July 30, 2009

Beer summits for all!

I'm stuck (or indulging) in a weeks-long catchup mode for giant amoeba-like tasks, and I'm doing my best to avoid looking at e-mail more than once every day or so.

It's mid-summer on campus, and I will admit that part of my e-mail slowdown is fear of what will pop up as much as a desire to get my own work done. The summer is silly season as much in academe as in politics because many faculty are out of town on various expeditions, serious and not, and the downtime is when both serious and absurd ideas float without mooring. (The upside: staff can get a lot accomplished if not interrupted. The destructive potential is that some administrators or staff might try to create a fait accompli in the summer without having to run things by faculty, though I can understand sometimes why that could be tempting.) I've seen at least one absurd farce this summer, as well as a host of serious issues that I suspect would not be popping up in the academic year (which has a different potential for absurdity). But I've had to deal with enough real emergencies in the past year that I am on e-mail hiatus for most of each day in the next few weeks.

And if things go wrong on stuff that isn't a dire emergency, I have the solution: more beer summits! Have a disagreement with me or my union? Let's sit down with a pint each and hash it out. And even if you don't like Bud Light, Red Stripe, or Blue Moon, you can have your pick. That includes gluten-free beer for those with celiac disease, or something other than beer if that's just not your cup of ... beer. You understand, right?

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Posted in The academic life at 9:12 AM (Permalink) |

July 27, 2009

Talking turkey on "Race to the Top"

The hoopla surrounding the draft "Race to the Top" guidelines have obscured the long-game strategy involved here. If you think about the structure of the funds--more discretionary money than the U.S. Department of Education has ever had before, competitive grant system, and a set of priorities that the Duncan department has been signaling for six months--there are two guesses I have about the broader goals:

  1. The double-shot of grants over the next year is intended to be the first of two or three shots of large amounts of discretionary money for the department.
  2. Duncan's learned about vicarious reinforcement and intends to use it here.

The obvious initial "winners" will be states such as Florida which have a number of the required elements in place and are ready to go on a few payoff projects. But there will also be a few very large states left in the cold (and without that extra funding) after these first two rounds of awards. What if California is one of those states out in the cold? Or New York? There will be local pressure from school boards and administrators on members of Congress to continue feeding money to the department until their states land at least one award.

In the long game, the fact that Race to the Top can't bail California out is not really the issue, and I disagree with Mike Klonsky's assumption that this is an attempt to starve the states into submission. While I think a number of people would have preferred a larger ARRA stimulus fund, I don't think you can claim that the Obama administration has acted at all as if it wants thousands of teachers fired. Far more likely is the ordinary political dynamics of federal programs: no one wants to be without a slice of the pie. For these reasons, if it were legal to place a bet of this kind, I'd give rather interesting odds that California loses out big in the first two swats at Race to the Top money. 

And speaking of misdirected Mikes, Mike Antonucci is wrong about the teachers union dynamics in Race to the Top. While my higher-ed local has both the AFT and NEA as affiliates, I'm generally out of the loop on national headquarters stuff, but I can see the writing on the wall: one of the unions may well push in the regulatory process to increase the leverage of state affiliates, not to eliminate the requirement on linkability of teachers to student data. The best thing that the national affiliates can do is help state affiliates' negotiating position with their own state departments of education. If two states' applications are similar, but only one has a letter of support from their state affiliate's (or affiliates') elected officers, both the NEA and AFT need the state with union support in the application to have an advantage. (There are some interesting dynamics here vis-a-vis merged state affiliates, but the larger incentive at the national level is to help all state affiliates.)

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Posted in Education policy at 1:34 PM (Permalink) |

July 25, 2009

Temporizing and teasing on tests and teacher evaluation

I still don't have time to expand at length on combining qualitative and quantitative sources of data for teaching evaluation, but given the hoopla surrounding the draft Race to the Top regulations, I should at least provide an update, or rather a bit of a tease for what's developing into a short paper-to-be. In addition to my fairly general understanding of some technical issues, I'm developing the argument that any point-based system for combining professional judgment and test scores needs to avoid fixed weights for the components of the system.

