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Re: [xmca] FW: AWADmail Issue 380

The President of UC, a lawyer who thinks that the Univ of Texas should be a
model of higher ed, flippantly remarked in the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago
that higher ed was well known to be declining in a manner that indicated it
was of no concern.

What is SO odd a convergence is how many Nobel prize winners this year are
Americans. And not because the Swedes love us.

Is it like my peach tree, which had a prodigious year and then split and two
and died?

Does it explain Singapore?

Thoughtful piece David, thanks

On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 2:46 PM, David Preiss <ddpreiss@me.com> wrote:

> Hi Mike and colleagues,
> The following op-ed
> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/opinion/09krugman.html
> is relevant to this thread.
> But, different than Krugman, I don´t think that this is just a
> North-American problem.
> Same diagnosis can apply to many senior students belonging to the Chilean
> economic elite.
> And I am sure, many people around the globe can report the similar
> pessimism as regards the situation of our / their universities.
> So, what is it, is this the decline of educational institutions as a whole?
> An inescapable consequence of mass education?
> If yes, what is the alternative?
> David
> On Oct 12, 2009, at 10:29 AM, mike cole wrote:
>  Sympotmatically disgusting.
>> I now find myself focusing on vocabulary as a regular part of lecture
>> class
>> discusssions with college students, at present
>> seniors, many of whom have vocabularies stunted at the USA Today level.
>> And
>> the way things are going at UC, that may
>> soon be ruled inappropriate, or restricted by courses taught via drop down
>> menu.
>> :-(
>> mike
>> On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 5:58 AM, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:
>>  Kinda of makes you want to create a sort of "Amnesty International" for
>>> educators denied freedom of professional expression.
>>> David
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>>> On Behalf Of Peter Smagorinsky
>>> Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 5:41 AM
>>> To: 'langandlit'; 'lego'; 'ELAN7408-Fall09'; 'Hillocks'; 'eXtended Mind,
>>> Culture, Activity'
>>> Subject: [xmca] FW: AWADmail Issue 380
>>> More administrative wisdom: The following is from the wordsmith.org "A
>>> word
>>> a day" weekly letters-to-the-editor feature. More reason to bang your
>>> head
>>> against the wall this week.
>>> _____
>>> From: James Eng (jameseng hotmail.com)
>>> Subject: frustration
>>> Not frustration with you! Rather, frustration with the powers-that-be
>>> here
>>> at the middle school where I work. For over a year, I've shared my love
>>> for
>>> A.Word.A.Day with my students and I have had much positive feedback
>>> regarding the words, the clever and creative weekly themes, and the
>>> downright interesting, thought-provoking word choices. But a single
>>> parent
>>> has complained and now I find myself in a morass of having to justify
>>> what I
>>> do in the class, provide documentation that shows there is, indeed,
>>> value to
>>> what we do in class, to ultimately prove that our attempts to "control"
>>> language via ANY vocabulary program will always be imperfect because the
>>> evolution of communication is ongoing and, in the end, best experienced
>>> rather than caged. Sigh. It seems that there's no incentive to think
>>> outside
>>> boundaries or to innovate. It appears that people want something simple,
>>> quick, and cut and dried. Well, whatever may be, I will continue to
>>> anticipate the words with eagerness. I guess I must accept that at
>>> times, my
>>> views are "antipodal" to those of others.
>>> Ironically, the parent's complaint is based on the argument that the
>>> words
>>> are not usable for the kids, that they're not grade appropriate, which I
>>> know is something similar that you all at Wordsmith.org have experience
>>> with. Also, that the use of the Wordsmith.org material is from a website
>>> "not approved", by the district, and that it is not entirely in line
>>> with
>>> the school curriculum. And the entirely laughable notion that the kids
>>> may
>>> be exposed to "inappropriate material"! I thought that the basis of ANY
>>> language arts curriculum is an exploration of language and the
>>> interesting
>>> patterns that we notice along the way. Is there anyone in this world who
>>> is
>>> 100% fluent with any language?
>>> Really, if this is examined closely, this incident is not about
>>> vocabulary,
>>> or curriculum or any of the other stated things. Rather, it's about
>>> authority and power. It's about people whose self-esteem and confidence
>>> level are based solely on how high they can make people jump. Sad.
>>> The kids and I discussed "Beau Brummell" the other day and they created
>>> visual representations of the word.
>>> Update:
>>> Having had a one and a half hour meeting with our school's language arts
>>> supervisor, a meeting replete with many, many examples of students' work
>>> that clearly demonstrates an active interaction with the vocabulary
>>> words
>>> from Wordsmith.org, I was told that administration in the building,
>>> "will
>>> not approve your vocabulary program". I am flabbergasted at such a
>>> statement
>>> given that administration has no clue as to what my vocabulary program
>>> entails, nor have they shown the least bit of interest in finding out in
>>> the
>>> past 1+ years that I've been running my program. So, I am writing to you
>>> for
>>> advice. I need to know a really terrific word that is synonymous with,
>>> "manufactured", since it seems that the so-called leaders of the school
>>> are
>>> devoted, lock, stock, and barrel to such an approach. I am stunned that
>>> such
>>> obtuseness has become so prevalent and in my 17 years as an educator I
>>> am
>>> speechless regarding the state of middle school education in my neck of
>>> the
>>> woods.
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>  _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
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> David Preiss
> ddpreiss@me.com
> http://web.mac.com/ddpreiss/
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