Noticias relacionadas con la Innovación Educativa

La cuarta revolución de la banca y otros avatares

El País - Educación - Dom, 25 Jun 2017 - 05:06
El curso de verano de la UIMP centrado en el sector habla de la modernización de la industria y la crisis del Popular

Why It Took 75 Years For My Grandpa To Have His Graduation Party

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 20:46
In 1942, as other students were in caps and gowns, he was imprisoned for being Japanese-American.

Why It Took 75 Years For My Grandpa To Have His Graduation Party

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 20:46

The night of my Grandpa Homer’s high school graduation, he was living in the barracks of a detention center in California with his mom, his sister and thousands of other Japanese-Americans imprisoned during World War II.


Last weekend, he finally got the graduation party he missed out on all those years ago.


My mom had received Grandpa’s diploma by mail from his old school district in Oregon, and she saved it for a family get-together the day before Father’s Day. She asked my aunt and uncle to bring my cousin’s mortarboard cap, and the family came over and played “Pomp and Circumstance” at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.


“It kind of took me by surprise,” Grandpa told me later. “[Your mother] said, ‘I have something for you,’ and someone gave me the cap and I opened the package and saw my diploma and said, ‘Oh my god!’



Someone gave me the cap and I opened the package and saw my diploma and said, ‘Oh my god!’
Homer Yasui, 92


Seventy-five years ago, Grandpa lost his chance to walk onstage in his cap and gown with the rest of his class. On May 13, 1942, he, his mother and his little sister Yuka were rounded up with other Japanese-Americans in Hood River, Oregon, and put on trains to what was then called an “assembly center” in Pinedale, California ― a hastily converted detention facility where thousands of Japanese-Americans were temporarily imprisoned before being sent to more permanent prison camps around the country.


Grandpa was 17 then, and a typical American teenager. The military instructed everyone to bring only what they could carry, so he packed a baseball mitt and baseball hat. He remembers thinking it was “kind of stupid” that everyone at the station was formally dressed.


Grandpa’s senior class was scheduled to graduate the following month, but by then, he and all the other young Japanese-Americans in the Hood River Valley, along with their families, had become prisoners of their own government.



Not that he was bothered much at the time. For years, Grandpa would joke about the “freedom” he had behind barbed wire, first at Pinedale and then at a “relocation center” in Tule Lake, California. No longer forced to work all summer on the family farm, he could smoke, play poker and chase girls.


The FBI had already taken his father away, shortly after the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941. (Grandpa’s father, Masuo Yasui, wouldn’t be released until 1946, and was never actually charged with a crime.) Grandpa’s older brother Min was forced to endure months of solitary confinement for deliberately breaking a discriminatory wartime curfew. But for Grandpa, the injustice of his family’s ordeal didn’t really register until years later.


“I was so dumb in those days. I wasn’t worldly,” Grandpa said. “I also said, ‘Well, I’m in camp, OK.’ I never thought about my civil liberties being denied me and all that. Most people my age never thought about it.”


He eventually settled into a job as a hospital orderly, where he remembers tending to a white boy with terrible burns. With no big cities nearby, the prison camp at Tule Lake was the closest option for medical care in an emergency. The young man yelled that he didn’t want to be treated by “Jap” doctors. Ultimately, he succumbed to his injuries and died.


The boy’s death made an impression on my grandfather, and he told us all the story years later. Once he left Tule Lake, he went on to graduate from the University of Denver and then Hahnemann Medical School and Hospital in Philadelphia. He married my grandmother, Miki, and became a surgeon.


“The only graduation I ever participated in was my medical school graduation,” Grandpa told me. “I got my cap and gown, and Miki saw me and she blew a gasket, because a bunch of us doctors didn’t even have the sense to get our gowns pressed.”


He has one graduation photo from that day, taken by an itinerant street photographer. “We’re all dressed alike and we look real crummy,” he said.



In the years and decades that followed World War II, America’s consensus that people like my grandfather had been imprisoned “for their own protection” or “for the good of the country” began to erode. (But that sentiment lives on, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath.)


Grandpa’s sister Michi triumphantly returned to the University of Oregon in 1984 to accept her college diploma ― decades after she was barred from her own graduation ceremony because of the military curfew imposed on Japanese-Americans. She was in her 60s at the time.


In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, acknowledging that the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”


And in November 2015, Grandpa and his sister Yuka met President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. There, among Hollywood stars, trailblazing scientists and sports icons, Obama awarded their brother Min a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for challenging the U.S. government’s wartime policies all the way to the Supreme Court.


Grandpa shook the president’s hand and got a hug from the first lady. He said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.



Compared to that, maybe it wasn’t such a big deal when Grandpa got a message from Hood River Valley High School this year, offering him a chance to come back for an official graduation ceremony. He declined, because at 92, he wanted to stay home with Grandma and take it easy.


I asked Grandpa about the invitation and whether he thought it meant his hometown had taken a step forward. He chalked it up to his brother Min being recognized as an “exemplary citizen.”


“I think Hood River’s very late in doing this,” he said, “because many colleges have done this earlier, and cities like Seattle and Los Angeles recognized their mistakes after 30 or 40 years. And it took Hood River 75 years.”


