Street funds both, but where the Republicans are supported largely by business, especially the extractive industries, the Democratic Party has become that of the upper echelons of the professional and managerial classes: of university administrators, museum board directors, doctors, lawyers, designers and marketing consultants.

The debt debate is reminiscent of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In a grand inversion, minor characters have usurped center stage, while the more important ones are out of sight. The Debt We Shouldn’t Pay.

* Also at NYRoB: Wikipedia’s Women Problem.

* The right to work less: Not only does the U.S. economy tend to produce lots of bad jobs, U.S. workers tend to spend far too much of their time doing them. In 2009, the average U.S. worker worked 1,681 hours compared to 1,390 in Germany. Germany’s experiments withkurzarbeit, a government program that provides income support to workers who accept reduced hours, has helped it avoid the problems of high and long-term unemployment that confront us here in the U.S. Instead of fighting for more work, much of which is likely to be bad, how about fighting for less work for everybody? This could be a very effective way to make sure that there are enough jobs to go around for everyone while limiting the amount of time workers spend in deadening, alienating labor.

* Science! “Our findings confirm that beardedness affects judgments of male socio-sexual attributes and suggest that an intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring,” the researchers wrote.

* US soldier found alive after 44 years in Vietnam.

What is the legal justification for signature strikes? What qualifies as a “signature” that would prompt a deadly strike? Do those being targeted have to pose a threat to the United States? And how many civilians have been killed in such strikes? The administration has rebuffed repeated requests from Congress to provide answers – even in secret.

Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin.

* And just in from the local tourism board: 100 things to do in Wisconsin this summer.

Friday Links! Tons of Them! Not All of Them Depressing!

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* The kids are all right: the editorial in the Marquette Tribune today is anti-edX, anti-robo-graders.

* MOOC as intellectual neocolonialism. Why online education is mostly a fantasy. The MOOC monster will never be satisfied.

* “I can’t tell you how disappointed I am,” said State Sen. Alberta Darling at Tuesday’s hearing. “Here we have accounts of tuition being squirreled away at the same time you raised tuition. What was your intent?” Scenes from the war on higher education in Wisconsin.

* Depression and graduate school.

* On “disruption.”

Perhaps it is the self-aggrandizement the authors seem to share with the ballooning employer-fix-it crowd, but when I encountered this perennial theory in The Innovator’s Prescription, I finally realized that everything I learned as a bartender at HBS was true: things do work out perfectly when we all nod in agreement, sketch it out on cocktail napkins, and congratulate each other for being in each other’s presence.

Hundreds of Chicago Students Walk Out of Standardized Test. Chicago Public Schools cancels district-mandated standardized test for kindergartens and first graders.

What does the ubiquitous cheating in reform-era education mean? It means that reformers are so dumb they can’t even set up arbitrary benchmarks for success; they literally fail their own tests despite having written the questions and answers themselves. Imagine a panel of fish oil salesmen riddled with arthritis and clearly suffering from memory loss and you get some idea. What the cheating proves is that these people are liars and cheats, but more than that, it proves that the systems of accountancy and auditing promoted by the liars and cheaters are themselves a lie. The reform is doubly fraudulent.

US schools weigh bulletproof uniforms: ‘It’s no different than a seatbelt in a car.’ Well, maybe it’s a little different. Can we agree it’s a little different?

In short, it’s time to cash out of capitalism. Here at http://stocktips.gerrycanavan.com we’ve been rating capitalism as a DON’T BUY for years.

Workplace Safety and the Gilded Age Theory of Risk. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladesh’s garment workers walk out in protest over factory deaths. Yglesias shrugs.

* Surprise! The Hostess bankruptcy was union-busting.

A 2010 report produced by a Dallas investment house found that aside from the richest of the rich, among the remaining 90 percent of NFL players, nine in ten of them would be insolvent within ten years of retirement.

* UCLA professor let his students “cheat” on a game theory midterm. I can’t decide if he should have flunked the Lone Wolves or given them A+s.

* Matt Weiner says Mad Men season six is structured by the Wikipedia entry for Dante’s Inferno.

The spectacle has to be shaped carefully so that suffering takes on the qualities of an elevating narrative the audience can feel part of, an affirmative allegory of capitalism in which hard work and energetic competition show us the most worthy, the winners. Jacobin vs. the Oscars.

* Rachel Maddow vs. Alex Jones.

May the curse of labor be cursed, may the ineluctability of production become its sorrow.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever.

* And I hate it when politicians break kayfabe. As my friend @mikemccaffrey put it: “Can you please identify the president who assaulted your democracy in this lineup?”

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Wednesday Morning

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spxdrop* The wisdom of markets: hacked @AP Twitter account sends Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling 150 points in a few seconds.

* Handy charts reveal why you’ve never heard of most female SF authors.

* Florida approves online-only public university education.

