Category Archives: school reform

September 22, 2013, 10:54 am

Out With Tenured Radical: President Obama’s Plan for Higher Education

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.44.21 AMIf MSNBC can have Up w/ Steve Kornacki on Sundays, and All In w/ Chris Hays Monday through Friday, why can’t there be “Out w/ Tenured Radical,” where guests get their ideas out there without being interrupted? As a bonus, there is no stale, uneaten Danish on the table! 

Today’s policy expert and guest blogger is Judith C. Brown, a historian and a former provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Wesleyan University (aka, Zenith University, for long-time followers of this blog.) Her other posts for Tenured Radical on the economics and politics of higher education have appeared here, here, and here. Today’s discussion is an in-depth assessment of President Obama’s plan for higher education.

In his recent “Plan to Make College More Affordable,” President Obama observed last month that higher education is “the single most important investment students can make in their…

Read More

May 22, 2010, 2:38 pm

If You Don’t Teach Well, At Least No One Dies

We at Tenured Radical are sorry to hear that Zenith alum and historian of Africa Tim Burke, over at Easily Distracted, was temporarily sidelined by a bout of diverticulitis. For the non-cognoscenti, this is a manageable, chronic condition that tends to introduce itself with excruciating pain. From here on out, it’s Fiber City, Tim. Get well soon, you hear?

As anyone in our tribe might have done, Tim used this small emergency and its resolution as an opportunity to blog. In a meditation on the state of two large, amorphous industries, higher education and health care, he writes:
Academia’s issues I see from the professional’s side, medicine’s problems from the perspective of the clientele. The first perspective tends to put me in the position of an apologist, the second as accuser. Maybe between the two some kind of insight is possible, though when I add it all up, I’m left…

Read More

January 23, 2009, 4:05 pm

Barack Is (Not) Responsible For Making All Things Good: The Radical Disputes The Proposal That There Is An “Obama Effect” On Education

Much as I would like Barack Obama to sprinkle magic dust all over the country, fixing racism, poverty, and absolutely everything we hated about the Bushies, each policy question will have to be tackled thoughtfully, one by one. Today’s topic is the national education agenda.

A crucial issue here is the continuing mania for using public school children as a vast pool of customers for corporations specializing in both mass curriculum distribution and in the endless testing through which students — on pain of humiliation, summer school, and being held back a grade — are asked to regurgitate these educational products. (I use the phrase “educational products” consciously: currently, a standard curriculum in the United States is to education what Cheez Whiz is to cheese.) The sad backstory of test scores going up in any given school are the number of students who drop out, or are…

Read More