Monday, December 18, 2006

Seeking a New Skills Revolution

Original Article - Check the comments
Executive Summary for Tough Choices or Tough Times
- First empression: Accountability is all over the places. The proposed changes are enomarous and may not be practicle. What good it is if no one is going to adopt it. I don't know if it's realistic. It propose a mass production of high quality worker while detail less on how those works will be created. Is it realistic to assum that US will house all the high quality job while others will not? It does not consider if US are too late in the game. We have to realize that if we are too late in the game, the only choice we will have is to hope to achieve a sustainable society other than a elite society.

Summary goes here!

US should 'focus its economy on high end products and services'. Which is the right approach. The question is how. Everyone will say: through education. The problem is, this is no small job.

Without making students take up responsibilities, any system will fail. Public funding schools does not mean everyone entitle to go to school - just like not everyone got to be governnor. Yes, not all students are for college, but we still need provide them appropriate future.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

State Spending Continues to Climb

Original Article

Summary goes here!

Let's see if any of these exceed the inflation rate? The state pending cap?

Tuition Tax Break Extended

Original Article

Summary goes here! - still working on...
This way of please voter have been carried out for quite a while.
I, however, wonder if this solve the real problem and if this is the right policy. Or if this should be part of a bigger picture.

A demoncartic system requires people take their own responsibilities and using public resources to help those un-fortunate. Governments can't afford to let people slip away from their responsibilities. One way to prompt people to take their responsibility is through compansation. In this view, this seem to be a reasonable approach. The Tax Break won't cover all cost, so people have to value the education enough to spend their own money.

Like some of the comments said, how about those can't afford to go to colleges? Do we consider them the un-fortunate? Or if it's fare for parent that making more money be 'required' to pay their kids' college cost? Should we simply send qualified kids at no cost?

Feeling the Winds From Washington

Original Article - Again, the comments there are of no construction.

Summary goes here!

As acknowleged by some academics, there are problems. A question should also asked is how we build a system that will reduce the chances for these problems to happen. As we all know, self monitoring is problematic in human history.

As one also point out that the Spellings give them more chances in examing their systems.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Endless debates on fair admission

Original Article

Drafts to be re-written
Everone have equal chances
--Internet Chat
Test is not coachable
--Study more and hard should not be considered coachable.
--Test need be written so that it test the 'real knowledge'.
Admission is based purly on score

  1. Will diversity still a questions if the above goal is obtained?
  2. Message: The door is open to any race, as long as you can excel the test. This is open to all.
Suppose, no race info is given at admission, there will then be no question about race(name is another clue). Institution will then be race blind. The question is then on how to achieve the equal chances for all kids. K12 does not cost a dime that is a ground. Library is free, that is race blind. Teacher speak to all kids that is race blind. The GPA may be race biased. So use standard test - which is race blind. Parent help - teacher should do better so that parent help doesn't help.
Assuming all parent do is watching but not teaching or at least wouldn't help in grade.

Diversity operation is against fairness! They simply can't be co-exist in principle. Even in a pure race blind environment, there are other factors that will randered the un-diversity. The insist on diversity is simply another non-blind, biased factor.

Do we favor the diversity or the fairness?
Fairness brings in diversity in nature process while the diversity brings in fairness in artifacture.

The Need for Another Sputnik

Original Article - Problem in science education - lake motivation

Summary goes here!

‘To get a good job after graduation: 64 percent’ — Well. Do our college courses designed for this? — It doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, but we do need understand students’ need in order to communicate with them.

‘They think it is too difficult: 44 percent’ — Well. Indeed it is and which is not going to change. It seems this is a social problem. Our kids just don’t like hard work. How to solve this?

I used to hear a saying that “China’s leader are engineers while US’ leader are politicians” — No. I don’t think it’s always true. But this give us something to think about. Were scientists in US given more respects or spotlights than politicians or pop star?

I read a story about a high-achieving engineer who decided to go back to school and earn a MBA degree because his counterparts made more money than he did’.

Well. If science is going to be hard and low rewarding, I don’t think many people are motivated to learn it. We can make it mandatory but that will only achieve the facial value?

I wonder if in our society, there is a mind set that scientists are ONLY good at science and that they make no good management decisions. The thing is that if scientists were able to comprehend the hard stuff, why we think they will have trouble understand management? Sometimes, chances is all it take to give people motivated. On the ohter hand, without good tech. background, how a general manager can make good tech. decisions?