The explanation is not that technical, and I can sketch it here: the benefit of a truly Bayesian approach to using test scores to evaluate teachers is a reciprocal relationship between the decision-making authority of professional judgment and the power of other data (including test scores). A forceful judgment by professionals reduces the power of test scores in such a system, while tepid judgments increase the power of test scores. That is one possible solution to the thorny question of relative weights: if educators are willing to judge their own, test scores are less important (addressing the concerns of teachers unions and many administrators), but if educators are not willing to judge their own, test scores are more important (addressing the concerned of those criticizing the very low proportion of teachers given poor evaluations). 

In a point-based system with fixed weights (or fixed percentages of the total) assigned to individual components, you don't have a structure with a reciprocal relationship between the exercise of professional judgment and the authority of test-score data. But I think the dynamic benefits of a Bayesian approach can be created in a point system, as long as the weights are not fixed. I need to think through the potential approaches, but it's possible.

There: that's the tease.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein at 3:16 PM (Permalink) |

July 22, 2009

On the proper state of being bothered

Are you bothered?

Seasonal bother: It's summer in Florida, and if you park a car anywhere outside a meat locker, touching a steering wheel earns you a second-degree burn.

Caffeinated bother: I started the day a little after 7 am at a local coffee shop, grading student papers. My brain fried about 210 minutes later, after a few cups of coffee and my getting to the point where two-thirds of the papers are now read (no, not two-thirds read this morning).

Unreasonable bother 1: I'm at a public library, where a children's program started in one of the library's rooms an hour ago, and one of my fellow (adult) patrons was bothered that there might possibly be a crying child anywhere in the building whom he could hear. (The child was taken out into the hallway reasonably quickly.)

Political/policy bother: Ezra Klein (along with Matthew Yglesias) seems to understand the long-term game of the Obama administration on health care (among other issues). Unfortunately, most reporters still don't get it, about health-care politics or, to pick another random topic except that it's my interest, education politics. It's too much fun to report the latest (wording-dependent) poll results or the latest pronouncements by the diva du jour

Unreasonable bother 2: TMI in the library. You really don't want to know (and neither did I). But in my head and heart, I know that I'd rather be bothered in the public library than not have a public library.

Intellectual bother: The popular philosopher's text by Howson and Urbach on Bayesian reasoning troubles me, less because of its style (which is fine, if dense for us nonphilosophers) or omissions (which I will trust statisticians can correct) than because of the disturbing but sensible point early in the book and that Steven Goodman has described as the p-value fallacy: statistical tests of significance say nothing about the probability of ruling in or out various hypotheses. If I understand Howson and Urbach's analogy between the standard discussion of medical tests and inferential statistics, the conditional probability of any hypothesis (after gathering data) depends not just on the inferential equivalent of false-positive rates (tied to statistical significance and p-values) or the equivalent of false-negative rates (power) but also on the underlying probability of the hypothesis being true. I pondered this last night while cleaning the kitchen, and the small point got under my skin. On what basis would a non-Bayesian (frequentist) respond? If I remember correctly, the easy response is to say, "Ah, a frequentist perspective is close to a Bayesian one with a non-informative prior." Except that the prior for categoricals, even with a non-informative assumption, depends on the number of bins, or hypotheses being tested. I think that the only way out for a frequentist is to either artificially restrict the number of hypotheses or to not care about the number of hypotheses being compared. To answer a question Gene Glass asked me a few years ago, it's just about at this point that my brain begins to dribble out my ears: historians are generally not theoretically minded. 

Unreasonable bother 3: I need to concentrate on an article that's already late, but rewinding to 7 am and having the whole day over again to work on the article as well as grading? Not going to happen.

Why bother: decaf nonfat latte with sugar-free flavoring, no whip.

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Posted in The academic life at 12:30 PM (Permalink) |

July 19, 2009

Exam reflections

Today I finished grading my summer class finals. USF's Blackboard installation is throwing a hissy fit when I try to upload the grades, and it's Sunday, so I'll wait for the tech wizards to straighten things out early in the week. In the meantime, since my brain is fried, I'll repeat a few thoughts I've had while grading in the last few days (memory of thoughts more than active thinking at the moment):

