Tuesday, August 7, 2018

OC is changing

Will the Birthplace of the Modern Right Turn Blue?
(NYT)
Thanks to Trump, Democrats have a shot in Orange County.
By Michelle Goldberg
     July 31, 2018, was a Tuesday, which meant that constituents of Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman from Orange County, were out protesting. Until recently, the weekly demonstrations had been in front of his office, but for the summer, activists from Rohrabacher’s district, the 48th, are teaming up with those from the neighboring 45th, represented by Republican Mimi Walters. Fifty people met in a small park in Newport Beach, then stood with protest signs by the side of the road. They earned a surprising number of appreciative honks, given that Orange County was once at the very heart of the American right.
. . .
     A few years ago, this might have seemed fantastical. Since its creation in 1993, no Democrat has ever represented the 48th district. Hillary Clinton won it by 1.7 points in 2016, but Rohrabacher was re-elected by more than 16 points. But since 2016, Rohrabacher’s odd Russophilia has been thrown into high relief by the Russia investigation. (“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a secretly recorded 2016 conversation.) Some of his constituents are up in arms by the prospect of oil drilling off their gorgeous coast.
. . .
     The affluent seaside region [OC], after all, used to be so far right that in 1968 Fortune Magazine called it “nut country.” In her book “Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right,” the historian Lisa McGirr described how Orange County activists in the 1960s “organized study groups, opened ‘Freedom Forum’ bookstores, filled the rolls of the John Birch Society, entered school board races and worked within the Republican Party,” believing their very way of life was in danger.
. . .
     Since then, the demographics of the region have changed, thanks to an influx of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. More significant, however, may be the demographic changes in the Republican Party. The former Trump strategist Steve Bannon recently told Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, “The Republican college-educated woman is done.” Unlike many things he says, this appears to be true. In one recent poll of House preferences, college-educated white women favored Democrats by a staggering 47 points. (College-educated white men favor Democrats as well, but by much smaller margins.) Thanks to the fear and revulsion Trump evokes, the intense suburban civic awakening is now happening on the Democratic side….

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8-14: do you regret all the lying?

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Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs 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)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary