Thursday, August 30, 2007

‘New Players, Different Game’

Original Article - An excellent article. Good questions and answers.

Summary goes here!

I guess the question left is, as a nation, shouldn't we measure the outcome?

If we follow the logic that for-profits are more or less governed by the same rule of goods- and services-producing corporation. The measurement of their outcomes is inevitable. But how about the traditional institutions?

An analogy could be drew between government agencies and private corporations. The efficiency of government agencies is constantly questioned. I suppose, as a whole, the higher ed will still work. But will we lost our edges as a nation, since the most talented students were not been pushed toward a stated standard, even though, this may be most relative to the undergraduates, assuming graduates are

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SAT Scores Down Again, Wealth Up Again

Original Article - A report with some demographic info. ACT is getting popular.

Summary goes here!

Main body here

In Support of the E-Test

Original Article

Summary goes here!
** I understand that higher ed are indeed complicate and not all subjects area are as easy to be measured objectively. However, blindly refused to be measured objectively is simply irresponsible. At least, they should offer to try on certain fields. !

I thought higher ed are too complicated to be measured by multiple choice test. I shall conclude that these must be of limited use. In that case, I wonder how much over all saving is there.

Of cause, that is not my point. Higher Ed had claimed that it is too complicated to be measured across institutions. But if you can use multiple choice to test students, the complexity can't be in the subject itself but in the choice of subject to cover. This also mean, there is no tech problem in testing students knowledge. It's a matter of picking the subject to test.

For accountability of institutions, subjects can be determined by industry judging by the need of the industry. Institutions can teach what ever subject they want at what ever cost. However, the mechanism is there to hold down the price.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Search for Consensus in California

Original Article - if you have read Bob's comments see my reply at the end.

Summary goes here!

In general, the Unite State is a place where equality get praised and approved. The difficulty in setting regulations that governing for-profit institutions lies exactly on that.

Accreditation agencies based their accreditation criteria on all things but the direct measure of quality of the graduates. This approach is at the root of the problem. Without objective measures on graduates, no institution can defense the quality of their graduates and this leads to no standard for regulation to based on.

National and regional accredited institutions are based on different set of criteria for accreditation. But because none of them can prove that their graduates are better educated,
there is no convenient base to based the regulation on. Legislatures that trying to set criteria on for-profit institutions will always face the question of fairness - the fairness of judging which institution produces quality graduates. With the lack of direct quality measure of graduates, all they can do is to base their regulation on formalities, which surely didn't address fairness directly.

At this point, traditional and regional accredited institutions are, in general, claiming supority of their graduates. To facilitate the resolution, it is encouraged that if they can demonstrate their high standards of their graduates.

setting a rule that favor anyone of them is un-fair and problematic. It is true that for-profit could be driven by it's nature to overlook students' interest, the same can be said about traditional institutions - just look the way they defense their practices and their un-willingness in adopting charges.

National accredited institutions can easily challenge the

faces questions from for-profit that their graduates are not well certified even though those graduates from for-profit institutions may very well have the same problem.

I am not sided with for-profit but I am disappointed by the fact that traditional institutions and accreditation agencies' lack of courage in taking steps to resolve the issues facing the nation.

You will think traditional institutions are in the league of education and public service and that they care about the society. But appearantly a lot of them are clugged with self interest. With their elite status, they simply mind their own business and not submerge themselves to help establish a fair accountable system.

If and only if traditional institution can step up and say: 'Hold me on the same standard as those of for-profit', will provide the leveled ground for things to take shape.


Yes. I will treat them the same as long as they all got fined $500 for every instance. Besides, that is not the point. Our common laws apply to everyone equally, even though, it will apply heavier fine on repeated offender. However, strict rules for for-profit, just because they are more likely to have wrong behavior, is like profiling black, just because they are black but not because that particular black. I suppose, to reach mutual equality, traditional institutions should re-accredited by the national accreditation too!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Educating for Responsibility

Original Article

In my view, the responsibility is the most important thing in education. It should have been the K12 mission.
In my view, the responsibility is the most important thing in education. It should have been the K12 mission.

Through my education, the teacher that I remembered most is one that wasting time talking about views of life. Personally, I didn’t learn much intellectual stuff from him. But it broaden my view of the world and helped me embrace the humanity view of the world.