“But that’s great,” he added. “Better late than never, while some of us are still alive to tell the tale.”


Listen to Homer tell the more of the Yasui family’s story on the podcast “Hear in the Gorge,” produced by Sarah Fox.




-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

4th Grader Makes Viral Tearjerking Video About Being Racially Bullied At School

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 14:55
The student is speaking out after being called “servant” and “Nutella” by peers.

4th Grader Makes Viral Tearjerking Video About Being Racially Bullied At School

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 14:55

Two Washington parents felt helpless after their 9-year-old child was repeatedly bullied by peers despite complaints to school faculty ― so they used social media to draw attention to their daughter’s story. 


Last Thursday, Chanty Andrews, whose child is a fourth-grader at Ardmore Elementary School, posted a video in which her daughter Nasir used placards to share her experiences being bullied.





In the three-minute video, a despondent Nasir, who began attending Ardmore in September, is seen with signs reading, “I was a happy kid until I started school. Kids began to bully me.”


Nasir recollects instances of being punched, choked, isolated and called “servant” and “Nutella” by peers, and having food thrown at her by an office worker. 


Nasir told Kiro 7 that when she told a teacher about the “Nutella” incident, she was told the comment was not “racist” and instructed to write the definition of the word. Nasir is a minority at the school, where black students make up only 8.5 percent of the population



I don't feel like anyone is helping or cares."



Kiro 7 posted Chantey’s video to their Facebook page Wednesday and it has since been viewed over 5 million times. Nasir has received an outpouring of support. 


One Facebook user who makes jewelry even offered to create a necklace for Nasir as a show of support.






How can I become pen pals with #NasirAndrews? That child has been through it and I know the feeling well.

— Ramona Montañez (@MUSICxMONA) June 22, 2017








On Thursday, Chantey shot another video of her daughter, but this one had a much different tone. 


A smiling Nasir gave thanks to everyone who supported her and gave a special shoutout to someone named Kamara and said she wants to be her friend. 


The Andrews have pulled their daughter out of Ardmore and don’t yet know what school she’ll be attending. 


In a statement sent to Kiro 7, the school said it was “saddened” by the video. 


“We are saddened by the experience shared in the Facebook video you referenced ... the harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student is unacceptable,” the statement said. “In the case you referenced, an investigation into the allegations has been in process.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Weekend Roundup: Spotlight On The Apprentice

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 14:01

It is where Donald Trump’s reality-TV persona from “The Apprentice” meets his presidency that he can make the most significant difference for the “left behind” constituencies that voted for him. Last week, President Trump issued an executive order calling for the doubling of funding for apprenticeship grants in the United States ― a key area, like infrastructure, where a consensus can be built across America’s divided politics.


In an interview with The WorldPost this week, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers makes Trump’s case: “We don’t do anything for people who don’t go to college. They are left to either sink or swim, and mostly they sink. I’m thinking here of the kind of vocational apprentice arrangements that Germany has implemented successfully.” Summers also argues for international economic policies that benefit the average person more than the global corporations, such as closing tax loopholes and shutting down tax havens as a priority over securing intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical companies. “Right now,” he says, “when we discuss the global economy, we mainly talk about things that improve ‘competitiveness’ and are painful to the regular worker.”


Alongside greater investment in public higher education, on-the-job vocational training is essential to creating workforce opportunities not only in a global economy, but, more importantly, when faced with the perpetual disruptions of digital capitalism. As economist Laura Tyson points out, “about 80 percent of the loss in U.S. manufacturing jobs over the last three decades was a result of labor-saving and productivity-enhancing technological change, with trade coming a distant second.” Constantly adjusting to an ever-shifting recomposition of the knowledge-driven innovation economy is only possible if skills remain aligned to the needs of employers.


Brookings Institution policy analyst Mark Muro thinks the president managed to get the big things right with his executive order. “In noting that a four-year college degree isn’t for everyone,” Muro writes, “he spoke reasonably about the potential of paid, hands-on workplace experiences that train workers and link them to employers. In addition, Trump rightly underscored the need for industry — rather than the government — to play the largest role in structuring those experiences.” Tamar Jacoby, president of Opportunity America, a Washington-based nonprofit working to promote economic mobility, concurs that industry, not government, knows best what skills they need. “After more than two years of unlikely promises — to restore coal mining, end offshoring and recreate the manufacturing jobs of a bygone era,” writes Jacoby, “the president is finally focusing on a solution that could make a difference for the working-class voters who elected him: skills.” 


Writing from Munich on her way to an international gathering on apprenticeships, Jobs for the Future’s Nancy Hoffman emphasizes that the most successful programs “combine structured learning in a workplace with credit-bearing community college course-taking so that a student arrives at completion of the apprenticeship not just with job-related skills, but with a useable transferable credential as well.” Joshua Pearce, who heads Michigan Tech’s Open Sustainability Technology Lab, completes the picture. “A relatively minor investment in retraining,” he says, “would allow the majority of coal workers to switch to solar-related positions.”


