Saturday, July 16, 2011

Here's a Shocker

Over in Georgia, a real shocker has developed: schools where administration has been encouraging and even forcing teachers to cheat on those mandatory standardized tests in order to inflate the scores on which the school's funding is based.

Can I get a d'oh?

When you based a school's funding on how well students do on a given assessment, WTF do you think will happen next?

Here in Arkansas, the governor and the legislature has just decided to base 25% of the funding of the higher education on our graduation rates. Yes, that's right. How many students we graduate determines how much money we get from the state.

WTF do you think happens next?

Even if professors have integrity (and I happen to think most do) if they don't have tenure (and these days most of us do not) what happens when the dean calls a professor or an instructor into their office and says something to the effect of, you've been giving too many D's and F's, this kid had some bad breaks, give him another chance. Let him take the final again.

Or: This kid didn't mean to plagiarize. He just didn't understand the rules. Let him write the paper again.

Or: This kid had too much pressure on him, that's why he missed half your classes. Give him a B instead of that F.

Do you think the professor says No, I won't?

And if the professors (or adjunct instructor) does -- what do you think happens next?

Because it would be nice if higher ed (or education) was about learning and the transmission of knowledge and enlightenment.

It would be nice if pigs could fly too.

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