What Does the Syllabus Really Tell You? And How to Find Out What is Really Taught.

A reader looked at this year’s syllabus for the course that I wrote about in A Tale Out of School. The reader commented that there was nothing wrong with what this year’s syllabus covers.  Let’s look deeper and ask what covers means. For those who have read A Tale Out of School,  you may have […]

Evidence That Schools That Educate Graduate Students Who Are in Big Demand

Uber…put up a billboard outside Carnegie Mellon’s computer-sciences building that said: “We are looking for the best software engineers in Pittsburgh.” Graduate students are being approached to work at the company. Source: Carnegie Mellon Reels After Uber Lures Away Researchers – WSJ This is a story about one of the top schools in computer science […]

Pressure to Please Students – It’s All Over the Place

Dan Laroque responded (on the WSJ site)to my previous post.  I think it is important because, I have only taught at 3 places.  From that and newspaper articles, books, and data, I deduce behavior elsewhere.  His comment adds to our understanding. Here it is. “By the time I retired I was fully disgusted with fake teaching.  […]

Chemistry Departments Try to Attract More Students by Retooling the Major – WSJ

Chemistry Departments Try to Attract More Students by Retooling the Major – WSJ. Good or Bad?  I’m not a chemist, so I don’t know.  But I’m always concerned.  It really depends on the university. I wrote, ” I don’t know chemistry, but I know colleges.   Don’t trust – do verify!   For example, a peer […]

Measuring Benefits of Smaller Amounts in Same Container

Is your degree worth it?: It depends what you study, not where | The Economist. There is a fallacy in these statistics.  I commented. Just as consumers can be fooled into believing that today’s can of “whatever” contains the same amount as yesterday’s, so can “consumers” of today’s degrees be fooled into thinking they contain […]

Rip Van Skillsgap on Paul Krugman’s Blog Is Wrong

Rip Van Skillsgap – NYTimes.com. “Please, Prof. Krugman, you are too important a voice not to pay attention to data that screams that there is a gigantic gap between what you think is an education, and what “customers” (once quaintly known as “students”) are actually getting – even in many so-called “elite” schools. There is […]

Content Deflation III – Does Wash. U. Physics Prof. Adopt It With Zeal? And Does the University Boast About It? Read This

This is from my story ATaleOutofSchool  but it is self-contained.  I think it is helpful in understanding how much “content deflation” has entered the academy as a marketing tool that caters to student “wants”, while leaving students on their own to acquire their “needs”.  Of course, it is even worse that just leaving them on […]

New York Times Editorial Series on Education – They Don’t See the Elephant in the Classroom

(Go here to see the newest piece, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/opinion/sunday/in-math-and-science-the-best-fend-for-themselves.html?hp&rref=opinion ) I am concerned that even the Times doesn’t see the problem.  Maybe they just have trouble believing how bad the integrity problem is.  Anyway, I commented on their recommendations, and I made a general comment.  Here they are. On the Times recommendation for more government support As a […]

The Chonicle of Higher Education Headlines: The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth? But…

Doesn’t it depend on whether you mean too many STEM grads or too many grads with STEM education.  The article talks about an Ohio State grad having trouble finding a job but I find that it may be that Ohio State students are having trouble finding an education.  I don’t know for sure but here is […]