But not everyone is completely on board. McKinsey & Company’s Mona Mourshed offers a cautious note: only around 30 percent of youth employment programs have proven effective, according to World Bank estimates. “The hallmarks of an effective program,” she writes, “are employer engagement, a practice-based curriculum, student support services and a commitment to measuring results post-program.”


Stanford University economist Eric Hanushek is even more skeptical that the U.S. can replicate the successful German model of apprenticeship, because failing K-12 schools in America are not providing young people entering the workforce with the requisite cognitive skills to effectively prepare them for an uncertain future.


Bolstering vocational apprenticeship programs in the U.S. is imperative to enabling non-college-educated Americans to find work in a continually churning economy. But, clearly, much work will have to be done to realize that imperative itself.


Other highlights in The WorldPost this week:









WHO WE ARE  


 





EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Rosa O’Hara is the Social Editor of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at HuffPost, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters.


EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).





VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa.





CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.





The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.





Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.





ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei KudrinPascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon MuskPierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel RoubiniNicolas SarkozyEric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter SchwartzAmartya SenJeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry SummersWu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian.





From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony BlairJacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar IssingMario MontiRobert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.






MISSION STATEMENT




The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.




We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Despertando pianos

El País - Educación - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 13:37
'Pianeiros' se presenta en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de A Coruña con un concierto cuento y 16 jóvenes pianistas como intérpretes

Emulating Germany’s Apprenticeship System Won’t Make America Great Again

Huffington Post - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 09:19
We should not delude ourselves into thinking that Trump’s apprenticeship expansion will substitute for our failing K-12 schooling system.

Atacada la capilla de la Universidad Autónoma con un objeto incendiario

El País - Educación - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 08:43
En el exterior, había una pintada en contra de la Iglesia

Wesleyan College in Georgia apologizes for decades in which institution embraced Ku Klux Klan culture

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 02:00

Numerous colleges and universities in the last decade have studied and acknowledged the role of slavery in building and running their campuses, or financing the institutions. Other colleges have changed the names of buildings that honored people with ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

During that time, Wesleyan College was silent. The college in Macon, Ga., talks about its history quite a lot, pointing with pride to its status as the first institution chartered (in 1836) to award college degrees to women.

But an unusual part of its history was revealed Thursday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: decades in which the traditions of the Ku Klux Klan played a key role in campus life, with at least one tradition ending only in this century.

Wesleyan today is diverse: about a quarter of students are from outside the United States, and about one-third (most of them black) are American minority women. But only Thursday did the college acknowledge its past.

"Wesleyan College’s history includes parts that are deeply troubling, and we are not proud of them," a statement from the college said. "When Wesleyan was founded in 1836, the economy of the South was based on the sin of slavery. We are sorry for the pain that parts of our past have caused and continue to cause. We also celebrate how far our college has come and how we are striving to become the inclusive community we are called to be."

The statement goes on to note the Klan influence: "Wesleyan’s people were products of a society steeped in racism, classism and sexism. They did appalling things -- like students treating some African-Americans who worked on campus like mascots, or deciding to name one of their classes after the hate-espousing Ku Klux Klan, or developing rituals for initiating new students that today remind us of the Klan’s terrorism."

Among the details revealed by the Journal-Constitution:

  • Classes long gave themselves names, and the names selected by the classes of 1909, 1913 and 1917 were the "Ku Klux Klan."
  • The yearbook in 1913 was named "Ku Klux."
  • In the early 1900s, students marched in Klan garb through the streets to initiate students into the KKK.
  • For decades, through the 1990s, the athletic teams were called the Tri-Ks (for the KKK), later changing to the Tri-K Pirates before dropping the Klan reference.
  • In the 1950s (photo above), hazing rituals for new students (run by students) featured women with painted faces and carrying nooses.
  • As recently as 2006, a student group wore hooded purple robes for an initiation event for new students -- and that robed activity ended only around 2010 or 2011.

The first black students to graduate from Wesleyan were admitted in 1968.

The story in the Atlanta paper came about because Brad Schrade, an investigative reporter for the Journal-Constitution, was shown a copy of the college's 1913 yearbook. Wesleyan, which was starting to study its own history at the time, gave him access to archives that he used for his research. His article indicates that black student groups had periodically raised questions about the college's history and traditions before now.

A False Impression?

Vivia Lawton Fowler, Wesleyan's provost, will become president of the college on July 1. In an interview, she said that the article by the Atlanta newspaper was "fair and balanced," but that she viewed the Klan ties over the years as belonging to students, not the institution. Fowler said the college is nearing the end of a two-year period of studying its history and was planning to issue a statement at some point in the fall, as well as to update the college's history page on its website.

"It's going to appear that all of this work that we were going to roll out in the fall was in response to the article," she said, when that's not true.

Fowler said that she did not believe any student or college activities going on today reflect the Klan culture that was once a powerful force at the college.

The past semester has been one of significant discussion at the college about issues of diversity and inclusion, she said. Much of the discussion was prompted by incidents that took place the day after President Trump proposed his ban on travel to the United States by students from seven countries (after the ban was rejected by federal courts, Trump issued a revised ban, also now on hold due to court rulings, covering only six countries).

