Houston Chron Round-Up: Higher Ed preferred target of budget cuts, “godless, left-wing radicals” in the universityPosted: October 29, 2010
Two important pieces in today’s Chron:
- According to a recent poll, Higher Ed was the preferred target for budget cuts, out of a list of options that included cuts to K-12; “no cuts,” however, was equally popular at 28%
- According to the Chron’s Texas Politics blog, State Board of Ed member Don McLeroy addressed a Tea Party group in Bastrop, and warned of “godless left-wing radicals” who have taken over the government and universities. Here’s McLeroy’s characterization of college teaching of American history:
Sadly, instead of teaching our children historical facts, many professors indoctrinate them in the social history of race, class, and gender. And, if they teach the Constitution, the Declaration, and the arguments of the Federalist Papers at all, they teach they are obsolete,” McLeroy complained.
McLeroy had been Chairman of the Board that most recently rewrote the Texas social studies curriculum, and lost a reelection bid in a Republican primary to Thomas Ratliff.
From the latest Chron of Higher Ed:
- Apparently, a Kennesaw State University study shows that online classes typically experience 15% higher dropout rates than face to face courses, and nothing seems to help. Should universities already suffering from retention and graduation problems rethink their reliance on such classes, or adjust their mix of face to face to online offerings?
- The Collegiate Learning Assessment put to the test.
- Why socioeconomic class often fails to “count” as diversity.
This week, two items stood out:
- Jeannie Kever’s piece on Texas’s latest goal for degree attainment: 3 million more college degrees
- Kever’s latest article about the skyrocketing enrollments and increased diversity in Texas schools
- via MomBlog, the costs of college for a kid born today: $175,000
Does the increased expense of a college education, and the amount of loans taken out by students, affect the public’s attitudes towards higher education, especially when college students are not just younger but substantially more diverse than the rest of the population? Take a look at the comments.
Here are a few items of interest:
–Rick Casey, in his Sunday column, had an excellent discussion of the ten-percent rule, and its implications for prospective college students across the state. Find it here.
–It’s conventional wisdom among college administrators and faculty that colleges want their students living and studying on campus. Sociologist Ruth Lopez Turley, now at Rice, is examining more closely the effects of residential living on students at a wide variety of schools, and finding the effect is not as dramatic as you might expect. Read her interview with Jeannie Kever here.
–Another piece from Jeannie Kever, this time on Texas universities’ efforts to improve their 4-year graduation rates. The UH CTE seems to be briefly alluded to as a “faculty led effort to improve teaching.” Find it here.