Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mixed Grades for Grads and Assessment

Original Article
Original AACU report

I read the original article and
Well. I read the original article and, in general, it's not biased.

The 'facts' are:
1. There are room for improvement in college education.
2. There are room for improvement in evaluating graduates.
3. Employer don't FEEL standardized test can measure ALL they wanted from a graduates - but so do other way of evaluation.

So. Where should we go from here?
1. Need accountability for school.
2. Develop better evaluation methods.

Faculty evaluation is OK assuming faculty does not yield to pressure from the top. Senior project is good too. But can you trust those from the for-profit institutions? - this may apply to traditional school too. Now. How can you be sure the info you received is not biased? It seems to me we need some independent vendors.

Now. The accountability. This can be done independent from the way of evaluation. As long as the result are published and broke down by school, parents and students can choose school of desired quality (employability) with reasonable price.

My post at InsideHigherEd.com: =============
First of all, I like to thank Scott to bring this report forward.

I suspected that this report is a response to Spellings' committee. In a way, it did - employers don't trust standardized test. But it does not respond to the accountability question.

The report showed that employers do want to evaluate the graduates and this is what is important. In what form is really a secondary question.

Of cause, employers can careless about school rankings if they can evaluate graduates. But the measuring of school is actually a call for accountability. This goal can be achieved regardless of the type of evaluation is used. As long as the result is published, students and parents will have the information to pick a school with desired quality(employability) with reasonable price.

There are opportunities for vendors to work with employers to create good evaluation tools. But I do hope US employers aren't like those described by Scrawed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

International Call for Open Resources

Original Article

The next thing to do is to allow them (students) to test out and charge them (students) just for that service. In doing so, we are not only fair and we promote the importance of 'critical thinking' or, like what I like to put it, the ability to adapt and learn by yourself - isn't that supposed to be the goal of education?

Like what I said before, this is all very well. But the claim: 'we have an opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people' is a bit remote at this point.

For a normal person, the first thing he can improve is get a job by attending school and PAY the (high) tuition. Even though resource is out there, studying it does not give you the job you want since you do not have the degree or certificate. Degree or certificate requires you to sit in the class and pay for the sitting time. I know I am exaggerate a bit. But there are people that can study by themselves whether because he already had other education or he simply smart and possess the critical thinking skill.

The fair thing to do is to allow them to test out and charge them just for that service. In doing so, we are not only fair and we promote the importance of 'critical thinking' or, like what I like to put it, the ability to adapt and learn by yourself - isn't that supposed to be the goal of education?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Staff Salary By Race - University of Nebraksa

Original Article

Disparities are very likely to appear at low-skill jobs where abilities can easily be overridden by personal preferences. In the study, we see that for low-end jobs, where the salary scale begins at bellow 20 thousands a year, there are higher percentages of Whites in the high salary scale. Disparities exist in all minorities. In the Service/Maintenance category, Asian receives the worst salary offering with 85% of them receive the lowest salaries comparing to 53% for Black, 44% for Native American, 46% for Hispanics and 36% for Whites.

Literature Overview

For years, salary differences in the higher education had been a much-studied topic. Most of the studies focused on faculty and gender disparities. These studies provided useful information in recognizing possible gender discrimination inside higher education communities. However, almost all of these studies are focused on faculties and did not examine the possible disparities among staffs. In addition to that, most of the studies are interested in gender disparity rather than race disparities.

Fresh ideas in this analysis

Instead of studying disparities in faculty and gender, this analysis focused on staff and race. Implications of this study are many. For one, we hope this report will encourage a broader discussion on staff disparity since the working staff is a better representation of the working class of American than faculty. Second to that, we hope this study will illustrate that disparities do not appear only in the high paying jobs.

One of the suspicions we had in conducting this analysis was that disparities are very likely to appear at low-skill jobs where abilities can easily be overridden by personal preferences.

Limitation of data and this report

The source data used in this report is the 2005 Staff survey collected via the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System by US Department of Education. The data is available for download from their Peer Analysis Site.

This report is a preliminary analysis. Our focus is on the University of Nebraska campuses. Since there weren't many minorities working in the University of Nebraska when broken down by job categories, some of the analysis in this report may not be statistically sound. We, however, view this as a pilot study that could inspire researchers to work on this kind of data.

Among job categories, the administrator and skilled crafts contain too few minorities to be considered statistically sound.

We also like to point out that we have no intention in singling out the University of Nebraska. We believe the problem could well exist in all parts of our society.

Notes in handling of data

Since Hispanic is considered an ethnicity and can, therefore, have the appearance of any race, this report aggregates minorities in two ways in hope to identify if discrimination is an act based on the perceived appearance of minorities. One aggregation is labeled Minority_1 and does not include Hispanics. The other one, labeled Minority_2, does include Hispanics.

High lights in the analysis

In general, we see that for low-end jobs, where the salary scale begins at bellow 20 thousands a year, there are higher percentages of Whites in the high salary scale. For high paying jobs, except at the very top salary scale, there are usually higher percentages of Whites at higher salary scales. In the Service/Maintenance category, Asian receives the worst salary offering with 85% of them receive the lowest salaries comparing to 53% for Black, 44% for Native American, 46% for Hispanics and 36% for Whites.

Charts


Clerical
Administrator
OtherProfessional
ServiceMaintenance
SkilledCrafts
Paraprofessional
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