Chronicle Feature on Chancellor Hyman

So, have you read the big article, yet?

It’s hidden behind a pay wall when I’m on my home computers, but I can read it on campus (so I guess we have an institutional subscription, after all, eh?).

I was talking to a person about it the other day who had a very different impression of it than I did. She thought that it came across as pretty balanced but highlighting some negatives about the Chancellor, whereas I thought the article portrayed the Chancellor and the administration in a much more favorable light than it did the faculty.

How did you read it?

Political Analysis

This piece made me laugh and seems full of truth.

Being in political science and watching Election Night coverage makes me feel how I imagine doctors must feel when they watch ER. The temptation to yell, “That’s not how it works at all! This is ridiculous!” at the TV is occasionally overwhelming. In the end we have to remind ourselves that the viewing public doesn’t care if what they are seeing is realistic or accurate, only that it is entertaining. They only care that House comes up with a mystery diagnosis or that Sam Waterston wins over the jury or that the barking pundits explain the election results in unfathomably simplistic terms that happen to coincide with our own beliefs.

But for those who need the grand explanation, the sweeping conclusions drawn from limited data, the themes that allow us to boil elections down to slogans, I humbly submit the following…The American voter has clearly demanded:

1. Social Security reform that guarantees my current level of benefits, alters someone else’s, and cuts everyone’s Social Security taxes to boot.

3. A balanced budget that doesn’t sacrifice any of the government programs – especially the sacred military-industrial complex and the various old age benefits – that we like.

12. A highly educated workforce produced by a school system that requires no tax dollars to achieve excellence, students who have no interest in learning, and a virulently anti-intellectual society.

13. Closed borders and an endless supply of cheap labor to keep prices low.

15. Health care that is cheap, superior, and readily available to me without the danger of the same being enjoyed by anyone I deem undeserving.

There are more–check them out HERE.

Looking Back on The Summit

I’m sure you saw the coverage of this week’s Community College Summit, especially as related to our Chancellor’s attendance (if not you can see some here or here or here). There was plenty of analysis, too, but I didn’t read much of it, since it all seems to say about the same thing (depending on whether it is coming from faculty or politician/administrator/business person).

Anyway, three pieces that didn’t seem like the rest and made for interesting reads (to me anyway), can be found here and here. The first one includes this section:

President Barack Obama’s administration has, as you well know, placed a big emphasis on boosting college completion rates. A worthy goal, without dispute. And yet I have heard some in the high school improvement arena worry that in zeroing in too much on college completion, we risk losing our focus on the tough work needed to make high schools work better (and thus boost students’ chances of success in college)…But even as heavyweight policy folks talked about improving community college outcomes yesterday, high school reforms that could help with that—such as increasing rigor and smoothing the transition to higher ed—didn’t even make the radar, Caralee noted in concluding her coverage of the summit yesterday.

Both of them focus on the idea that the best thing anyone could do to improve community college completion rates would be to make changes at the high school level. Not that I’m saying community colleges couldn’t be better–of course they can. But failing to forefront that part of the equation does the project a disservice. Anyway, it’s interesting material to think through and read if you find yourself sitting inside on this glorious October afternoon.

Really, though, you should go outside.

Mayoral Control of Schools

So, I guess we’re going to have an interesting political season here in the city of Chicago, and when it comes time for the tributes to Mayor Daley to come rolling in, you can bet that he will get a lot of credit for having “taken over” what was, at the time, described as the worst public school system in the country and making it, if not great, at least better.

Since the day that the Mayor (at no insignificant political risk, it might be added) made his move, more than one other city mayor has walked the same path. Here is an interesting assessment of the results of such “takeover” efforts.

Something to think about as the next, Would-Be-Mayors present their visions of Public Education in the City of Chicago.