Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Pell grants

Friday Morning Links!

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The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, for research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.

* Candyland and the nature of the absurd. #academicjobmarket

Why some studies make campus rape look like an epidemic while others say it’s rare. ‘1 in 5’: how a study of 2 colleges became the most cited campus sexual assault statistic. Study Challenges Notion That Risk of Sexual Assault Is Greater at College. Justice Dept.: 20% of Campus Rapes Reported to Police.

University Of Missouri-St. Louis Says Ferguson Shooting Caused Enrollment Drop.

* Greenpeace sorry for Nazca lines stunt in Peru. Oh, okay then.

* Yes we can! The measure, championed by Senate Democrats, would cut Pell Grants in order to free up money to pay companies that collect student loans on behalf of the Department of Education.

* Down and Out: The Democratic Party’s losses at the state level are almost unprecedented, and could cripple it for a long time to come.

* 21st-Century Postdocs: (Still) Underpaid and Overworked.

* We asked a legal evidence expert if Serial’s Adnan Syed has a chance to get out of prison. Meanwhile, allow Matt Thompson to tell you how Serial is going to end a week in advance.

* Good news from Rome: “All Animals Go to Heaven.” I’m really glad we settled this.

* My new sabbatical plan: NASA Will Pay You $170 Per Day To Lie In Bed.

* UC Berkeley Lecturer Threatened For Offering Injured Student Protesters Extra Time On Papers. On university administrations and the surveillance state.

CIA defenders are out in force now that a historic report has exposed a decade of horrific American shame. Torture didn’t work, but why aren’t the architects of torture in jail? Every discussion of this question begins from the false premise that the torturers were well-intentioned truth-seekers who “went too far.” The CIA knew, like everybody knows, that the point of torture is to extract confessions regardless of their truth. That’s why they did it.

* First, do no harm: Medical profession aided CIA torture.

* The Supreme Court Just Rejected A Wage Theft Suit Against Amazon. What Does It Mean For Other Workers?

* Capitalism’s gravediggers.

* “Late in life, Michel Foucault developed a curious sympathy for neoliberalism.” A response from Peter Frase: Beyond the Welfare State.

* Also at Jacobin: Interstellar and reactionaries in space.

* Behold the nightmare Manhattan would become if everyone commuted by car.

* Why James Cameron’s Aliens is the best movie about technology.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Marvel Wanted Spider-Man For Captain America 3, But Sony Said No. But the next 21 Jump Street movie can cross over with Men in Black because life is suffering.

* 7 Terrible Lightsaber Designs From the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I love the guy who is just covered in lightsabers from head to toe.

* Elderly man nailed for clever identity theft scheme: prosecutors say he changed victim’s name to his own.

* Censorship (Pasadena, California).

* The nation’s millionaires are #Ready4Hillary.

Student athletes at public universities in Michigan would be prohibited from joining labor unions to negotiate for compensation and benefits under legislation the state House approved Tuesday.

* Meet The Oldest Living Things in the World.

* And this used to be a free country: One of two concealed gun permit holders involved in a rolling shootout down Milwaukee streets and freeways last year was turned down Thursday when he asked a judge to order the return of the gun seized after the incident.

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Friday! Night! Links!

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Obama’s new education policy neatly showcases the spectrum of choice we now have in our political system: to be ground down a bit at a time by technocrats who either won’t admit to or do not understand the ultimate consequences of the policy infrastructures they so busily construct or to be demolished by fundamentalists who want to dissolve the modern nation-state into a panoptic enforcer of their privileged morality, a massive security and military colossus and an enfeebled social actor that occasionally says nice things about how it would be nice if no one died from tainted food and everyone had a chance to get an education but hey, that’s why you have lawyers and businesses.

These 11 Colleges Just Hit The Jackpot In Obama’s New Education Plan.

To take a plan that is not working in K-12 and apply it to 12-16 is asinine.

* One weird trick to lose 15 pounds in 15 minutes.

In May, Duke University announced plans to adopt one of the most extreme college sexual assault policies in history, changing the recommended sanction for perpetrators from suspension to expulsion. That means that whenever a student is found guilty of committing a sexual assault, expulsion is the first punishment the Duke disciplinary committee will consider.

UConn Considering Ban On Student-Faculty Sexual Relationships. Again: Considering?

* Towards a new understanding of the Amish: Amish Hackers.

A Long List of What We Know Thanks to Private Manning.

* The tax subsidy to religion is about 83 billion dollars a year.

* Joss Whedon attacks both Twilight and Empire. He doesn’t care who he hurts.

Earnings and Job Satisfaction of Humanities Majors.

N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project.

* Prince George enters the Veldt.

* What went wrong on Enterprise? The cast and crew fess up.

* And Fukushima continues to be a nightmare. That things were as bad as they were in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake is one thing — but it’s been years and the news only gets worse.

Obama’s Bad Idea Soup

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Lots of reactions to Obama’s terrible higher-ed plan in the world today, including my various rants and back-and-forths from Twitter yesterday afternoon.

* Chris Newfield: The Core Problems with ObamaEd.