  • My individualized questions worked (I had quoted early-paper passages back to students and asked them to rethink their ideas): I had some wonderfully thoughtful responses that I strongly doubt they would have written without confronting their own writing.
  • Ah... one more benefit to using mail-merge so I could create individualized exams: student names on each page, so if one tears off, I don't have to identify it by process of elimination.
  • Looks like the rubric-on-every-page experiment worked to save me time/energy, and a few students obviously were reading them. (Each page of the exam had a single question, space for a longish paragraph, and then explicit scoring criteria at the bottom.) Not as many as I expected, but I think I'll keep this as well. Maybe use it for weekly quizzes...
  • Why did so many of them forget to cite sources on this question but not others?
  • This was obviously an easy question if you had done the reading and slow death if you hadn't. Glad that was my desire.
  • Oh, I need to e-mail those authors and tell them what the students learned from reading the pieces (respectively).
  • I'm glad I placed that question at the end of the exam: a few students tried to bluff their way through earlier questions, but this one showed who had read the stuff or paid attention in the review session. It's not as though I didn't telegraph the question sufficiently, but I was worried that I had made it too easy to answer this without having done the reading. I guess I was wrong!
I have the class's papers queued up on my ebook reader for the next week, to juggle along with other tasks. And when I've taken short breaks this weekend, I've started to fantasize about a large class on education policy--how to build in co-teaching, create a model that would sustain some graduate student involvement, and possibly put it online (and appropriately so). Oh, yes, and make it fun. Possibly idle hallucinations while trying to read all sorts of handwriting, but we'll see.
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Posted in Teaching at 10:10 PM (Permalink) |

July 15, 2009

The clinching argument for national curriculum standards

"Let's do it now, before total nuts from Texas take over!" To be truthful, there have also been nuts in New York, Florida, California, and other places (and of various flavors) where a state's size gives enormous temptations to warp the textbook approval process as leverage for controlling the entire country's text market. That's not a 100% clinching argument for some national standards, but it's very tempting to strike while the people holding the irons are definitely not hot.

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Posted in Education policy at 5:27 PM (Permalink) |

Crazy idea on teaching induction...

One more idea while my attention wanders from writing the exam for tomorrow morning: why do large school systems rotate administrators on the principle that they "need experience in a range of settings" for leadership purposes and then keep new teachers in the same school year after year? Who needs more rotation through a range of settings? In which case would rotation provide better evidence that student outcomes are not the result of selection effects?

Full-credit answers require coherence, avoidance of tangents, and reference to relevant research. Oops. Sorry. Thinking about that exam, obviously.

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Posted in Education policy at 9:38 AM (Permalink) |

Journalistic kudos on NCES NAEP-gap analysis

I agree with Alexander Russo: much of the news coverage of the new NAEP score releases has been sober and nuanced, the stuff that the New York Times can be proud of (as opposed to stuff that prods Brad DeLong). It looks like the Ed Week coverage came too late for Russo's entry.

And now that I have my regular laptop back, I should return to preparing the final for tomorrow morning...

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Posted in Education policy at 9:29 AM (Permalink) |

Intellectual baubles

Jay Greene's comment about intellectual fetishes and think-tank cliques had me grinning from ear to ear this morning, in part because of the multiple layers I'm reading into the comment (and that I doubt Greene intended: I use Janice Radway as my excuse to poach) and in part because Heathers is one of my favorite teen movies:

Dismissing policies because they aren't on the agenda of the current majority is like the type of argument heard in the 1988 film, Heathers: "Grow up Heather, bulimia's so '87."

In this case, David Figlio's data-informed hunch aligns with mine: in the long run, the evidence will not show vouchers to improve the achievement of students who use them, and the asymptotic effect will gravitate towards zero. (The potential competitive effect of vouchers is a different research question, one that relatively few rigorous studies have touched, and the evidence is mixed: see Figlio & Rouse, 2006, for the only refereed study of Florida vouchers' competitive effects that I find to be sufficiently rigorous.) As Jeffrey Henig notes, in the long run research can matter, and I suspect only part of the reason why the Fordham Institute is shying away from voucher debates (Greene's instant target) is because it's not politically viable at the moment. If the evidence does not show that vouchers are a smash-bang-up success, it's going to be hard to justify them except on grounds of values, emotions, or political interest. The second and third may provide enough for current voucher programs to survive (see Florida's and DC's voucher politics for variations on a theme), but probably not to expand.

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Posted in Education policy at 9:07 AM (Permalink) |

July 14, 2009

Technical difficulties

We've had some strange technical happenings in my college today, and shortly after my class, my favorite tech wizard in the building appeared at my door: "I've been told to check your laptop for anything that may be causing network problems." Lovely. So I begged for a few minutes to prep some mp3s for class and transfer them and some documents to a flash drive, handed over my regular laptop, and picked up a loaner I am currently working on. I uploaded the mp3s to the appropriate place, started working on the document, and am finding myself all too distractible from a machine that I am not comfortable working on. (Poor ergo on keys, small screen, not customized to my preferences.) So if you see a long post later today or early tomorrow, thank the tech gremlins working at USF today.

