Bustillos sees institutions like San Jose State experimenting with credit for online courses from startups like Udacity, and asks: "are we willing to jeopardize the education of young people (at the cost of millions or billions in public funds) on a bet like that?”

To which my reply is: "Depends. How well do you think things are going now?"

Bustillos' answers seem to be that in the world of higher education, things are going fine, mostly, and that the parts that aren’t going fine can largely be fixed with tax dollars. (Because if there’s one group you'd pin your hopes for an American renaissance on, it would be state legislators.) I have a different answer: School is broken and everyone knows it.

http://www.theawl.com/2013/02/how-to-save-college#more-156219

asked 08 Feb '13, 21:32

robrambusch's gravatar image

robrambusch ♦
24.2k448239


I like this metaphor:

MOOCs are a lightning strike on a rotten tree. Most stories have focused on the lightning, on MOOCs as the flashy new thing. I want to talk about the tree.

This was interesting:

This vitiation of the diploma is Goodhart’s Law in action, where a socially useful metric becomes increasingly worthless, because the incentives pushing towards adulteration are larger than those pushing towards purity. This is not some bad thing that was done to us in the academy. We did this to ourselves, under the rubric of ordinary accreditation, at nonprofits and state schools. Yet I've never once heard the professors fulminating about MOOCs also suggest shutting down Excelsior College. In the academy, we are terrible at combating threats from the current educational system, but we are terrific at combating threats to it.

And a pithy but on-point observation:

In the academy, we're fine with anything that lowers the cost of education. We love those kinds of changes. But when someone threatens to lower the price, well, then we start behaving like Teamsters in tweed.

link

answered 09 Feb '13, 10:44

rseiter's gravatar image

rseiter ♦
6.6k526

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