Amid discussion of the travel ban, the college reached out to its international students, Fowler said. None of them were from the countries covered by the ban, but the college wanted them to know that they were welcome and wanted at the college. As those activities took place, someone wrote "Go home" with "#Trump" on the whiteboard of an international student.

As word of that incident spread, someone wrote an inflammatory racial slur on a wall in a dormitory. The college then called off classes for the next day so students and faculty members could discuss the issues raised by the incidents. The college has investigated the incidents but has not found those responsible.

Fowler said that these discussions reinforced the view of college leaders to talk "about parts of our history that we are not proud of."

Other Colleges Debate the Klan

Klan history has come up at a number of other colleges in recent years. In most of the cases, the issue has been statues or buildings that honor people who had Klan ties. Among the developments:

  • The University of Oregon in 2016 removed the name of Frederic Dunn from a dormitory that has for years honored him. Dunn was a professor of classics at the university in the 1920s and 1930s and was respected for his teaching and scholarship. He was also a leader -- with the title “exalted cyclops” -- of the Ku Klux Klan in the region.
  • Middle Tennessee State University in 2016 announced plans to change the name of Forrest Hall, which honors Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate military leader who went on, for a time, to be a leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 changed the name of Saunders Hall, which since 1920 had honored William L. Saunders, a Reconstruction-era leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Carolina board members said they believed it was a mistake for the board in 1920 to say that Saunders's Klan ties were worthy of honoring.
  • In 2010, after research conducted by a professor drew attention to the history of William Stewart Simkins, the University of Texas at Austin removed his name from a dormitory. Simkins was a longtime law professor at Texas, but before that, he and his brother helped organize the Florida branch of the Ku Klux Klan -- an organization he defended throughout his life, including while serving as a law professor.

Not Just the South

John Thelin, a professor at the University of Kentucky and author of A History of American Higher Education, said that the reports on Wesleyan did not shock him because the Klan was, for a time, quite active nationally. He stressed that Klan support was "very strong" in the Midwest.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had a student chapter of the Klan in the early 20th century. And Thelin noted that the Klan's bigotry had influence in higher education in the Midwest. Bias against Roman Catholics played a big role in the Big Ten's 1926 rejection of a membership bid by the University of Notre Dame, he noted.

Thelin also noted similarities in the Klan's views of socializing people and maintaining secret initiation procedures with the histories of some fraternities. But Thelin said that the Klan had limited scope in terms of influencing college students in part because the Klan was "initially an undereducated group."

DiversityEditorial Tags: DiscriminationImage Source: Photo of archival photo by Bob Andres / Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionImage Caption: Image of hazing at Wesleyan College in the 1950sIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Appalachian College Association charts new course

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The Appalachian College Association could have disbanded.

The 35-member group of private liberal arts colleges and universities was providing a set of cornerstone services to its members -- professional development for faculty and staff members as well as a central library overseeing digital collections and group purchasing, databases and a reciprocal use program. But there was a sense that the association, traditionally focused on improving its members’ academic quality through programs like faculty fellowships and research grants, was drifting.

It had burned through several presidents and interim presidents in the years since longtime president Alice L. Brown retired in 2008. Some worried member engagement was low. Although the association has a sizable endowment, the foundations that had previously funded it were slipping away.

On Monday, the association’s Board of Directors -- made up of its member presidents -- approved a new mission statement and strategic plan. The move was geared toward having the association focus on serving home communities in its five-state region across the Central Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The new plan calls for the association to focus on improving education at all levels in the area and to convince students that private higher education is within their reach.

Early on, that will translate into work to bolster K-12 education throughout the region, according to presidents of several member colleges. But the association has a long way to go if it is to fulfill its new direction. It still plans to hire a new president, consider a branding change, seek new sources of funding and build programs.

Those steps will be worth watching in an era when private liberal arts colleges are under increasing pressure from all sides. The Appalachian College Association members are located in one of the most difficult regions in the country for higher education, one that is depressed economically, declining in population and facing steep social challenges like the opioid epidemic. Many of the member colleges are saddled with financial challenges of their own and doubts about the value of liberal arts education.

Questions remain about what’s to come. Will the different colleges connect more closely to take on major problems in the region, or will they ultimately scatter, leaving many to fight for survival on their own individual terms? Is the new direction attractive to foundations and sources of funding? Is it the right direction, or is it mission drift?

The change is a significant shift in focus, according to those who led it. David Olive is the president of Bluefield College, in Bluefield, Va., nestled along the state’s border with West Virginia. He was the chairman of the association’s Board of Directors for the last two years, leading it as it drafted the new mission statement and plan.

“We are making a commitment not only to changing the lives of our students who come to study our campuses -- some of those coming from Appalachia and some not -- but really being focused on having a significant impact in our communities beyond our campus boundaries,” he said.

At this point, the effort is being left “somewhat vague” so member institutions can pilot their own programs depending on local conditions. The economy is different around Bluefield than it is around Knoxville, Tenn., where another association member, Johnson University, has a campus, Olive said.

Member institutions also face significantly different circumstances. For instance, Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia this year offered early retirements and struck a deal to sell its campus to the local Roman Catholic diocese, efforts to balance its budget. In contrast, Berea College in Kentucky has a large enough endowment that it does not need to charge its students for tuition.

Broadly, however, many recognize that they face a common set of issues, according to Berea’s president, Lyle D. Roelofs.

“You can’t be in this part of the world and not realize that things are changing in the wrong direction fairly rapidly,” he said. “Recent political developments, recent economic developments -- coal versus natural gas -- all of these things make the situation bleak on a fairly short time scale.”

Some Appalachian College Association presidents said a boost to regional K-12 education could help them with enrollment or relieve some financial pressures in the future. Better-prepared students could limit the need to spend on remediation, for instance. Efforts could also create a pipeline for more students to enter college.

But none described the idea as a primary solution to enrollment and financial challenges. Many didn’t agree on the scope of future financial challenges they will face. But a focus on K-12 education cannot be the solution for a struggling small college, Roelofs said.

“To the extent we make progress on this strategy, we are not actually going to generate a whole lot of paying customers for the schools in Appalachia,” he said. “That’s because the people can’t really afford education.”

Any solution to the problems struggling small colleges face will have to come from decisions at the national and state level, Roelofs said.

Still, the question remains whether a group like the association could help its members band together to face any economic challenges, pooling resources or collaborating more closely. Its former president, Brown, described colleges in the Central Appalachian region as being both fiercely independent and part of a group that is “among the most fragile in the nation.” They are also critically important to their students, she said.

“There is a population of students out there who really need these kinds of colleges,” Brown said. “They are not going to thrive in an environment at Princeton, for example. They are not going to thrive even at the University of Kentucky. They need an environment where people understand them and their culture.”

That’s not to minimize the change in the association’s direction. Faced with a follow-up question about the traditional focus of the association, Brown said it was on strengthening members’ academics.

“The focus of the ACA when it was founded and during my 25 years directing it was on academic quality,” she said in an email. “The ACA provided faculty and students resources that strengthened the academic programs of the member colleges: such as fellowships for faculty to do independent research and study, faculty-student research grants, international study opportunities, and access to library and technology resources.”

Marcia Hawkins, the president of Union College in Kentucky, put the change in mission another way.

“It talked about the association serving the membership,” Hawkins said of the previous mission. “Now we’re at a point where our mission says we are the association. It’s not this outside thing taking care of us. We are it. So how do we make an impact?”

The association doesn’t plan to stop its traditional services like the central library and faculty fellowships. It has a $26 million endowment to support those legacy programs. Colleges and universities also pay membership fees that average about $15,000 per year per institution.

The association’s annual budget is about $5 million, said Anne Ponder, who worked with the association as a consultant as it crafted its new plan and is a former chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Reorganizing association staff and improving governance could help the association do more, Ponder said.

“The idea is that the costs would be a steady state, but there is the opportunity for this new purpose,” she said.

Still, some presidents privately wondered how much individual institutions will buy in to the association’s new direction. Some of the association’s members are heavily dependent on the Appalachian region for students. Others draw from outside the area.

The association’s next step -- hiring a president -- will be critical, said Edwin Welch, president of the University of Charleston, in West Virginia.

“Because of, I think, pressure on presidents and provosts to take care of their own institutions, if you don’t have a strong consortia leader, they won’t come forth, and the organization won’t come forth and be successful and make a difference,” Welch said. “So the leadership of a consortium seems to be absolutely critical to its success.”

At the end of the day, many said the re-evaluation was preferable to drifting with no defined focus or disbanding the association. Olive said surveys indicated members wanted to keep the legacy programs in place while also exploring new ways to work together.

“Institutions who don’t constantly look at redefining themselves and assessing where they are, are going to be in trouble,” said Jake Schrum, president of Emory & Henry College in Virginia. “That’s a step we took. That was a smart step to take.”

Image Source: Appalachian College AssociationIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Education Department's 'regulatory relief' panel offers early look at its work

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday offered a first glimpse at how it is carrying out the Trump administration's push to ease federal regulations -- and asked for advice on what rules it should eliminate.

In February President Trump signed an executive order "seeking to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people" by calling for federal agencies, including the Education Department, to create "regulatory reform" task forces. Those committees will evaluate existing regulations and then make recommendations about which ones to repeal, replace or modify. The order gives priority to curbing regulations that are seen as outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, inconsistent or that inhibit job creation.

The department's task force issued its first progress report Thursday. While few decisions have been made so far, the 66-page document describes the next steps in the process. It also cites the administration's previously announced move to hit pause on two "burdensome" regulations: the borrower-defense and gainful-employment rules. The new task force said the looming rule-making process for those rules will be "arduous" and require significant resources and oversight from the department.

This fall the department plans to meet with higher education associations to discuss "regulatory relief," the task force said.

It cited likely meetings with the American Council on Education, historically black colleges and universities, and financial aid administrators. As Politico has reported, Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, recently told U.S. senators that the agency is relying in part on a report calling for less regulation of higher education that Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who leads the Senate's education committee, released in 2015 with help from ACE and a group of college leaders.