By the way, Intel used to be led by CEOs with tech. background.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Consensus (or Not) About Comparability

Original Article - On Spellings' accreditation meeting

Summary goes here!
This is a big task and I still feel that establishing a new accreditation type for for-profit institutions is a good start. For one, for-profit institutions is the one that is likely to run out of control and if there isn't any mechanism to objectively rectify these institutions there will be a lot of diploma mill. On the other hand, these new accreditation type can drive the cost down due to the competetion. Given time, these institution will grow and will push some traditional institutions to adjust their operation. Some of them may choose to run like for-profit and some of them may opt to offer qualities that can't be offered by low cost for-profit institutions - like research oriented trainings.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

First on the Docket: Accreditation

Original Article - Accreditaion may be the first step taken by US DOE on hihger ed.

Let's give public alternatives by accrediting for-profit with objective measurements.
In light of the recent public call for accountability and the hardship for traditional institution to adopt changes. An alternative is to give public choices and let the public decide.

The alternative accreditation can based on measurable outcomes and since the outcome is what employer care about, students came out of these accreditaion can have direct employ perspectives. And this could potentially be the expectation of a lot of students and parents. The two pieces of information required from these institutions will be the % of graduates that pass the professional test and the percent of students that graduates.

The idea behind these two measurements are:
  1. It gives students and parents an expectable value - % of graduates that can pass the professional test and, therefore, an expected job offering.
  2. It hold the students responsible to be able to fall inside the % of students who do graduate.
It is important to realized that what we really should be interested in is the quality of the graduates and is not the quantity of the graduates. The % of students graduate serves the purpose of infoming students and parents the possiblity they will graduate. As point out by Dr. Abdul-Rahim Ahmad, commenting the article 'RateMyProfessors: Hidden Camera Edition', the majority of the reponsibility of graduating is in the hand of the students. The quality of institution is warranted by the % that passing the certificates, it is student's responsibility to advanced into the group that will graduate.

The certificate exam may have different levels, for BS and BA certificates, it can includes items that measuring the general education.

With this approach, traditional institutions have no reason to object. For one, it does not affect their status and practice. For two, it is also them that call for strick regulation on for-profit instituttions. For for-profit institutions, they got alternatives to the traditional accreditation approaches. They can decide on which way is a best fit to their mission. For policy makers, they answered to public's call for quality and effectiveness by leveling the playground and let the most effective and the most effecient institutions win.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Making Sense of ‘Bologna Degrees’

Original Article

Summary goes here!

I thought there were a lot of opposition against assess US higher ed. But it seems, after all, people here agree that content is much more important then the formality of year. Or maybe we should extend this a bit to the formality of our bachelor title - I do agree with Claude Pressnell's concern that their 3 year may not be uniform either.

But the key here is the competency of the students. How can we best measure it? Or, just let them in and see how long it take them to graduate - which can be a waste of resources but it can still be fair.

About the general education - America need really think about this! I would say things that deem necessary to become a responsible citizen should be mandate in K12. We also should realize that even if you have committed to a major, you can still enrol in other class for the sake of broaden your content. Graduate school can still require it if it is essntial to meet their quality of graduation.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Does ‘Value Added’ Add Value?

Original Article

Measuring student learning does not necessarily answers the questions people want to know about the value of higher education. Tailored assessment serve less to help American to distiguish claims from a diploma mill to that of a genuine institution. Using Professional Service Provider like ETS to proivde assessment services is plausable.

This is a very nice article. The question asked:"whether measuring student learning necessarily answers the questions people want to know about the value of higher education” is a very good one. Young’s statement “We cannot substitute value added for basic competencies” is particularly thoughtful.

Some of the comments on the articles angered about the notion that US Higher Ed haven’t done anything about the accountability. But, this is really not necessary. This is the America, everyone got chances to present their cases.

The question here isn’t about how greate US higher ed is but about how to best serve the American — not just those brightest but the American in general. To most American, they probably not concerned about MIT and Cal Tech at all. But they could well be interested in anything went below those elite institutions.

Tailored assessment is good in fitting the goal of a institution but serve less to help American to distiguish claims from a diploma mill to that of a genuine institution — the example is extreme, but you got the idea. If you have not so bright a kid and you are facing the choices. You will think about the good old consumer market that you know what you are paying for. This is what facing most of the American these days.

The variation in assessments will always be there. But making the result available to public is a big step toward answering people’s question about the value of higher education. Think about those product reviews you find on BestBuy or CircuitCity’s website. They are diverse and probably have no statistical value. But, I found them quite useful.

For institutions that care so much about the accuracy, it may not be a bad idea to provide official info to deter people from judging institutions based on anonymous reviews.

I certainly understand that there are millions of factors to address and there probably no single solution to fit all. But how about the professional certificates, aren’t they some kind of multi-institutional assessments? Wouldn’t those results be good information to answer public’s call for accountability?

Ben J's comments provide a good reason in using Professional Service Provider like ETS to proivde assessment services.

It's good to see there are a lot of assessement going on. I like what Fayetteville State's Young “We cannot substitute value added for basic competencies.”

The question: "Whether measuring student learning necessarily answers the questions people want to know about the value of higher education ?" is very well asked.

