Friday, December 14, 2007

Tennessee Reconsiders Tilt to Merit Aid

Original Article

Summary goes here!

My thoughts on this is that, in general, educators and policy makers did not carefully went through the brain storm session of what kind of citizen they need and what kind of resources they have.

The goal of a society is to bring the prosper to the society with best efficiency. With this in mind, policy makers need decided that, with limited resources and the economic goal they try to achieve, do they need higher education for every possible citizen? Or maybe it is more efficient to educate a group of experts that will establish new businesses to bring prosper to all citizen.

Beside the analysis on physical entities, policy maker also need to factor in if the policy encourage the general idea of promoting responsibility - i.e. asking yourself first instead of asking what the society should do for you.

Open Courses Open Wider

Original Article

Summary goes here!
===Revision of my post at
I know some of you may not up to this and I know there are issues that need to be worked out. But I like to, again, toss the idea that we should find a way to give certificates/degrees to people that is capable of learning by themselves. These people can be charged minimum fees for the certificate/degree evaluation. With this being available, we prompt the idea that the goal of education is to build the ability to learn.

It shifts the obligation of learning to students. As long as students can learn, they will be charged much less than those who need extra services that cost institutions to setup.

This will give society the right mindset for education.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

U.S. Students Fall Short in Math and Science

Original Article
PISA 2006 - At OECD, At US ED

Summary goes here!
I don't know about how Finland and Canada structure their education system. But I do see quite few far east countries made the list. As far as I know, testing is a common theme in these countries. Especially that test scores are given high regards. Grades are usually second to the most important. By the way, I believe the data show that they are spending less than United States.

A point: If you can set a clear goal, you can steer education to that goal. The goal can be improved and so will education. A bunch of non-compatible goals is next to no goals and give people excuses of no clear goal. I will not argue that NCLB is doing everything right, but I will give it the credit of setting a clear goal.

Postsecondary Education and Nebraska's Future forum

Original Article
Related material on the internet:
Nebraska Innovation Forum
University of Nebraska 2000 - 2004(strategy plan?)

This is a news report not my comments on the event.

On Dec. 5, 2007, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) and Senator Ron Raikes, Chair, Nebraska Legislature's Education Committee, co-host the forum: Postsecondary Education and Nebraska's Future.

The forum features presentations by Dennis Jones, president, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and Q&A sessions with Nebraska leaders - Dennis Baack, Stan Carpenter, Doug Christensen, Tip O'Neil, Linda Ray Pratt (above, represent education sector), Wendy Boyer and Jim Linderholm (business sector). Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is also invited. Dennis Jones' presentation can be found here.

Dennis Jones, a native Nebraskan who had been invited to give similar talks to Nebraska's policy makers in the past(e.g. 2003), made his points even clear this time that the most important thing for Nebraska is to strive on economic development. In general, his talk concluded that Nebraska is doing a fair job in educating our kids but is short on building a sustainable economics and, as a result, Nebraska was not able to retain these well educated kids and was not able to achieve economic gain.

At the Q&A session, several good points are raised. Stan Carpenter, with daughter in school, talk about customizing system to fit students learning style. Doug Christensen talked about what K12 system have done in recruiting minority students. Dennis Baack talked about community colleges' efforts in working with Universities, State colleges and private institutions in making the system more economic. Tip O'Neill talk about the culture changes in savings and about legislature's efforts in encouraging saving for education. Linda Ray Pratt talked about University's willingness in engaging the society in economic development and University's efforts in creating the innovation park. She also talked about UNO's efforts in attracting Iowa students. Wendy Boyer, when asked about businesses' view about the training need from higher education institutions, talked about the mixed need from business world and talked about the short term specific training needs of businesses.

Governor Dave Heineman use his opportunity to talk about the difficult budget decision he have to make between other issues and education. Even though he has passions on education and economic development, the tight state budget is limiting the funding state can appropriate to education. The lower tax and budget discipline is his signature.