Also this week, the department published a request for public suggestions on regulations to be eliminated or pared back.

"The regulatory reform task force has been hard at work over the last few months cataloging over 150 regulations and more than 1,700 pieces of policy guidance on the books at the Department of Education," DeVos said in a written statement. "As their work continues, they have been tasked with providing recommendations on which regulations to repeal, modify or keep in an effort to ensure those that remain adequately protect students while giving states, institutions, teachers, parents and students the flexibility needed to improve student achievement."

The progress report lists 15 department staff members who are on the task force, including both political appointees and career officials. Robert Eitel, a lawyer who worked for a for-profit college company before joining the department, is leading the group. Eitel has recused himself from matters relating to gainful employment.

Relatively few decisions have been made by the task force on the 154 regulations listed in the report. However, the report calls for a partial modification to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that seeks to protect students' educational records. The report said FERPA needs updates to reflect changes made by Congress in recent years, as well as to "clarify provisions to reflect developments in the nature and use of education technology."

Eitel also is co-chair of a department steering committee that will make recommendations about possibly reorganizing the agency. As with the regulation reform task force, that group was formed in response to a Trump executive order.

It's unclear what role, if any, a possible group of 15 college presidents might play in advising the administration on regulatory issues. Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University's president and a Trump ally, in January said he would be leading a presidential task force on higher education. He said at the time that he was interested in working to limit micromanagement of colleges and accreditors by the department.

However, as Politico first reported this month, that task force has not been created. Falwell said he will instead be part of a White House-convened group of 15 college presidents that will address education issues. Previous administrations also have brought together advisory groups of college leaders.

Editorial Tags: Federal policyEducation DepartmentIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Microbiology society cuts back on small conferences

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The American Society of Microbiology last month announced plans to significantly scale back its small-conference organizing, putting more pressure on what some see as an already undervalued chance for networking.

As opposed to its large and medium annual conferences -- such as ASM Microbe, which is billed as the world’s largest gathering of microbiologists -- which draw thousands of professors, researchers and academics from across the field, ASM’s small conferences typically draw crowds in the hundreds. Those conferences are more narrowly focused to specific fields, such as biofilms or beneficial microbes. Attendees say the small sizes create more intimate spaces for networking among colleagues, especially for younger members. But they also can be costlier to run than their big-ticket counterparts. (Other large scholarly societies organize small conferences for people from certain regions or states.)

“Small conferences consistently trending down in attendance,” ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi wrote in a tweet to professors talking about the decision. “ASM not able to continue absorbing financial losses.”

David Hooper, chair of ASM’s meeting board, said that the society has organized eight to 10 small conferences a year, on average, but will be scaling back to about two -- including the conference on biofilms -- although the number isn’t set in stone. While the small conferences were costly, and attendance was decreasing, he said the decision to cut back on small conferences was part of a wide-ranging re-evaluation of the organization’s finances. Hosted in New Orleans over five days, ASM Microbe, which advertised bringing in about 10,000 people, featured an exhibit and poster hall, industry workshops and close to 600 speakers. The smaller conferences, held with less fanfare, also typically bring in fewer people and have to be subsidized by the society.

“With deficit budgets and a new CEO, we had to have a strategic relook at the whole sort of range of ASM programs,” Hooper said. “It wasn’t just meetings that were being looked at, but the spectrum of all the activities that ASM was doing.”

“Looking at the conferences program, we thought now’s the time to step back and restructure this in a way that our portfolio may be a bit smaller. Obviously there are positives to having smaller meetings -- people do like those. We want to keep having smaller conferences, but they need to be sustainable, of course, financially,” he said, adding that the smaller conferences will probably be tailored to “cutting-edge” topics in microbiology.

Joerg Graf, a professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Connecticut who has attended both large and small conferences over the course of his career, said he respected ASM’s clout in the field of microbiology, and that scaling back its small-conference organizing wasn’t a move the organization would take lightly.

“The American Society for Microbiology is a very important organization in this field, and I think ASM conferences were very important in how the American Society for Microbiology was able to reach out, especially to early-career scientists, and provide them with cutting-edge information and also provide opportunities to network with established investigators. Losing those conferences would restrict those opportunities,” he said. “But ASM really has to make difficult decisions.”

Graf said that throughout his years attending ASM conferences and meetings both large and small, the smaller ones provided an intimate space for young researchers to network and offered more specific programming focused on microbiology’s various fields.

“When there are 6,000 attendees, it is very challenging for a graduate student to find time to meet with a faculty member,” he said. At smaller conferences, by contrast, shared lunches, dinners and receptions can help young members make connections.

“Those are all opportunities where it’s very easy, and it’s not an intimidating environment for graduate students to interact with faculty,” he said.

Still, Graf said, large ASM conferences are useful for learning about fields outside one’s specialty. Offering some hope for younger scientists, he highlighted other ways outside ASM to find intimate settings, such as the Gordon Research Conferences and the Keystone Symposia.

Mark Mandel, a professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University, said he plans to keep holding a conference on beneficial microbes that has previously been affiliated with ASM, although it will most likely have to be outside the scope of ASM going forward.