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Posted in The academic life at 3:35 PM (Permalink) |

July 13, 2009

AFT QuEST presentation slides on performance pay

I am not in DC, but I do catch things online: the presentation slides for the AFT QuEST session on performance pay are available, and while Edward Tufte thinks Powerpoint is awful, a stack of straightforward, well-written slides provides a wonderful vicarious outline for those of us who Were Not There.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein at 6:51 PM (Permalink) |

Hechinger Institute hypes the obvious -- this is a role model for reporters??

I received an e-mail advertisement for a "webinar" on "The Dropout Crisis" from the Hechinger Institute. This is an organization that claims it "exists to equip journalists with the knowledge and skills they need to produce fair, accurate and insightful reporting."

Both the e-mail and the webpage for the seminar claim that "new research shows that 17 states produce some 70 percent of the students who don't graduate." Is that a mundane claim that is being hyped to produce seminar enrollment, or is it truly interesting? A quick check of the relevant table from the 2007 Digest of Education Statistics reveals that --voila!-- the 17 states with the highest high school enrollment also contain about 70 percent of all 9-12 enrollment in 50 states and DC (70.4%, if you want a third significant digit). In other words, this fact would be entirely expected simply from the pattern of school enrollment across the states. 

So... is the Hechinger Institute modeling the type of "fair, accurate and insightful" publications that they wish reporters to produce, or are they trying to jack up enrollment with scary and misleading statistics? C'mon, folks: high school graduation and dropout patterns are of serious concern as it is, without modeling patently bad reporting.

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Posted in Education policy at 5:08 PM (Permalink) |

July 10, 2009

Those evil union supporters who denigrate objective measures...

Quick: who said the following recently?

We do see the incredible power of setting stretch goals. But if you set a goal that's really not within reach, people will just give up on it and you really don't have a goal. We've seen this over and over. I think there's as much talking down of goals around here as there is of actually saying, "You're not thinking big enough."

Oh, this evil denigrator of the value of objective goals. From the text, you might conclude that this person is a teacher union supporter who will die before wanting to break down the firewall between teacher records and student test scores.

Except that the speaker was Wendy Kopp, head of Teacher for America and someone who said later in the interview that she is an advocate of using data and setting goals. But there's an important piece here about motivations and goals. No, I don't have answers for the K-12 world, but as I will continue to state until someone proves me wrong, there is something deeply wrong when an historian knows more about the relevant goals and motivation literature than most of the people who advocate setting extremely high goals in education.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein at 2:26 PM (Permalink) |

Combining qualitative and quantitative evidence for teacher evaluation: What does "predominant" mean?

According to Gotham Schools, former NSVF and current USDOE official Joanne Weiss "said the Obama administration aims to reward states that use student achievement as a 'predominant' part of teacher evaluations with the extra stimulus funds" (emphasis added). I followed up with a USDOE representative, who emphasized after talking with Weiss that she meant a predominant part, not the predominant part of teacher evaluations, and that is how Walz reported the comment. The department representative added that department leaders "consider it illogical to remove student achievement from teacher evaluation, and we want states and districts to remove any existing barriers."

This came on the heels of TNTP's Widget Effect argument and Joan Baratz-Snowden's Fixing Tenure. I know that the political context of Weiss's remarks is to push the Duncan line that New York State's moratorium on the use of test scores in personnel decisions is wrong, and if necessary Weiss will bar New York from the Race to the Top funds if the legislature doesn't get its act in gear. Stand in line, please; I have a feeling a few million New Yorkers have the first dibs on dunking the entire state senate in the Hudson near Albany sometime in late November.

Back to policy, though: the word predominant perked up my ears because Florida legislature's language has evolved from language involving the dominance of student achievement to quantification. The current language on personnel evaluation is a legacy of language first written in 1999:

The assessment must primarily use data and indicators of improvement in student performance assessed annually as specified in s. 1008.22 and may consider results of peer reviews in evaluating the employee's performance. [emphasis added]

The current performance-pay language in Florida has the Merit Award Program which stipulates that for the purposes of merit pay, achievement data "shall be weighted at not less than 60 percent of the overall evaluation" (F.S. 1012.225(3)(c)).

