Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Who Built That? Ed Presidents?


"Clinton spent much of his presidency extolling the values of higher education, insisting that the only way to get ahead in the Silicon Valley economy of the future was to “earn what you can learn.” To this way of thinking, poverty was not a function of structural imbalances in the economy that denied people a living wage, but the result of inadequate access to schooling. This ideology has been passed down through George W. Bush to Barack Obama.

“What I fundamentally believe — and what the president believes,” former Education Secretary Arne Duncan told The New York Times in 2012, “is that the only way to end poverty is through education.”

Education is great. It’s fun to learn about Plato and Chinua Achebe and Jane Austen and the Krebs cycle and lending at interest. It’s also fun to eat when you are old. And if tens of thousands of elderly Americans are living in poverty despite doing exactly what American presidents have told them to do for decades ― namely, getting an education ― then something is dreadfully wrong."


Contingent Faculty in the Age of Trump

"In talking to some of my conservative students, they told me that they feel like they are the real minorities on campus, and even though Trump won, they still think that they cannot express their true opinions. On the other side, some of my self-identified progressive student activists believe that political correctness makes it hard to have an open discussion: from their perspective, since anything can be perceived as a micro-aggression, people tend to silence themselves.

What I am describing is an educational environment where almost everyone is afraid to speak. The non-tenure-track faculty are fearful of losing their jobs, the conservative students see themselves as a censored minority, and the progressive students are afraid of being called out for their privilege or lack of political correctness. Making matters worse is that students are often socialized by their large lecture classes to simply remain passive and silent."

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