“What we see is consistently 200 people attend, and they’re passionate, they’re energetic,” he said. “So now when we try to continue that energy, we’re now doing that outside of the organization of the larger society. It seems like there’s less energy to be poured into the organization.”

For his part, Hooper said that ASM has listened to feedback to improve the large and medium ASM meetings for younger faculty.

“We spend a lot of time focusing on both input and involvement from junior faculty and trainees for the programming and the presentation of these meetings,” he said. “They’re the future of any society.”

When pressures working against small conferences arise, however, so do pressures on small colleges’ budgets to send professors and students to conferences of any size. Jason Pickavance, director of educational initiatives at Salt Lake Community College, was a frequent attendee of the Two-Year College English Association’s conferences for its Western division during his days as an English professor. He said he still attends TYCA-West when it comes to Salt Lake.

Pickavance wrote in an essay for Inside Higher Ed that smaller conferences as a whole are often underappreciated for their value and the “authenticity” they provide for faculty, all at a relatively low cost.

“It’s not like [large conferences] are evil,” Pickavance said. “I don’t know what they would do to make it different. It’s less a critique of large conferences than it is praising small conferences.”

Geography can play a role in restructuring conferences, Mandel said. The Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting consolidated its bouncing locations, settling on hosting the conferences only in Madison, Wis., instead of rotating between Madison and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, on New York’s Long Island, every other year. On the other hand, Mandel said, conferences aimed at specific regions can still benefit from rotating locations -- as the Midwest Microbial Pathogens Conference does -- without racking up huge expenditures for attendees, since the rotating location is never too far.

When it comes to travel, registration and lodging costs associated with attending conferences, smaller gatherings can be easier on a college’s travel budget. TYCA-West bounces between Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, keeping those costs to a minimum, Pickavance said.

And with higher education budgets being tight, those savings -- and the benefits smaller conferences can provide -- can mean an outsize impact on those who attend.

“That continued pressure on travel budgets makes small conferences all the more important,” Pickavance said. “The regional small conference, in my mind, is going to become more important in an age where, maybe, travel budgets become more scarce. You can’t go to Boston or San Diego -- expensive flight, expensive city, expensive registration. If I go to Phoenix, well, I have family there, so I can stay for free.”

ResearchEditorial Tags: ResearchScholarly associationsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

New presidents or provosts: Columbia Intl Cuyahoga Labette Lake Michigan Lane W&L WGU Washington Wesleyan Wittenberg

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 23 Jun 2017 - 02:00
  • Melody Blake, visiting assistant professor of psychology at Wesleyan College, in Georgia, has been promoted to provost and vice president for academic affairs there.
  • Marc C. Conner, interim provost and the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee Professor of English at Washington & Lee University, in Virginia, has been named to the provost job on a permanent basis.
  • Richard Cummins, president of Columbia Basin College, in Washington State, has been chosen as chancellor of WGU Washington.
  • Michael Frandsen, vice president for finance and administration at Oberlin College, in Ohio, has been appointed president of Wittenberg University, also in Ohio.
  • Margaret Hamilton, vice president for academic affairs, institutional effectiveness and planning at Camden County College, in New Jersey, has been selected as president of Lane Community College, in Oregon.
  • Trevor Kubatzke, vice president of student services at Milwaukee Area Technical College, in Wisconsin, has been chosen as president of Lake Michigan College, in Michigan.
  • Karen Miller, interim executive vice president of access, learning and success at Cuyahoga Community College, in Ohio, has been named to the chief academic officer job on a permanent basis.
  • Mark A. Smith, president of Ohio Christian University, has been selected as president of Columbia International University, in South Carolina.
  • Mark Watkins, dean of instruction at Labette Community College, in Kansas, has been promoted to president there.
Editorial Tags: College administrationNew presidentsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

A better ranking system for university teaching?

Tony Bates - Jue, 22 Jun 2017 - 18:44

Who is top dog among UK universities?
Image: © Australian Dog Lover, 2017 http://www.australiandoglover.com/2017/04/dog-olympics-2017-newcastle-april-23.html

Redden, E. (2017) Britain Tries to Evaluate Teaching Quality Inside Higher Ed, June 22

This excellent article describes in detail a new three-tiered rating system of teaching quality at universities introduced by the U.K. government, as well as a thoughtful discussion. As I have a son and daughter-in-law teaching in a U.K. university and grandchildren either as students or potential students, I have more than an academic interest in this topic.

How are the rankings done?

Under the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), universities in England and Wales will get one of three ‘awards’: gold, silver and bronze (apparently there are no other categories, such as tin, brass, iron or dross for those whose teaching really sucks). A total of 295 institutions opted to participate in the ratings.

Universities are compared on six quantitative metrics that cover:

  • retention rates
  • student satisfaction with teaching, assessment and academic support (from the National Student Survey)
  • rates of employment/post-graduate education six months after graduation.

However, awards are relative rather than absolute since they are matched against ‘benchmarks calculated to account for the demographic profile of their students and the mix of programs offered.’ 