* Graduate school and the peak-end heuristic. It’s a thing!

* The retirement scam.

* First lawsuits files in the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.

* Reports trickling out about police interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

* And the ricin case gets weirder and weirder.

* Bad news, Game of Thrones fans: You are mispronouncing Daenerys’s honorific, Khaleesi.

Peterson, who has a masters in linguistics from the University of California–San Diego and founded the Language Creation Society, spent twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for two months working on the proposal that landed him the Thrones job. When he was finished, he had more than 300 pages of vocabulary and notes detailing how the Dothraki language would sound and function. “The application process favored those of us who were unemployed at the time, which I was,” Peterson laughed.

* Cooper Union Trustees Vote to Impose $19,000 Tuition.

* Chicago Sun-Times begs students not to participate in standardized-testing boycott.

* A Conversation with a Single Mom Living on $40,000 a Year.

* School Principal Discouraged Teen Girl from Reporting Sexual Assault Because It Would Ruin Attacker’s Basketball Career. I mean really.

* And a little something for the whatthefuckaricans out there: Marc Maron…IN SPACE.

All the Monday Links (A Ton)

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* You can read my review of Dan Hassler-Forest’s Capitalist Superheroes (“No Dads: Cuckolds, Dead Fathers, and Capitalist Superheroes“) as the free preview for the Los Angeles Review of Books Digital Edition on Science Fiction.

“We have been dismayed by news reports of a handful of colleges and universities that have threatened to cut the courseloads of part-time faculty members specifically in order to evade this provision of the law,” a statement from the American Association of University Professors reads. “Such actions are reprehensible, penalizing part-time faculty members both by depriving them access to affordable health care as intended by law and by reducing their income.” More at the Chronicle.

18th-Century Connecticutian or Muppet?

Film School Thesis Statement Generator. This is uncannily good.

Mad Men calls into question the post-war crisis of masculinity through its strategic use of narrative ellipses.

* The people vs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Cathy Davidson explains why she’s teaching a MOOC. Since I know Cathy (a little) and feel bad about disagreeing so absolutely completely with her, I’ll just leave it there.

Socialism, not capitalism, will get kids out of the mines and away from the drive-through window. And we can’t create that future until we stop the present. Gavin Mueller vs. the machines, in Jacobin‘s special issue on work and automation.

It is insufficient to respond by pointing to productivity gains to justify automation — that’s a management trick. Automation’s prime function is to destroy the ability of workers to control the pace of work. The results are bloody. As Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin document in Detroit, I Do Mind Dying, while management attributed productivity gains in the auto industry to automation, black workers credited “niggermation”: the practice of forcing them to work at high speeds on dangerous machinery.

Such shocking terminology underscores a crucial truth. Robots weren’t responsible for those cars; rather, it was brutalized black bodies. A 1973 study estimated that sixty-five auto workers died per day from work-related injuries, a higher casualty rate than that of American soldiers in Vietnam. Those who survived often suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This bloodbath is directly attributable to the disempowering effects of automation. Had workers retained control, they wouldn’t have worked at such a deadly pace.

Life on Mars to become a reality in 2023, Dutch firm claims.

AIDS ‘Patient Zero’ was a publicity strategy, scholar writes.

* How damaged are NFL players’ brains?

* Violence, mournability, and West, Texas.

* Movies in Color, The Color Palettes of Stills from Famous Films. More links below Stevesie.

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Can slaughterhouses be humane?

* Bad news, everyone.

* Four college coeds dream of trading their rote lecture halls and cinderblock dorms—is this a for-profit university?—for the debauchery of Florida spring break. Standing between them and their escape is a shortage of ready cash. Lacking alternatives like Mastercards, they solve their liquidity crisis by knocking over a local fried chicken joint. Most jarring in these opening moments is not the violence of the robbery, but the obviously incredible possibility that four college students in the United States lack access to easy credit. After all, what is a student today without the potential for indebtedness? “High as Finance,” from The New Inquiry‘s critical supplement on Spring Breakers.

Gunfire Erupts at Denver Pro-Marijuana 4/20 Celebrations, Injuring Three. Gunman Sought After Shootout at Nuclear Power Plant in Tennessee.

* Spoiler alert: They’re going to overfish the Arctic till it dies.

* Graeber vs. austerity.

* The headline reads, “China Wants to Ban Superstition, Mandate Science.”

* Disney said no to Iron Man 3: Demon in a Bottle. The fools.

Despite allegations that he knew about a rape and tried to protect his players who committed it, despite widespread criticism that he didn’t punish his team enough and that he should be fired, and despite a grand jury that could charge him looming next week, the powerful Steubenville High football coach Reno Saccocia has been approved for a two-year administrative contract, the city superintendent confirmed to The Atlantic Wire Monday afternoon.

* Presenting the Calvin and Hobbes app.

* And “university professor” is only the 14th best job in the country. Damn you, actuaries!