The College Bubble and the Public Defunding of Colleges | Rortybomb

The College Bubble and the Public Defunding of Colleges | Rortybomb.

The key insight of this article:

The debt that is fueling the current costs of college are the result of a long-term set of decisions to shift the costs away from taxpayers and towards debt burdens for individual students.

If there is an education bubble (and I’m skeptical), it is important to recognize that it is willful defunding of an essential public good.


When Coaches Teach…

NAEP – Civics 2010: Summary of Major Findings

NY Times Article

Looking at the NAEP results, the 12th grade trend is quite disconcerting!  This speaks to the types of students we see in our classrooms as well as to our mission as Political Scientists at Two-Year Colleges.

This quote form the NY Times says it all:

“At the same time, three-quarters of high school seniors who took the test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, were unable to demonstrate skills like identifying the effect of United States foreign policy on other nations or naming a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.”

Low turnout, the diterioration of public debate, inadequate government response to real problems, these are all symptoms of a people that has forgotten they are a “society” – interconnected in numerous ways.  These symptoms threaten the persistence of this great nation!

Benjamin Rush said:

“There is but one method of rendering a republican form of government durable, and that is by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge through every part of the state by means of proper places and modes of education and this can be done effectively only by the aid of the legislature.”

It is part of our duty as political scientists to overcome this deficit of knowledge and civic engagement!  How do you inspire and engage your students?

Crimson Hexagon Illuminate’s the Response to Bin Laden’s Death

This Is How The World Reacted To Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Social Media Reaction

Crowd sourcing is absolutely fascinating to me!  I enjoy seeing everything Crimson Hexagon does in terms of social media analysis, what an amazing tool for gauging the mood of the masses.  Too, I am drawn to the large distinction between the myths and stereotypes that the media portrays and reinforces and the reality of the multifaceted reaction to such a complex event as expressed in through various social media.

Separating truth from myth is an important part of what we do as political scientists, and I love to see a tool such as Crimson Hexagon that can do just that!

NY Times – Six Keys to Saving by Starting at Community College –

Six Keys to Saving by Starting at Community College –

This was an interesting piece I discovered (via Twitter – follow me @profseitz) about students and families making conscious decisions to attend community colleges.  What a great potential step for students to get a quality education at an affordable price for two years and then transfer to a four-year school!  Here at GPC we have TAG agreements that allow our students to have their first two years “guaranteed” to satisfy all core requirements at a number of four-year institutions.  It really does make sense!

Too, my summer classes are typically filled with students from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and other local four-year schools because these students know they can get a course fulfilled very economically, while ensuring a high quality education.

Academically Adrift – Critical Thinking

Here is an illuminating quote from this firebrand of a book concerning students learning how to use their brains…critical thinking:

“students…majoring in traditional liberal-arts fields…demonstrated significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study. Students majoring in business, education, social work , and communications had the lowest measurable gains”

Is it somewhat telling that these “applied” disciplines result in insignificant development of such skills?

Are Colleges Over-Charging Students?


Colleges Spend Far Less on Educating Students Than They Claim, Report Says

American Enterprise Institute…hmmm, can we assume that this report is written in an unbiased fashion?  I also wonder why only “classroom instruction” counts as educating students.  If we narrowly define educating students in this manner, then it would seem highly likely that students are paying for a lot more than “classroom instruction.”

The inherent problem with this report, it would seem to me, is that it separates classroom instruction from many other supplementary elements of higher education.  These elements are NOT, indeed, unrelated to educating students,” rather, they are a vital part of the educational process.

This is equivalent to suggesting that professors only teach 8 or 10 hours a week, and therefore should only get paid for part-time work. All that “stuff” we do in our offices, at meetings, or attending professional conferences has nothing to do with “educating students” if you define it narrowly enough.

It’s unfortunate that the Chronicle is even taking this study seriously.