Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sleeping Dogs Are Waking

The university will either change soon or simply implode; its present course is unsustainable and rests on the premise that schizophrenic deans and presidents can still manage to write and say things to student cry bullies that they hope their donors and alumni never read or hear.

Colleges overcharge insolvent students through tuition increases far beyond the annual rate of inflation—the Ponzi scheme predicated on guaranteed federal loans that cannot be repaid by poorly educated graduates and drop-outs, many with little skills or demonstrable education. Obama has already promised relief to the disabled student debtor: expect that more amnesties will follow, probably predicated on the basis of race, class, and gender. In the meantime, the number of disabled indebted students will mysteriously soar.

In response, the university freely imposes speech codes, allows racial segregation, and winks at censorship of texts. It has suspended due process in cases of allegations of sexual assault, and allows 1930s-like violence (reminiscent of the Brownshirts) to disrupt public lectures and assemblies—if the agendas of the protestors profess social awareness. Only the hard sciences and professional schools in engineering, mathematics, and medicine have for the moment partially escaped the ruin.

Online colleges are far cheaper and more concerned with offering skill sets for cash. Their spread has so far been checked by the lack of general education enrichment, by the mythical college experience of physically living in or walking about a beautiful campus, and by the lack of prestige accorded a for-profit, online diploma. But if the traditional American college has largely given up on liberal education (due to its deductive and politicized mandatory –studies courses), if being on a campus can equate to an unpleasant ordeal of thought policing and mob rule, and if a diploma from a major university does not suggest that one knows anything about history, literature, science, or basic facts concerning our civilization, why would the university need to continue? Cui bono?

It runs now partly on past momentum, and partly because taxpayers and alumni donors still subsidize it. If a majority were to feel that their money only empowers fascism among faculty and administration, and if they were to conclude that students are not sympathetic in their indebtedness, but rather increasingly arrogant and ignorant in their passive aggressions, then they might well simply pull the plug on what is becoming their Frankenstein monster.


US Spends $600 Billion/Year on Education, But Large Majority of H.S. Seniors Not College-Ready

Despite the fact that the U.S. spends more than $600 billion per year on public education, a large majority of high school seniors are not ready for college-level work in math and reading, according to the latest results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “the nation’s report card”.

Demonstrating proficiency in a core subject like math or reading is considered proof of being academically prepared for college-level courses.

However, just 25 percent of 12th graders tested “Proficient” or above in math on the 2015 NAEP, down slightly from the 26 percent reported in 2013.

That means that three-quarters of the nation’s soon-to-be-graduating high school seniors are not prepared to succeed in college math courses.

Although more 12th graders (37 percent) tested “Proficient” or above in reading, that figure was also down one percent from the 2013 results.

According to NAEP, nearly two-thirds of high seniors do not have the written language skills they will need in college.

The average score of the 31,900 12th graders who took the 2015 NAEP math test was 152, which was down in all four content areas and one point lower than the average score (153) in 2013, Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), told reporters during a webinar on Wednesday announcing the latest NAEP results.

Only three percent of those taking the math assessment tested “Advanced.” Another 22 percent tested “Proficient”, with 37 percent of test-takers demonstrating a “Basic” mastery of mathematics.

However, the largest contingent – 38 percent – tested at the lowest “Below Basic” level. “There is a larger proportion of students at the bottom of the distribution” than in 2013, Carr acknowledged.

English Language Learners, who posted a six-point gain, were the only student sub-group to significantly increase their math scores over 2013 levels, she pointed out.

The average score in reading (287) was not significantly different from the average score reported in 2013 (288), Carr said.

Six percent of high school seniors scored in the “Advanced” reading category, with 31 percent testing “Proficient”, and 35 percent scoring in the “Basic” range.

However, 28 percent failed to demonstrate even basic mastery of the written word – three percent more than in 2013.

Carr noted that the 2015 NAEP results remained virtually unchanged for various racial and ethnic sub-groups compared to 2013. In general, white and Hispanic males tended to do better on the math tests, while females overall did better on the reading assessments, she pointed out.

Education experts also noted that average math scores were higher for students who took more challenging pre-calculus and calculus classes, and average reading scores were the highest for students who reported reading more than 20 pages of text a day in school or while doing their homework assignments.

When asked how the latest reading and math NAEP scores compared to student test scores worldwide, Carr replied that “we will wait to see” when the next international results are released in November and December.

According to the latest available figures from NCES, “the 50 states and D.C. reported $603.7 billion in funding collected for public elementary and secondary education in 2013.”

State and local governments provided 91 percent of all education funding, while the federal government paid the remaining 9 percent.


Liberty University to Allow Students to Keep Handguns in Dormitories

Liberty University in Virginia is allowing students with concealed handgun permits recognized by the state, to keep their weapons in their dorms beginning next fall.

Students’ weapons would need to be kept in safes inside the residence halls at the private Christian university.

The News & Advance reports, the policy change was given the go-ahead by the university's board of trustees last week.

Previously, the policy allowed for concealed carry on campus by students over 21 years of age, but they were not allowed to have the weapon in residence halls and had to store it in “a secured container or compartment in their vehicle while on University property. “

University President Jerry Falwell Jr. announced last year that eligible students could carry guns on campus and publicly encouraged students to arm themselves.


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