For one, institutions could have more publicly announce these results - but there may be some institution would not publish their result. What public concern is how do we make good investment with their money? What they need is information! It seems to me public is ready to assume their responsiblity in searching for what their money's worth but could not find enough information. When you searching for a DVD player, you do the research and make the decision. Once you made the decision, in general, there is not much you can complain about since you made that decision on what price and feature you are willing to pay for it.

Of cause students learn things at their work place, but if what they learn at work place contribute in any significant amout to the said measure, I can only say the measurement isn't a good one in measuring values provided by that institution.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rate My Professors: Hidden Camera Edition

Original Article

The success of rate-my-professor sites are the result of institutions' ignoring of their customer.
A lot of institutions conduct student evaluations on their instructors. But very few of them make it public information. The success of these kind of rate-my-professor sites are count on the failures of institution's responses to their customer.

Part of my view of the future learning includes pre-made lecture material, a group of tutors/advisors that provides assistant. Students study by themselves and contact assistants when needed. In this settings, the feedback of students is very important. The feedbacks don't have to be black and white. The feedback can actually reflect an assistant's personal styles and can be particular helpful to certain kinds of students. Institutions and instructors shouldn't see the feedback as a negative things.

With diverse learning behaviors, we need diverse teaching styles.

More reading at the repository!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Continue to graduate school

A Description of 1992-93 Bachelor's Degree Recipients 10 Years Later

Summary goes here!
40% of Bacheler enroll at Graduate School.
25% complete in 10 year
9.4% left without degree
  • Higher percentage of hispanic and black enrolled in Graduate School - these are those best in their race and are more motivated.
  • Asian still completed with higher rate (culture, family support??)
  • Counting completed and still enroll, Hispanic and Black still come up in top
  • Women enroll more but also left-without-degree more
  • The younger the likely they will enroll and complete and sustain. All age have similar left-without-degree rate
  • Natural Science, Education and social science have least of 49% going rate and completion rate. Natural science have low sustaining rate and education have highest left-without-degree rate.
  • The sooner they enroll, the more success they will.
  • Private graduates are more likely to enroll and success (more resource in supporting them?)
  • Full time jobber are less likely to enroll but with higher successful rate ( less study time or more job restiction, stable, more resources? )

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

‘In Pursuit of Knowledge’

Original Article

Summary goes here!

The interview confirms my view of the prestige status of traditional institution and the need of objective measurement of student outcome and toward the commericial practice!

Monday, October 30, 2006

UC talks of wider entrance policy NON-ACADEMIC SUCCESS WEIGHED

Original Article

Summary goes here!
Providing education to greater population is never a bad thing. However, we need be practicle in that resources are limited, the goal is to advance the human race with reasonable resources. The term Advance the human race should include working ethic and not just the knowledge. We can invest all the resources we have in education without any restriction, but will that advance the human race? We may end up with everyone are equally poor - the practice of communist.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New Salvos on Affirmative Action

Original Article

Summary goes here!
- Here we go again. No one ever think about what given equal chances mean. A policy of equal is so important in a society to establish a responsible society. Without properly defined equal, people are confused and easily extend the definition to where their heart went. Human are made of soft heart, the spirit of sharing and, therefore, constantly, extended the definition without asking logical questions. This happens to the US immigration policy too. People welcome the immigrants when they are touched by the moving stories of how immigrants fight for their life without thinking carefully what that law changes mean. We only to discover our mistakes when things are getting out of hand.

Check Tommy's comment - Genetic race data isn't what should be used in study discrimination! The look and culture is!!

Check Jonathan Cohen, Raymond, Michael Class' comment

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Higher Education Policy - Assessment

Original Article

Working on ...
1) UT system self evaluation
- No subject specific evaluation!
2) UI wage match
- May limited/restricked by local econome. Cause institution to focus on current need and not forward thinking/looking!

For traditional institution, since they claim that for-profit are not in the peer, they should not against assessment of their students against for-profit. For for-profit, to show that they are not diploma mill, they should accept the challange!

This is a very difficult task. The only chance this can happen is that the result are used and are cared by some one. The question is how to achieve that. In computer fields, there are tests that are arround for a while and there are companies that require those test from applicants. However, these test doesn't seem to be very successful. Let along other fields.

Personally, I have seen and experiences application demonstrations. To me it seems very popular. But most of those are in-house exam. I suppose,
1) Employer don't think there are good services that fit their need out there.
2) Employer think it's an over-kill to use these services.
3) They don't suffer enough with the wrong hire.

3rd party test!!