However, I believe the best way to teach responsibility is to lead by example. If parents care and acted responsibly, their kids will feel it. Even if there are cases that parents can’t actually fulfill their acts, kids will understand. It is the overall sincereness that counts.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Stuff Factor; Dorms gone deluxe

The Stuff Factor
Dorms gone deluxe

Summary goes here!
Is this right for our society?

I can only hope these are special cases. I don't know how these kids got to go to colleges. But it sure hard for me to believe that, with this kind of attachment to stuffs, they are sincere in pursuing knowledge.

If the slightest of my suspicion is true, I say we made the access to college too easy for them. We, as the parents, are loosing the sense of guidance.

Do you think University have too much money on their hand? I think so. Does all these new residence hall and remodeling cost parents anything? Does this contribute to the high price of higher ed?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Involvement is key to success

Original Article

Summary goes here!

What else you think that matters? Even though not all parent can do all that, but kids can feel the sincereness of their parents. Responsible parent brought responsible kids. Perfect score or not it doesn't matter. Responsible citizen is what is count.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Course Shopping and Its Meaning

Original Article

Summary goes here!
These things will not go away. No matter what faculty like to think about the consumer model. Students are evaluating instructors with varing objectives. We should approach this problem openly instead of simply try to limit it. It is understand that not all students behavior are constructive to their learning and to the society. But instead of applying rules, it may be better to guide.

Given students channels to talk about in an online forum. Read and understand the behavior. Acknowledge the existence of difference in students' learning behavior. Do the best to move students toward learning. Understanding that there are things that are NOT the responsibility of institution.

A Ranking That Would Matter

Original Article - Job rate to rate graduate program of history

Summary goes here!

I wonder what college would say about applying this to undergraduate programs. Objective measure is the way to handle the accountability problem.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Counterpoint: What About the Students?

Original Article - Haven't read yet!

Summary goes here!


A Better Way on Transfer of Credit

Original Article - Good comments and inside to issues

Summary goes here!

My thinking:
Institution can select their students if the out come of the institution is accountable, because they will be realistic when there are measures or reputations on the line.

Marketing is just a tool. Will marketing work or not it depends heavily on how it is regulated. The main benefits of marketing is the open to competition as means to benefits the society.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2006

Original Article - Good reference to each country's system.

Summary goes here!
In general, Japan and Canada are doing good. It's very interesting that teachers in Japan start with almost the lowest salary and climbed to very high in the chart and higher than US through seniority.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

College Science Success Linked To Math And Same-Subject Preparation

Original Article

Summary goes here!

Well. Nothing surprise here. At this point in time, physics, in theory, can calculate all chemical reactions. But it still take a lot of computation. The simple intuitive principle that can be used to predict chemical reaction isn't even part of the core physic study. It belongs to theoretic topic of chemistry. Same thing happens in trying to explain all biological events with chemistry. Emperical rule derived from Biology is still more strait froward then using those from the element properties. There are things that chemistry can help. But at the entry level, chemistry principle is probably not even in the curriculum.

It is not that physics and chemistry is useless but they are simply not the right entry point for those courses.

Math are special in a way that it deal with numbers and quantifying things is the basic of all modern sciences including social science. The other aspect of math that is also at the core of modern sciences is the logical training. All modern sciences based their reasoning and conclusion on logic reasoning. Conclusions or findings are made via logical thoughts while examining facts.

More Students and Higher Scores for ACT

Original Article - Just a report. I wonder what kind of comments will show up

Summary goes here!

If college board have read the article College Science Success Linked To Math And Same-Subject Preparation, they should change their science section to include more subject related material. Currently, all you need to know to handle the science section is the basic science logic and some math. You don't really need subject specific knowledge. In principle, testing science logic is essential. The only problem I see is that it is testing something that is so basic that it does not measure subject specified material taught in high school and, therefore, missing measures that GPA is capable of - the efforts of students in mastering materials and also their readiness in taking more advanced courses. In a way, I think, this is why Asian higher ed students are entering the topic specified area earlier. They are tested on the subject specified material at the admission.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Race (Still) Matters

Original Article

Summary goes here!
Equality is what all these debate is about. Equality is all very well. But still the goal of equality is to improve human advances. The mis-use of equality will not achieve that goal.