I need to think about this in some depth, but it strikes me that the Florida legislature mandated one of several options to use in combining quantitative and qualitative judgments of teacher effectiveness, the point system. You can probably come up with other variations that meet the statutory language, but my guess is that any real-world implementation would almost all be linear combinations of different subscores, and I will use incredibly technical measurement language to call it the point system of combining different sources of information about teaching effectiveness. But that's not the only one, and I am always troubled when a clunky system is chosen as the default because it is the first option rather than a deliberate decision among options. I understand why a point system is in the bureaucratic and political gravity well, and it may well be that this particular clunky point system is the best option. However, it should be considered in comparison with what other clunky systems might be appropriate.

For example, there is also the holistic review of teacher effectiveness, such as exists in the new Green Dot-UFT collective bargaining agreement teacher evaluation system. There's no specific way that test scores inherently enter the judgment as such, though the implication is that teachers will have to show that they use assessment to shape instructional practices (what's called action research in the document, at the very least).

But those aren't all: a flow-chart is at least theoretically possible, though I do not have a real-life example. Yes, there are process flow-charts such as exists in Denver (and in the Green Dot system), but it's a flow-chart essentially describing when and how you schedule meetings, not how you make decisions in a meeting. (Step 1: Can you understand this chart? Yes: read the rest of it while walking to your secretary's desk; no: pretend to read it while walking to your secretary's desk. Step 2a [at secretary's desk]...)

Most theoretical: a Bayesian bump algorithm. I am guessing that there is a high probability that any subjective Bayesian statistician reading this blog will have thought of this idea already, but I'll adjust that guess after some data comes in. Since even well-trained evaluators are making subjective judgments about people, you could treat a principal's or peer's judgment as a prior judgment about the probability that a teacher should be retained/rewarded, given help, or fired. In the Bayesian world, that prior judgment can and should be shifted based on data, to form a posterior estimate of the probabilities of what should be done (you can play with a Bayesian calculator here, in a medical-test context). That adjustment is why I'm calling it a "bump" -- start with a professional assessment on various grounds and allow that to be bumped somewhat by test data, with the magnitude of the bumping depending on the data. Going down this path would involve some interesting studies, and it would probably be working with Bayesian posterior odds (which provide an interesting possible back door to a point system). This is a little out of my league in terms of specific characteristics, but the Bayesian perspective on statistics makes it possible to combine qualitative and quantitative data in a framework that already exists.

So we have four large categories of ways to combine essentially qualitative and quantitative data. While I am busy reading student work and doing other stuff in the next week, you all have a chance to dive in and describe what you think are strengths and weaknesses of each approach, as well as any additional categories (or disagreements with my classification entirely). After I have a weekend and get other tasks finished, I will return to explain (a) why a Bayesian approach is not only philosophically appropriate but serves the needs of unions, students, and anyone Alexander Russo describes as reformy; (b) why a Bayesian approach is not that different from a point system, at least in theory; and (c) what characteristics you would look for in a point system for teacher evaluation to meet the political interests described in (a).

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein at 12:20 PM (Permalink) |

July 8, 2009

A word to the wise on accountability

Dear fellow Americans who support equal education and are inclined to attack teachers unions when you get frustrated (e.g., Charles Barone and Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights):

  1. Borg-like rhetoric ("Those who resist the school reform movement are going to find they are on the wrong side of history. They may affect the pace of reform, but not its inexorable direction") is not likely to convince anyone that they're wrong and you're right. It's not even close to the level of Rod Paige's NEA = terrorist remark, but it's still intemperate. And I don't know about you, but the last degree I earned came with a beautiful, shiny rearview mirror, not a crystal ball.
  2. I'm persuadable that NEA staff and national leaders made some incredibly stupid/venal moves in trying to shift policy in the backrooms of power (which apparently are no longer smoke-filled), that the AFT may have made (fewer) such moves, and that locals and state affiliates of both national affiliates also make stupid/venal moves at varying rates depending on location and internal union politics. But a report that essentially treats policy concerns and backroom politics as identical? It strikes me as shoddy analysis, for several reasons. First, it's scattershot, which undermines the credibility of what probably would be stronger arguments on more narrow grounds. Second, it misunderstands the nature of organizations, assuming that unions have intentions rather than internal politics, agreed-upon positions, strategies, and tactics. Third, if you criticize both regular and backroom politics, you're implicitly committing yourself not to do much politicking on your own part.