How to do a grass-root assessment efforts:
1) Set up a web site advocate consumer protection.
2) Solicit student to take anonymous test.
3) Need collect information on course taken history
4) Compare scores accross institutions.
5) Without authentication, we can't provide certificate - how to authenticate??
6) If we can gather enough data, we can use the data to rate institution and solicit school to participate.
7) How can government support these efforts? - Grand, RFP ... Authentication - testing center - library - internet photo

Testing service for industry - study how ACT and SAT are strated.

What are available: Computer Certificates - how about others?

How do we promote this? - How ACT and SAT do that?

How about those hard to measured skill? Should government help it? How about the lawyer and other professional test?

Cost issues
Government job test?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Christensen tells Rotarians about need to transform high school

Original Article - How to teach the lower half of the class?

Working on...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Justice O’Connor’s Deadline

Original Article - Deadline on affirmative action

Working on ...
Economic along is not going to do it. The measure is wrong. We need better measure. They keep missing the point - giving the equal chances the rest is history. The question is what is the appropriate 'equal chances'. I think we tend to extended that definition indefinitly.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cultural aspect of respecting the value of education does matter

Original Article

Summary goes here!

Quite some references to other culture related information.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Higher Education Policy - First thought

Original Article

The high higher ed cost is the main concern of general public. It is, therefore, the place to start for the policy.

A policy is not a vision statement. It not only need to have a good goal, it need to be practical, workable and efficient. And this is why 'a good government need to listen and feel what people feel and guide them with incentives toward a forward looking future. Missing any of the elements is a failure in the government.' The vision is the forward looking future while the rest are the guideline for practical, workable and efficient plan.

The high higher ed cost is the main concern of general public. It is, therefore, the place to start for the policy. A policy have to address public's concern to get support and move forward. To address this issue, we need to think about how the price is set in the first place.

As we all aware, to produce a product, it cost money. The price, in general, covers the cost, but don't have to reflect the cost. In free enterprise, due to competetion, the price are, in general, reflect the bare cost to produce the product with specified qualtiy except in the monoply or elite industries where competetion are limited. The elite industries, in general, do not have objective standards for measuring qualities of products and, because of this, a products' percetions are build on named brands that are established via costly advertising that establishes the financial barrier for entering these industry and limits the competetion in these industry. Because of the lack of objective quality checks, the cost and price are not tied to the quality but to the profit and cost of advertising. The idea is that once you produce the named brand, the quality is not relevent in the price scheme and consumer are paying for things with no qality checks. With limited competetion in the field, companies can provide costly packages with features that customer will never need while still enjoy good business.

The traditional higher ed industries resemble the elite industry in that the quality of products is not well specified. In efforts to support the quality claim, accredidation agencies use aternative measures that make sure institutions have enough resources to produce quality products. The problem is obvious, a well financed company does not necessary produce quality products. And more frequent than not, the errosion begin with well established companies since the survival is not seem to be in the scene. Because the accredidation is based on resources rather than the quality of the product, the establish of the resource become the necessary barrier in entering this industry even if quality product can be produced with less resources.

The fundamental to bring down the higher ed price is, therefore, establish objective qualities of the higher ed products. After this is done, the market will be driven by free enterprise spirits and the system will be supported by free enterprise. For example, if companies were using the result of testing services in hiring employee, potential applicants will pay for the testing fee. The testing statistics can be used to evaluates each institutions and helping students in making education choices. With the competetion, institutions are forced to customize their products of quality to fit students need at the lowest possible price. - There may be needs to regulate the testing industry??

The next step need to do is guide the society to bright future. From time to time, public can be blind or short-sighted. There could be important trainings or courses that will be over sighted by public aiming in pursuing their financial well-being. Some of these trainings may eventually get emphasied by employers if they find their values eventually. Others may only proof to be essential for the sacks of the society or human race. It is governments' duty to look into these area in behalf of the society. Since there isn't any interestes from free enterprise on these issues, this is where governments really need put their efforts in. Governments need provide real incentive here to guide the society to bright future.

Based on arguments in The environment!
  • The world of free enterprise
  • Clear labeling through standard test. Focus on result to bring the cost down
  • Provide alternatives for customers.
  • Promote the idea of flexible worker - with enterprises
  • K12 focus on attitude modling
  • Emphasise the importance of design/thinking instead of routine/procedure - research!
  • Promote the globle view of the world - promote forward thinking
  • Promote the idea of bright future
  • Research will still be done with support of government and private enterprice. The result should made available. More people can follow these researches and produces teaching material.

Higher Education Policy - The environment

Original Article

In the US, federal government do not have direct authority over institutions. ...There are, however, oppotunities that governments can exploit to build accountability checks.
In the US, federal government do not have direct authority over institutions. Federal government do recognize accreditation agencies. But, again, do not have direct authority on them. State governments have various degree of control on institutions operated inside it's boundaries. - check to see if there are more detailed info on how much control each state government have on private institutions. Adding the free atomsphere of US higher education institutions to the limited control of governments, there are, practically no effective way of regulating US higher education institutions.