This process generates a “hypothesis” of gold, silver or bronze, which a panel of assessors then tests against additional evidence submitted for consideration by the university (higher education institutions can make up to a 15-page submission to TEF assessors). Ultimately the decision of gold, silver or bronze is a human judgment, not the pure product of a mathematical formula.

What are the results?

Not what you might think. Although Oxford and Cambridge universities were awarded gold, so were some less prestigious universities such as the University of Loughborough, while some more prestigious universities received a bronze. So at least it provides an alternative ranking system to those that focus mainly on research and peer reputation.

What is the purpose of the rankings?

This is less clear. Ostensibly (i.e., according to the government) it is initially aimed at giving potential students a better way of knowing how universities stand with regard to teaching. However, knowing the Conservative government in the UK, it is much more likely to be used to link tuition fees to institutional performance, as part of the government’s free market approach to higher education. (The U.K. government allowed universities to set their own fees, on the assumption that the less prestigious universities would offer lower tuition fees, but guess what – they almost all opted for the highest level possible, and still were able to fill seats).

What are the pros and cons of this ranking?

For a more detailed discussion, see the article itself but here is my take on it.

Pros

First this is a more thoughtful approach to ranking than the other systems. It focuses on teaching (which will be many potential students’ initial interest in a university) and provides a useful counter-balance to the emphasis on research in other rankings.

Second it has a more sophisticated approach than just counting up scores on different criteria. It has an element of human judgement and an opportunity for universities to make their case about why they should be ranked highly. In other words it tries to tie institutional goals to teaching performance and tries to take into account the very large differences between universities in the U.K. in terms of student socio-economic background and curricula.

Third, it does provide a simple, understandable ‘award’ system of categorizing universities on their quality of teaching that students and their parents can at least understand.

Fourth, and most important of all, it sends a clear message to institutions that teaching matters. This may seem obvious, but for many universities – and especially faculty – the only thing that really matters is research. Whether though this form of ranking will be sufficient to get institutions to pay more than lip service to teaching remains to be seen.

Cons

However, there are a number of cons. First the national student union is against it, partly because it is heavily weighted by student satisfaction ratings based on the National Student Survey, which thousands of students have been boycotting (I’m not sure why). One would have thought that students in particular would value some accountability regarding the quality of teaching. But then, the NUS has bigger issues with the government, such as the appallingly high tuition fees (C$16,000 a year- the opposition party in parliament, Labour, has promised free tuition).

More importantly, there are the general arguments about university rankings that still apply to this one. They measure institutional performance not individual department or instructor performance, which can vary enormously within the same institution. If you want to study physics it doesn’t help if a university has an overall gold ranking but its physics department is crap or if you get the one instructor who shouldn’t be allowed in the building.

Also the actual quantitative measures are surrogates for actual teaching performance. No-one has observed the teaching to develop the rankings, except the students, and student rankings themselves, while one important measure, can also be highly misleading, based on instructor personality and the extent to which the instructor makes them work to get a good grade.

The real problem here is two-fold: first, the difficulty of assessing quality teaching in the first place: one man’s meat is another man’s poison. There is no general agreement, at least within an academic discipline, as to what counts as quality teaching (for instance, understanding, memory of facts, or skills of analysis – maybe all three are important but can how one teaches to develop these diverse attributes be assessed separately?).

The second problem is the lack of quality data on teaching performance – it just isn’t tracked directly. Since a student may take courses from up to 40 different instructors and from several different disciplines/departments in a bachelor’s program, it is no mean task to assess the collective effectiveness of their quality of teaching. So we are left with surrogates of quality, such as completion rates.

So is it a waste of time – or worse?

No, I don’t think so. People are going to be influenced by rankings, whatever. This particular ranking system may be flawed, but it is a lot better than the other rankings which are so much influenced by tradition and elitism. It could be used in ways that the data do not justify, such as justifying tuition fee increases or decreased government funding to institutions. It is though a first systematic attempt at a national level to assess quality in teaching, and with patience and care could be considerably improved. But most of all, it is an attempt to ensure accountability for the quality of teaching that takes account of the diversity of students and the different mandates of institutions. It may make both university administrations and individual faculty pay more attention to the importance of teaching well, and that is something we should all support.

So I give it a silver – a good try but there is definitely room for improvement. 

Thanks to Clayton Wright for drawing my attention to this.

Next up

I’m going to be travelling for the next three weeks so my opportunity to blog will be limited – but that has been the case for the last six months. My apologies – I promise to do better. However, a four hour layover at Pearson Airport does give me some time for blogging!

Why Everyone Should Just Stop Yelping

Huffington Post - Jue, 22 Jun 2017 - 15:35
After reaching Elite status, I ceased Yelping and later deleted my account.

Boys Wear Skirts To Protest School's Anti-Shorts Policy Amid Heat Wave

Huffington Post - Jue, 22 Jun 2017 - 15:15
Around 50-60 boys showed up to school in skirts since the girls are allowed to wear them.

Páginas

Suscribirse a Coordinación de Innovación Educativa y Pregrado agregador: Noticias relacionadas con la Innovación Educativa