“Worth Reading” is a hand-picked weekly collection of new and not-so-new articles, ideas, events and other items for busy professionals in higher education.
We’ll’ be speaking and participating in this event in late March. Out topic: “Using Data to Enact Early Intervention Strategies and Deepen Instruction in Intro Psychology Courses”
For more information, visit LAK15.
By Dr. Lloyd Armstrong, USC
Excerpt: Key Take-Aways
- Individuals generally are wary of changes that challenge old assumptions and require new skills to succeed. Organizations are collections of individuals and thus reject individual concerns.
- People in very successful organizations often internalize key aspects of their business model as defining quality in their field; changes in these key aspects consequently imply lower quality. U.S. higher education has epitomized quality for more than a half-century, leading to an exceptionally high level of internalization of business-model driven definitions of quality.
- Special characteristics of higher education that heighten the normal obstacles to change are the unusual dual roles of tenure-line faculty as both managers and producers of the core educational product; the credence-good nature of higher education; and the multiple overlapping missions of learning, research, and social growth of students.
- The member-organization accreditation system naturally exhibits and supports the same obstacles to innovation and change as do its member organizations.
Review by Richard Azzizi
Excerpt: “And while Blumenstyk comes down clearly on one side (“Yes,” she writes, “Higher education is most assuredly in crisis”), she follows with an assurance that “It certainly does not … spell doom for the thousands of colleges that make up American higher education. But what is abundantly clear from her impressive and exhaustive marshaling of recent and relevant data is that higher education in America is at a crossroads.”
Opposing Views of the New “Free” Community College
By Richard Kahlenbergjan
Excerpt: “Most commentators have focused on scrutinizing the plan’s strategy, questioning its feasibility and its failure to address the root problems plaguing higher education. But they’re overlooking the truly revolutionary possibility that it would make two-year institutions more economically and racially integrated—something that should be applauded.”
By Arthur Hauptman
Excerpt: “President Obama has jumped on the bandwagon, which started in Tennessee, of making community college tuition-free. This latest proposal is his most recent effort to increase the prominence of the federal government in higher education. While giving higher education more federal visibility may be a good thing, making community colleges tuition-free is also the latest in a series of proposals in which the administration seems to have decided that sound bites trump sound policy.”
By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: “Valletta points out that, beginning in 2000, the US labor market has increasingly favored workers with a graduate degree, while the “wage advantage” for four-year college grads has hardly changed (see featured chart). This divergence between those with college and graduate degrees “may be one manifestation of rising labor market polarization, which benefits those earning the highest and the lowest wages relatively more than those in the middle of the wage distribution.”