An environment like this is approaching that of self-governing and is the source of irresponsibility. The lack of responsbilities had cost higher education system their reputation and result in calls for higher education reform. The environment also responsible for the high college cost of today.

As of today, the free enterprise spirits are still exist and are likely to continue. It is not likely, governments will resort to brute force to force changes. There are, however, oppotunities that governments can exploit to build accountability checks. These oppotunities include public's cry for lower college cost and public's call for accountability. The other oppotunity is raising of the for-profit institutions. The raising of the for-profit institution put pressure on traditional institions in terms of effeciency and force traditional institution to change how they operate.

Higher Education Policy - What's our future?

Our citizen have to be able to look over the skin-deeped paper of certificate or diploma and valued more the deep-inside wisdom.
The narrow definition of this question is how do we keep us ahead of other countries so that our people can enjoy a high standard of life. Of cause, the more broad goal should include the whole human race.

History provides valuable lessons, failure is your future if you do not progress like rawing against current and you can't count on other people's failure but your own success.

As we all know by now, the knowledge is the power. A lot of us also know that learning is a life long things. A successful life requires constant learning, analyzing and adopting.

So. To sustant our lead in the world, we need to create generation of citizens that prosess these characters. That are capable of constantly learning and are self-motivated to learn and are looking into the life with positive attitute. Our citizen have to be able to look over the skin-deeped paper of certificates or diploma and valued more the deep-inside wisdom.

This is a grand goal and it call for un-preceedent efforts in refreshing our government, our society and, most importantly, our mind.

Higher Education Policy - What do people want?

Are they really interested in the knowledge or they simply want the tickets to the job market?
As pointed out in Higher Education perspectives, citizen these days are well aware of the benifits of higher education and are asking for afordable higher education and their demand have not been met.

We, however, need to exam these demands carefully. Are they interested in lower price but same service or are they interested in lower price with watered down services? Are they interested in the full scaled baccalaureate training or are they simply instered in the tech training needed to land a job? Are they really interested in the knowledge or they simply want the tickets to the job market?

Answers to these questions will help us better understand people's mind and help us setting strategys to lead our people to brighter future.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Higher Education Policy - Government

Original Article

... a good government need to listen and feel what people feel and guide them with incentives toward a forward looking future.
It's hard to be a good government, especially a good government in a democratic environments. There are times good ideas and intents could not be executed and there are times only a small part of a good idea get pass through the divided legislature bodies.

A democratic government is to serve the people and look out for people. There are times general public do not perceive the value of a given idea. The leader will need to carryo the extra burden of educating the general public. A democratic government usually are also limited by law on what it can do. A successful government in democratic environments need to observe all these limitations when carry out it's act. It is, therefore, important to examine all these limitations when setting up policies.

In general, a good government need to listen and feel what people feel and guide them with incentives toward a forward looking future. Missing any of the elements is a failure in the government.

To reform the US higher education, we need to feel and listen to the people. We also need to exam the situation and figuring out the real future for the country. We then need device the incentive and lead our people to that future.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Higher Education perspectives

The goal of this article is to list/tabulate higher education related movements in recent years. Later articles will exam/analys these movement and give advices on higher ed policy.
The Market
Through researches, media report and the competition of world economy, public have been told that higher education means higher pay. This raises the desire of general public in wanting to pursuit the higher ed - for a reason other than the knowledge's sack. With the awareness of general public, the higher ed market is getting hot. Issues in higher ed are also become hot topics and is easier to get public's attention.

Traditional Institutions
The traditional higher ed institutions are elite institutions in that staffs and faculties are the center of the institution. Faculties are very essential. They are given elite status on determine what is important for students and on how to evaluate THEIR students. Even the accredidation system is build on faculties standings instead of students achievement. This kind of system is like the monoch in the past, it's totally depend on self-retrospect to improve. Public institutions become more and more rely on government fund to function. There are very little accountability build into the design.

High cost
The elite status of traditional institutions and the heated market all contribute to the high cost of higher education. As mentioned above, some of the students are pursuing the higher education with career in mind instead of the glossiness of knowledge. All these customers need is what they need to know in order to get jobs. The extra cost associate with traditional institutions in providing broad libra art training is simply a burden to these customer.

The raising of for-profit Institutions
The heated market has promote the for-profit institutions. Some of the leading for-profit institutions follow the structure of traditional institutions. In general, they was able to reduce the cost by running things more efficient. These include standardize curriculm, using same teaching material and make use of technoledge. The bottom line is that they will still provide libra art traings like traditional institution would. There are, however, other bleed of for-profit institution which were traditionally more inline with vocational training. Due to the fact that higher education means higher pay, some of these school are making moves to become four year school. As their tradition dictated, these school likely would not have the same level of libra art courses are traditional four year school would have.

