John White has joined the U.S. Department of Education as Press Secretary. White was Chief Communications Officer for the Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools. Before that, he worked at AAA Mid-Atlantic and also served as Press Secretary to Maryland’s Secretary of State. - post by tellio
the federal government pay for (and own) courses that would be free for all, as well as setting up a system to assess learning in those courses, and creating a "National Skills College" to coordinate these efforts, the plan could be significant far beyond its dollars.
Effects on existing systems--developmental courses in community colleges, lack of experience with online learning systems. - post by tellio
and offer them free -- and is also pushing that movement in the direction of community colleges.
Who will teach these free courses? Who will they be affiliated with? How does this affect university bottom lines especially those whose bottom lines have come to increasingly depend upon tuition from students who have been able to borrow cheaply? - post by tellio
If these free courses are used to keep from having to pay bucks for general education and developmental/remedial courses, what will this mean for those teaching these courses now? - post by tellio
According to the draft materials from the administration, the program would support the development of 20-25 "high quality" courses a year, with a mix of high school and community college courses. Initial preference would go to "career oriented" courses. The courses would be owned by the government and would be free for anyone to take. Courses would be selected competitively, through peer review, for support. And the courses would be "modular" or "object based" such that they would be "interoperable" and could be offered with a variety of technology platforms.
In writing terms what are "career-oriented" courses? Resume writing? Essay writing? Web skills? Research skills? Where do we help folks become better people? Is that any of our business? Is this the death of the university? - post by tellio
work to develop examinations that could be given at the end of the courses so that colleges, employers and students could judge how much learning had taken place.
OK. there it is--the agenda item that I had been waiting for, the corollary to NCLB-- a national higher ed curriculum. - post by tellio
And the National Skills College would work to promote programs that might mix the free courses with tuition courses so students could earn degrees at lower cost.
Please, limn out the consequences. Don't just do it. Nike be damned. - post by tellio
t would be open to public agencies and to private for-profit or nonprofit groups.
I cannot help but think this is a process ripe with possibilities for corruption and rife with those who are good at gaming the system with rigged research and glossy applications and money to beat out those who might have better courses not packaged as well. - post by tellio
Bias toward those who are good at jumping through the hoops of federal grant writing. - post by tellio
Martha J. Kanter,
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dr-martha-j-kanter/0/938/bb7 - post by tellio
And they have a Ning site:http://collegeopentextbooks.ning.com/ - post by tellio
The consortium seems well thought out: http://oerconsortium.org/ And it is grand to think that such folks have made their way into the Obama UnderSecy circle. - post by tellio
Here is a textbook that was developed. http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/tour05.html - post by tellio
"It's time for this," he said.
Homogenizing toward the best? Fine if we know they are the best, but my experience in these matters indicates transitional certainty at best. In other words, everything I know is wrong. - post by tellio
'Hey there are these courses now available for free' is going to create incentives for lots of laptop programs to appear," he said.
And there is a whole new layer of devices in the technopolis that offer other affordances (smartphones, netbooks, library internet access, community wi-fi) that if beefed up could really make this happen. - post by tellio
The discussion draft for the job training program calls for spending $500 million a year in the first five years of the program, during which grants would be awarded competitively to community colleges, and $1.3 billion after that, at which point 50 percent of funds would be awarded by formula to states, 25 percent awarded to those states showing high performance programs, and 25 percent to community colleges, awarded competitively.
To be eligible, community colleges would need to agree to track and report on student outcomes, and to set targets for graduation rates and "employment-related outcomes," while also serving "high need populations." Funds could then be used to create programs that "blend basic skills and occupational training," to provide "comprehensive, personalized services to help students plan their coursework and careers and support services that will keep them in school," and to create programs in partnerships with employers
How they must sing for their supper. Not exactly a stick, but indirectly a big one for those administrators who fail to belly up to this bar. - post by tellio
The loan fund for community college facilities would receive $10 billion under the plan.
States would distribute funds based on "demonstrated need," with an emphasis on expanding capacity in programs that "meet employer needs in the areas of health care, green jobs, science, engineering and technology."
Seems like a godsend to anyone wanting to teach or create learning objects/courses in nursing, sustainability, solar and green retrofitting, and access/training for using the online tools needed to make this work. - post by tellio
but that they were generally encouraged by the ideas in play.
They smell that 10,000,000,000 bucks in the air. The 50,000,000? Well, just look at the zeroes, dude. So as I understand it we create the courses for the National Skills College and they will come? I can see lots of ancillary benefits much like we got when we called the Interstate Highway System a national defense project, but need I point out the downside of that system. And who is considering and talking about these long terms effects especially in rural areas where many of these students expect to be. - post by tellio
He said that colleges are being forced to turn students away, "which is the wrong thing to be doing in this economy," and that the funds for job training programs could help community colleges educate more people, and help them prepare for good jobs.
Yes, this happened here at my university. They raised admission standards in an attempt to stabilize student enrollment. Why? Because funds were static and everyone knows what happens to university programs when too little money chases too many students-the degradation of existing programs under the increased enrollment pressure. - post by tellio
Boggs said that his association has estimated a $100 billion need for new community college facilities,
Here are some stats from their pages: http://www2.aacc.nche.edu/research/index_institutions.htm but not exactly what I was hoping for. - post by tellio
Would like to know where this big round number came from. - post by tellio
Boggs also noted the unusual prominence that the administration is giving to community colleges as institutions that can help deal with the country's economic mess. "I think the spotlight is really shining on community colleges right now," he said.
Not really so surprising given Obama's community organizer orientation. Public policy is taking a much needed turn to the 80% who might benefit immensely from such programs. (That 80% figure is simply a blind obeisance to Pareto.) - post by tellio