Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SOCCCD dismal truism #2

The miracle of hot air
From the SOCCCD "master plan"
SOCCCD dismal truism #2: to the consternation of thinking people everywhere, the district embraces the illiterate and dunderheaded evaluative architectonic of the Accreditors (and, more generally, of the "education"* crowd), thus busying administrators and faculty with endless committee work that produces mostly nonsense that, ahem, "guides" the district and its planners.

Am I too harsh? Consider our district’s “goals,” which inform our district’s “strategic plan”:

District-wide Goal 1. SOCCCD will create a district-wide culture which is characterized by mutual respect and collaboration and which celebrates the uniqueness of each institution. [Utter bullshit. And how do you create Lollipop Land when bullies are afoot? Here's a goal: no bullies and tyrants.]

District-wide Goal 2. SOCCCD will support innovations that result in quantifiable improvement in student preparedness and success and will facilitate the institutionalization of those innovations across the district. [“Facilitate the institutionalization of … innovations”? Who writes this crap? And why must our efforts be “innovations”? What if something tried and true will do the job? Buzz, buzz, buzz. Here's a goal: hire competent managers and deans.]

District-wide Goal 3. SOCCCD will maintain its technological leadership and will make future advancements which enhance student access and success. [Techno “advancements which enhance…success.” Vague buzzwordian horseshit.]

District-wide Goal 4. SOCCCD will increase the effective use of all resources by developing and implementing a cycle of integrated district-wide planning. [Yeah, we should plan. Say that. Note the assumption: that resources will be used effectively if we adopt a labyrinthine planning process. Don’t think so.]

District-wide Goal 5. SOCCCD will develop, document and implement data-driven district-wide decision-making processes that are collaborative, transparent, efficient and effective. [Utterly promiscuous and shameless buzzworditude. Note the assumption: data-driven is good! Yeah, but what about the quality of the data?]

District-wide Goal 6. SOCCCD will assess the educational needs of the communities within the district boundaries and will pursue joint venture partnerships with educational institutions and business/industry. [I got nothin'. Fair enough, I guess.]

*Those with Ed.D. degrees.
Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)


Anonymous said...

I don't know how one avoids having to creates such stuff but it would be nice if someone somewhere acknowledged what it is and what it is not.

Anonymous said...

Technological advances and innovations should begin with adequate pay for part-time faculty, working copy machines, better lighting, regulated classroom temperatures, equal access to resources and support no matter when or where you teach (if you think evenings are bad, try Saturdays! Fridays!) ....The people who write this stuff should really look at the working conditions of our faculty which are the learning conditions of our students. But they don't. It is a diet of empty buzzwords that people pay money to learn at their online universities. None of it means anything.

Where's Mitch?