The accountability of higher education
With the heated market and customer with different goal in mind. The accountability of higher education become a heated topic. For private for profit vocational schools that become four year schools, due to their differences from traditional four year schools and creditation agencies, they have been asked to show more accountability than those traditional four year schools. Since these school growing out their vocational root, they are likely to barely meet the requirements of creditation agencies. On the other hand, for traditional institutions, there isn't really a good measurement of the quatlity of their graduates either - you can never directly compare the quality of a MIT graduates with that of University of Nebraska. Because, traditionally, there never have a good indicator on the quality of higher ed graduates, there simply no good way of holding for-profit institution accountable - e.g. gaurding the BS brand name. Period. For customers that hire graduates (e.g. companies), they have a different view on the accountablity. Their main goal is to be able to select the graduates they need. When their employee is not able to show the abilities their degree implied, companies begin to question the quality of a degree, from for profit or not.

Possible articles
Basics of government
  • Froward looking.
  • Provides incentives for desired actions.
  • Listen to what people have to say.
The US education settings
  • Federal government do not have direct authorities on institutions or even the accreditation agencies.

The goal of education
  • Ethic reform - students' attitudes
  • Parent/General Public's ethic reform
The practicle practice
  • Taking oppotunities
  • Educates public
  • Establish realistic rules
  • Clear labeling

Monday, August 14, 2006

on Higher Ed Assessment

People now acknoledged that better higher ed assessment is needed.
Testing, Testing - Inside Higher Ed
- A Culture of Evidence: Postsecondary Assessment and Learning Outcomes - an ETS article
- Claim work toward for institution's internal evaluation
Critical Thinking - Wikipedia
Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) - Assessment Articles
- Liberal Education Outcomes: A Preliminary Report on Student Achievement in College
-- Use stadandard test to make sure local assessment aling with each other.
-- Should move away from multiple choices style test.
-- Believe compond test is the best way to measure the REAL benifit of Liberal education
-- Accept standard test for single component evaluation
-- Not against ACT, SAT
-- Use survey to support their findings - arguable!!
To help understand the issues, it worth to take a look how and why the higher Ed. assessment become an issue. Before we look at that, let's first feel the power of captilism in our mind.

There is no doubt in my mind, all these begin with business competitions. In the past, business competition isn't high and the profit margin are high, companies can offered to absorbe some training costs. These days, competitions are everywhere and turnover rate of worker are high too. Companies are reluctant to training their worker and, at the same time, demanding highly trained worker upon their hiring. The demands transformed into several forms. For skills that are easy to measure, the demands quickly turn into the demands for certificates or test score. For skills that are hard to measure, companies first relyed on screening services and, eventurally, without satisfied results, voice their flustration and were heared and feeled by politicians and public.

The issue has since turn into presures on institutions and, without thinking carefully, scholars, in particular, begin to defend the quality of higher education in United States. But we have to realized that, as pointed out earlier, the issue is not about the quality of our higher education but about how to measure skills that are hard to measure. Companies can careless about the quality of higher education as long as they can find the worker they need.

So, for companies, the only issue is how to measure those hard to measured skills. To this end, all it is needed are testing services that measuring these hard to measured skills. The net effect is that institutions with good testing results will attract more students and are eyed as good institutions since, for large amount of people, they can also careless about the quality of higher education as long as they can get the training they need to find a job. Now, you can really feel the power of the capitalizm!

However, the success of capitalizm is not without governments! The good about capitalizm is that it motivates people. Without governments, the motivation can turn to illegal means, and self-interestedact and dis-regard public's interest. So, what governments need to do is to prevent flaws and guard public interest.

What will happen if we let all these play out, most students/parents will only interested in career driven courses and they can careless who taught it. As long as they can pass exams and get hired. Because of this, given the profit driven nature of capitalizm, the price for getting these kind of training will went down - which can't be a bad thing, consumer got what they wanted without those extra cost for courses and services they don't want - like a swiming pool or a laxutry dome.

As we could expect, some of the academic courses exist today will be ignored by students and parents and it is very possible that these courses are considered valuable to the society in the long run. If this is the case, governments will need to purswating their citizen to suport those courses through government provisions. Since these courses are supported by governments, governments can demand the quality of these courses through mandated checks. These may include basic science research or some libera art courses. Governments should also try to prove to companies the value of these courses and have them to support it as a way to lower governments' spending.

There are, however, questions for Governments: What is in the best interest of our citizen? Granted, capitalism have brought good things to our citizen, but it also caused griefs from time to time and it is the job of governments to mitegate the griefs.

The question for governments to think about is what's the right step to take in regarding the future of our citizen. To answer this question, we need think about what is in the benifit of our citizen? Safty, Happiness, Money( Can it buy the happiness?)