Since no one wants big tuition hikes, the only way to increase the graduation rate is to make a major public reinvestment, starting with poor colleges with bad rates.  But President Obama didn’t call for major restoration or rebuilding of state investment in public colleges, and there is only one minor tool in his auditing kit that would encourage it.  His charge that colleges just raise fees and pass on the costs to the taxpayer smacked of Ronald Reagan’s waste, fraud, and abuse paradigm for public services.  This can only damage the future case for the new public revenues the sector obviously needs.

* Here’s How Colleges Are Going To Game Obama’s New Plan To Make Higher Education More Affordable. The trouble with college rankings.

* Disappointed, Not Surprised.

Bady said that was the most troubling part of the plan.

Obama “is putting all his chips in the MOOC basket,” he said. “No part of the plan is grounded in the reality-based community; it’s all buzzwords and fantasies that some future technology will magically lower costs. But none of these projects have really advanced beyond the ‘maybe someday it’ll lower costs’ stage; right now, it’s all speculation.”

The president’s reference to “offering colleges regulatory flexibility to innovate” is worrisome, he added, in that Obama may intend to extend online and MOOC programs a special exception from having to prove or demonstrate their value with actual results, “forcing colleges to defund tried and tested programs in favor of flavor-of-the-month Silicon Valley start-up partnerships.”

* And while we’re on the subject! On the phenomenon of bullshit (academic) jobs.

Weekend Links

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* CFP: Midwest Modern Language Association 2013 on Art & Artifice, November 7-10. Right here in Milwaukee!

* A disturbing catch from the MetaFilter thread on MOOCs: Obama has quietly decoupled Pell grants from accreditation, opening the door for full-throated neoliberal profiteering.

Last year, similar language tying federal aid to “value” was explicitly limited to a group of relatively minor aid programs. The Pell grant and loan programs that make up $140 billion in annual aid were excluded. No such restrictions appear here (although the President did refer to only “certain types” of aid in the speech itself.) But the real kicker is at the end: a new, alternative system of accreditation that would provide pathways for higher education models and colleges to receive federal student aid based on performance and results.

The existing accreditation club has been around since the end of the 19th century. It has had an exclusive franchise on determining federal financial aid eligibility since the middle of the 20th century. Opening a new doorway to the Title IV financial aid system would be an enormouschange, particularly when coupled with the phrase “higher education models and colleges.” The clear implication is that the higher education models that would eligible for federal financial aid through the alternate accreditation system wouldn’t have to be colleges at all. They could be any providers of higher education that meet standards of “performance and results.”

MOOCiversity, ho!

Think about it: When was the last time a college or university president produced an edgy piece of commentary, or took a daring stand on a contentious matter? 

* Disaster capitalism, Chicago style.

There aren’t any hurricanes in the Midwest, so how can proponents of privatization like Mayor Rahm Emanuel sell off schools to the highest bidder?

They create a crisis.

The Drone Industry Wants a Makeover. Dissent on drones.

* Malcolm Harris explains yellowism.

* The delightfully named Ben Kafka explains bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy, Kafka argues, can be everybody’s enemy, and can thus serve as the organizing principle for otherwise untenable alliances, like the one between eighteenth-century liberals and democrats, or between some contemporary working-class voters and the neoliberal elites they vote for. Sowing contempt for bureaucracy, in the form of lambasting all government efforts as inherently inefficient, full of “lazy” and “parasitical” civil servants and their “bloated” pensions, remains a potent tactic of right-wing populism, but whereas conservatives of old evoked a nostalgic class paternalism to cure paperwork’s ills, the American Right offers a myth of self-sufficiency, of everyone for themselves, with no claims to be filed and no burdens to be shared. Bureaucracy, on the other hand, comes to stand for the inevitable outcome of all types of collective power, the emblem of neutered individualism. And since paperwork is an evil that proliferates no matter what the form of government, it can seem irrelevant to mount any political fights to reform it. Politics is thus reduced to the pettiness of sorting out strictly personal grievances, which in turn worsens bureaucracy, as these sorts of selfish claims are precisely what bureaucracy exists to process.

* Duke professor proposes that students be required to produce a video summary of the dissertation. I actually think this kind of distillation can be really useful and productive — someone once told me you know you’re done with your dissertation when you can summarize its argument in one sentence — but making it an actual requirement is silly.

North Carolina is the only state that will clearly mark all people who are not U.S. citizens – everyone from business executives with “green cards” to students on visas – with a newly designed driver’s license coming this summer, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislation in all the states. History contains absolutely no examples of times when this kind of thinking has ever gone wrong, so I’m sure it’s a really good idea.

In other words, in the midst of a major national debate over America’s finances, 90% of Americans are wrong about the one basic detail that probably matters most in the conversation, while only 6% — 6%! — are correct.

A cottage at 71/2 West End Court in Long Branch where one-time renter Bruce Springsteen wrote “Born to Run” is up for sale for $349,900, said real estate agent Susan McLaughlin of Keller Williams Realty. Anyone want to go halfsies?

World Press Photo Of The Year: Nov. 20, 2012, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories: Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by and Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put into intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.

* Even Megan McArdle has stopped believing in meritocracy.

* And io9 on how your favorite cancelled science fiction series would have continued. Start your FlashForward fan fics now…