Every few years you see a wavelet of attacks on teachers unions, and I am assuming that this is part of a new one. Sometimes it's just a coincidence, and I hope that's the case in the entries linked above... and here

Addendum: Charles Barone takes me to task on two items; in comments I say he's right on one and wrong on the other, but you'll have to read what he writes rather than my summary.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein at 2:20 PM (Permalink) |

Ward Churchill, part omega?

Yesterday's decision not to give Ward Churchill his job back (Denver Post, Inside Higher Ed, New York Times) suggests that we're probably close to the end of the Churchill legal saga. His lawyer will appeal, but my gut sense is that while the immunity question is a matter of some interest, the question of whether UC had to take Churchill back is the type of judgment call that an appeals court is going to find hard to reverse. That's generally what trial judges are for. That doesn't mean that the judge was always correct in his reasoning (and certainly not on the point that concerned Cary Nelson, the judge's implication that issues extraneous to the research misconduct charge were relevant). But this was a messy case from the beginning.

I've held off responding to the AAUP National Council statement released in April until after the judge's decision, but I want to explain why I think the National Council was incorrect. Here is the statement in its entirety:

We believe the disputes over Ward Churchill's publications should have been allowed to work themselves out in traditional scholarly venues, not referred to disciplinary hearings. We believe Churchill should be reinstated to his faculty position at the University of Colorado.

The gist of the statement is that most intellectual disputes should be addressed in a publication venue rather than discipline, and that's correct. But the allegations regarding Churchill were about research misconduct. I'm no expert on the history of research misconduct, but I strongly suspect that you'd find some claims of research misconduct first appear in scholarly venues and sometimes they appear outside scholarly venues. And at some point the allegations and evidence are sufficient to warrant discipline.

The critical question is not when that threshhold is crossed into potential misconduct but who should make that decision, and it is the AAUP's long tradition of upholding faculty judgments on their peers' work. Not "faculty judgment when it appears in a refereed journal" but faculty judgment, with a clear preference for judgment of peers at the institution where a scholar works. Not "faculty judgment in the AAUP National Council" but local faculty judgment. The AAUP National Council would have criticized any other national body for making that kind of judgment precisely because of the AAUP's longstanding positions, and in April the National Council was wrong when it substituted its own judgment for the judgment of the peer committee in Boulder of whether Churchill's errors justified disciplinary investigation and action.

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Posted in Academic freedom at 1:31 PM (Permalink) |

July 7, 2009

Kill the AHA Job Registry now

What David Evans and Tenured Radical (aka Claire Potter) said. The Professional Respect Abbatoir should be dismantled at all academic meetings and be replaced by phone interviews or (gasp!) inviting one more candidate to a campus interview. Especially in the current environment, when graduate students and new scholars might not be able to afford to come to the AHA for one- or two- nanosecond interviewlets, the AHA Job Registry and similar creatures should die.

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Posted in Higher education at 3:05 PM (Permalink) |

Not a love fest on mayoral control, but close

Something in the National Journal's website is swallowing spaces after periods when I submit comments, and I discovered that I could not edit remarks after submitting them, but those are not really the important matters. It turns out that at least for most of the respondents who have written thus far this week, no one believes that mayoral control is a cure-all for city school systems (or those who do have been chastened enough to admit the obvious). I think that of the comments thus far, Randi Weingarten's has been the most upbeat about mayoral control, at least in NYC. Go figure. But we have close to a consensus.

For my friend who asked me Sunday why I hadn't written a blog entry in five days, here's your entry and a pointer to another one, and another one in a few seconds. No promises about how long these will be, at least for the next week or two. I had a great weekend, but the fact that I spent about 12 hours this weekend reading student work tells you something about it.

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Posted in Education policy at 9:56 AM (Permalink) |

The integrity twins in Illinois

Richard Herman "is shocked, shocked to find out that" influence peddling is going on in the University of Illinois. (Hat tip.) And plagiarist Glenn Poshard is certain that the "unfortunate incident" will not tarnish the reputation of higher education in Illinois more generally. (Hat tip.)

Well, I'm glad that's settled.

(P.S. For the whippersnappers who don't watch old movies, the first quotation isn't really from Herman.)

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Posted in Higher education at 9:28 AM (Permalink) |