From the view of ecomonic developemt, what the government need to do is to support companies' need. This means

Questions left for governments are
Predicting what will happen. Think about the wellfare of our citizen. Determine what is the right things to do in the benifit of our citizen.

Question: What wil

Now, you can

We, however, do need realize that testing resluts of these testing services will influence public's opinion on each institution. So the net

For United States,

To them, the quality is measured in their terms.

The quality of our higher education only became companies' concern if they can't find skilled worker any place else. Don't you see they out sourcing to foreign countries?

With this in mind, we understand that there are two issues. For companies, their major concern is about how to measure those skills.

Presures are on institutions.
The public fee
As all the evidence quoted above, people no longer can deny or resist the idea of measuring higher education in a standard way. Those claim that higher education simply too complicate to measure with standard processes are diminishing. Overall, this is a victory of the consumer.

It may be true that public have got institutions to listen, but people must realize that some of the claims institutions have posted do have their merits. It is very important, now, to listen to what they said and set a realistic measurement scheme.

A measurement scheme can sustain itself only if there are customers. For example, the ACT and SAT can sustain itself because colleges using them. The question is then, who are the potential customer of higher ed. measurements? The likely customers are employers. Employers can careless about where employees got their training, as long as they have the skill they need.

We have to understand thatand the presure of producing to consultant are feeled and heard by applicants and communities. The pressure are put on

In planing the measurement, it is very important to recognize that employer should be invited. After all, who is really care about these measurement? This is a very realistic question especially at a time of the booming for-profit institutions. For employer with applicants from these institution, a simple check of legitmacy of their diploma may no longer enough.

With all these developments, we can say
With all sectors in the higher education working on

It is good accredidation and ETS are working on this. So are the Education Department. They can proceeded as they like. Except that, the Education Department is liable to the general public.

As one of the comment point out, if company want to test it, go ahead. He is actually on target! We have to remember that companies are the final judgment - unless you are going to be self-employed. So no matter what ETS or accredidation agency do, they will have to have companies buying into it. If they can't proof their value, it won't survial!

Along with other news, the postive note here is that, at least, people agree that even higher ed can be measured! As to what is to be measured, it will dependt on the customer.

The value added measure isn't really needed. - I will work on this!

Friday, August 11, 2006

on Science Education

Spend and You Shall Receive
- NSF funding
International Rebound
- Jump in engineer!!
Business School Applications Spike
- Where science students go?? MBA - the society driven it!!
So That’s Why They’re Leaving

  1. Engineer went MBA because pay - CEO always get paid more
  2. Possible grade inflation?
  3. Hard science can be graded more objectively
  4. What should be the goal of the grade?
  5. 35% A - why? How do you compare accross years or to other institutions? Maybe percent grade make more sense?
  6. Policy statement like SAT - using at your own risk
  7. Is science really more difficult than social science?

Summary goes here!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

An End to Picking One Box

Original Article
U.S. Education Draft

The recognition of the diversity of the population of United States is a right step. However, fail to recognize that the racial composition is NOT a good variable is a major problem. Human do not perceive the genetic composition per se. Human perceive the look and behavior of another person. The look and behavior, without doubts, should be the better variables.

The article simply states the fact that the U.S. Education Department is to follow the steps of Census Bureau and implemented 1997 OMB approach. Comments on that article show more interesting side of the issue.

The main theme of the comments turn into the discussion of wether the race still an issue in hihger Ed or America. I like the optimistics view of some of the commentators, but I don't think I can agree with them. With the affirmative action still in the air and with institutions that using races as part of their selection criteria, there are genuen reason to track the race/ethnic information. I suspecting that the reason a lot of the reader don't think the race matter, could be due to the fact that readers of that web site are, in general, doing well in life. For them, the race may not seem to be an issue as point out by John A Silvi's comment to the article New Arguments on Affirmative Action.

The question is then what info are appropriate to collect? To answer this question, we need understand how human perceive differences between people. It is clear that the look and the behavior of a person are the two major factors. For college admission, sometime, the name can be a clue. Comparing with the look and behavior, the genetic comopsition isn't as obvious. As we all know that a multi-racial individual can looked like everything in between. However, people could still perceive that person as one of the major races - that just what people do - people do profiling for organizing thoughts. The look of a person is, therefore an important one. It could potentially, be a better variable than the biological composition since it measures peoples perception more directly.

The other way to dis-prove the existance of race discrimination is to prove that there are other factors that are more important. One example of this factor is the poverty level. There have been studies, that show that poverty could expalain some of the achievement gaps since the achievement level of poor White kids are also low. One other possible factor is the culture values as most people recognize that different culture values things differently. Again, this variable does not necessaryly attached to race as people recognize that Hispanic culture is crossover all races. So, why isn't it possible that Asian culture crossover the racial line, especially for a multi-racial person.

So. It is clear that the biological combination of race information is less desirable compare to the look and the culture variables.

**There is nothing wrong with profiling, it's just what brain do to help storing information and drew conclusions. With the help of computer, people is begining to rely on other information, say, criminal records, to drew conclusions. However, a person with criminal record does not automatically convict him/her of a specific crime, it simply more likely. But isn't that a sort of profiling? Well, it's how we solve problems - based on our information and make decision to devote our efforts to the likely solution first then others. The distinction is if we always keep open mind about the other possibilities. But, remember, you could have spent enormous resources before you reach those others.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Faculty of One - working on

Original Article

Summary goes here!

  1. Well. Again, we need higher ed testing system.
  2. Does the number of faculty dictate the quality of the education? - Not necessary.
  3. What's the acceptable range of number of faculty? Should a school of, say, 5 faculties necessaryly produce better students than that of, say, 3 faculties?
  4. How you justify in setting up that criteria and guarantee the result?
  5. In-flexible is the reason cost are high at higher ed

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Students getting double dose of the three R's

Original Article

Summary goes here!

So? Does US student have enough school time?
So? What's bad about NCLB?
Again. Building student's responsibility is the most important thing.

Tenn. Gov. Pushes for 'Wal-Mart Degrees

Original Article

Summary goes here!

I do think it's goes too far. However, this is what the higher ed test will solve. Even though students are taking Wal-Mart specific degree, to student, those skill are useful some where else and without higher ed testing, it will have hard time find people accepting those credits.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mastering Engineering

Original Article

Draft. Some thoughts
  1. Is 4 year really not enough? Or like what was pointed out by the comment its the tandancy of adding instead of re-structuring?
  2. Like point out by the article, things are moving fast. Graduates need to adopt need things when it come out. So some of the practical details could be leave out. Re-structure seems should be the way to go.
  3. I still have to think about the need of humanity in higher ed.

Dream Deferred

Original Article

Draft. Some thoughts
  1. There will be loving parents that suffers for their kids. The question is what are the humanian, which is what American is great, way of treating them.
  2. There are a lot of people wanted to become US citizen, what are the better criteria instead of what we currently have.
  3. We should have a clear and better immigration goal - do we select talent people, hardworking people, ernest people or just rich people. All and all we like people that contribute to our society. The current criteria like caps on each country may not appropriate. We simply need think through what our goal is and what better law can be crafted to attain our goal. Don't getting into the superficial argument of illigel and legal arguments so easily - law can be changed!

Rallying Behind Open Access

Original Article

Draft. Working some ideas.
  1. Government pay for it and have the right to the result - but in what form? Does it have to be in journist form?
  2. Government can publish what ever they requested as a result.
  3. Researcher write it out and can send to both government and journal. Currently, journal will serve the purpose of review, a gate keeper. What will happen if government simply publish the report without review? This can be good and bad. The good is that people can see the original and it's possible that some articles that fails the journal review do have its values. But. The review is also so important. Without it, public can easily mis-interpret a lot of thing without the proper trainings.
  4. If government is to accept the journal submission as acceptable report, do they need to fund any of the reviewing cost?
  5. Who's paying for the reviews and clarical works?
  6. So. What's the reasonable way of doing this?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What Role for Sociology

Original Article

The proposal is a very good one especially at the time of calling for accountability. All majors should do the same by revisting their way of measuring success as pointed out by the article: on Higher Ed. competency-based assessment. The clear the people understand what contributes to the capabilities of students, people and business can make more sensible decisions. This includes hire people with trained abilities, which, in turn, promote students to take those courses seriously. A positive feedback loop, is, therefore, begin.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Show Them the Money

Original Article

Facts are good to know. But we have to be careful about how we go about it. A not well thought advocacy can teach its citizen the wrong lesson and cause the fail of the society.

I understand that there are concerns about minorities are in a disadvantage status. However, we should be careful about how we should provid the help.

I am sure not all languages have the same volcabularies. Even different fields of study use word differently. But I don’t think it should be an execuse that we should provide more assistants to minorities.

Personally, my parents can’t help me on anything about student loan, financial aid ... etc. I am now having a child approaching the college-going age and I know I will have to study about it. To me, if a school did provide info to students and parents and did not intentionally favor one race or the other, I will consider they did their job since everyone had been given the same oppotunity.

From time to time, I feel people need take more responsibility and I think society should be careful not to demote the importance of it. How a society work is a vivid real life lesson to its citizen. A not well thought advocacy can teach its citizen the wrong lesson and cause the fail of the society.

Hispanic is not the only race that START in economic disadvantaged state. A lot of immigrants are. But some of them are very successful, like Asian in general. I am sure their laguange barriers are larger.

The most important lesson that should be taught in K12 is the responsibility. If you don’t think school can do it along, then it’s time to involve and educate parents too.