The idea of equality is to promote the idea that everyone have a chance to success given the efforts individual put in. The mis-use of the idea of equality demote this idea. In practice, we know the communist is a disaster. The approach can't award blindly to everyone that have low resources. A great burden will be on the individual to make progress.

Why Differences in Community Colleges Matter

Original Article - not much on the article. Comments are mostly on for-profit.

Summary goes here!
As point out by all those comments that questioning the for-profits, retention and graduation rate simply not a good measure. Only if you can couple these rate with the measure of the outcome of the students, does these rate give you a good sense.

With the outcome of students measured, institutions can't just try to retained students but also need to make sure they learn. The graduation rate is the same, institutions can simply let students graduates since it will drop their marks on the measurement of students' outcome.

The problem: If traditional institutions don't even dare to take these measurements, I see no justices in imposing these on for-profits.

The claimed superiority is easy to achieve, the real tests is what is counted.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How Not to Fix Accreditation

Original Article - Info on degree mill and un-accredited institutions.

We should after the end result first, the formality should not be our first choice.
As noted, the article provides some info on current status of states that lacks regulation of higher Ed institutions. It also point out flaws in "Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policy Makers Can Do About It". The bottom line of the article: "Accreditation is not working well, and we certainly need a better system of quality control for American colleges and universities. But ACTA has not recommended a feasible replacement."

The suggestion of the article: "Colleges and universities at all levels should move toward making unified, required core curricula the bulk of the first two years of college.", is, unfortunately, a reserved approach and is not likely to have direct impact on building a quality control system. For one, the approach did not escape the norm of formality requirement as opposed to the quality requirement.

Graduates' quality is what is count and is what should be concerned. This answers directly to the qualification question of the instructor. I am sure Albert Einstein did not went through the graduate school. Bill Gates certainly did not got an MBA. But none of us can argue that they can't taught college - even the graduate school. There are a lot of people that are capable of teaching and it can end up with just a matter of dedications. We certainly did not require figure skate coaches be an ice skate champion themselves. Even thought, it's convincing to have one.

The cause of this accreditation wave is not just about the quality but also about the cost of higher education. In the cost allay, the formality requirements have cost associated with it. By insisting in formality, the cost is not directly linked to the cost of producing quality graduates but to the cost of maintaining the formality. This is like limiting ways manufactures can produce products - No disingenuous allowed! Ask yourself a question: Did you ever care how a product is made other than if a product is good.

The bottom line here: We should after the end result first, the formality should not be our first choice.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

College for Sale

Original Article

Summary goes here!
There are few points that require examination.

Are for-profit and non-for-profit institution different animals?

Does education mean the formality of institution or the gaining of knowledge of the students?

What is in the best interest for the society?

The final goal of governance is to benefit the society. The purpose of all law and regulation is to bring activities in the society toward benefit the society. The law and regulation are tools so are the formality of organizations. For-profit, non-for-profit and business rules alike are all just activities.

In the case of education, the perceived benefits to the society is the gaining of knowledge of students and not the formalities of organizations. The single and most important measure is the result of learning and is not about business logic or faculty governance. Even though, traditionally, higher education, with the faculty governance tradition, have been the voice of advocacy. Faculty governance should not be considered the major benefits of education. If so, we might as well forget about knowledge transfer but talk about social movements.

Traditionally, higher education are construct so that students are required to acquire general education in addition to their specialties. It, therefore, serves two purposes: the knowledge transfer and the social education.

With the world turning, general public are concerned more about the knowledge transfer ( read: finding a job) than the social value provided by the higher education. The question is how we resolve this problem. At this point in time, traditional institutions insist to provide the social value regardless of the cost associated with it, while the general public out cry for an affordable education for job. Corporations with their for-profit nature are, probably, more interested in knowledge transfer part of the higher education.

We all understand that, there are people that values the social education of the higher education. The problem is they will have to convince the general public the value. Otherwise, we will have to find other way to resolve this problem - We must understand that people is what made the society, you can't force them but to guide them. In a way, we have to give what they want and provide incentive to see benefits of other side of the coin.

As for-profit institutions entering the market, the for-profit nature of them will drive them to put less emphasise in social value and, therefore, lower the cost.