Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Betsy DeVos again

DeVos Gets Another Chance on Obama Loan Rule
(Inside Higher Ed)
Andrew Kreighbaum
     The Department of Education has until Oct. 12 to offer a stronger justification for delaying an Obama-era student loan rule issued to help defrauded borrowers [i.e., graduates of unscrupulous for-profit institutions]. If it can't do so, the rule will take effect, a federal judge said Monday.
     U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss ruled earlier this month that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unlawfully delayed the rule, known as borrower defense, because the decision did not include an adequate rationale. After the delay, consumer groups and Democratic attorneys general sued the department.
     DeVos in July issued an overhaul of the rule with tougher standards for defrauded borrowers to get loan forgiveness. Moss's ruling could mean the department must carry out requirements of the much more generous Obama borrower-defense regulations until the expected effective date of the DeVos rule next year.
Alexander: Congress Shouldn’t Pass Campus Free Speech Law 
(Inside Higher Ed)
Andrew Kreighbaum
   Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, said Monday that Congress shouldn’t attempt to attach federal funding to a college’s protection of free speech rights on campus.
     Higher ed leaders should instead promote campus speech themselves by taking steps like refusing the heckler’s veto and adopting the Chicago principles of freedom of expression, Alexander said.
     “It doesn’t work,” he said of a potential federal mandate.
. . .
     President Trump himself warned last year that the federal government could withdraw federal funds from the University of California, Berkeley, after leftist and antifascist protesters blocked right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus amid sometimes violent protests.
     Alexander, like many fellow conservatives, claimed both that college students today are too coddled and that college administrators have caved too easily to the heckler’s veto, where students use protests or other tactics to block appearances by controversial speakers. And he argued that promoting underrepresented points of view -- especially conservative opinions -- should be as important to colleges as promoting a diversity of student backgrounds on campus….
 

AAUP Condemns Trump's Tweet on Hurricane Study
(Inside Higher Ed)
Colleen Flaherty
 The American Association of University Professors on Tuesday condemned what it called President Trump’s “disregard for and assault on science,” this time in relation to Trump’s comments about the credibility of a study by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. AAUP’s statement says that Trump has "falsely claimed that the study, which found some 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria" in 2017, was politically motivated. It cites a recent tweet by Trump saying, "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" 
 
     While the AAUP takes no position on the accuracy or inaccuracy of this or any other study, reads its statement, “such research can be properly evaluated only by qualified experts through open channels of review and debate. Studies of this sort must not become political footballs. For the president of the U.S. to accuse scholars of political bias, without a shred of evidence, is an unacceptable assault on independent research and the academic freedom of scientists.”…

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8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

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