Monday, February 11, 2013

Obligatory whatnots

I've been posting somewhat regularly lately, and though today's not given me considerable fodder for a brand-spankin' new post (cross products in Calc III and an introductory discussion of Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler in Oulipo), I thought I might mention a few ongoing whatnots.

Whatnot #1, CRTF...WTF? I've begun drafting a "contextualizing" document that might help folks who haven't been intimately involved in the process of crafting the current proposal understand exactly what in the hell those of us who have been intimately involved in the process of crafting the current proposal are thinking. Of course, I've come out semi-publicly (here and elsewhere) as having serious reservations about the proposal as it stands, so it's ironic that it falls to me to explain our reasoning.

I think at this point, the powers that be are concerned that given some of the language of the Strategic Plan (about more below) we're better off streamlining and "standardizing" our curriculum before someone else (*cough* GA? *cough cough*) does it for us.

Whatnot #2, This post by Teacherken of education-related blogging fame. (He's been a fixture in various places, including The Daily Kos.) The writing's on the wall, and it ain't pretty. As if I needed more reason to loathe AP exams. Students, parents, everyone: the AP system is fundamentally fraught with error of every kind. It's a wrongheaded hydra. We need to slay the damned thing. Of course, we're going to have to fight through ETS and friends to even get to it.

Whatnot #1 and Whatnot #2 bring me to...

...Whatnot #3, The Strategic Plan. I'm about 1/6 of the way through reading this sucker. I regaled (read: "bored/annoyed the crap out of") my Facebook friends with a line-by-line response to this damned thing a few days ago when I started reading it, alcoholic beverage in hand. It's awful, folks. It adopts the rhetoric of the corporate community, eyes intently focused on the bottom line, offering one way to the university system, and one way only: make us money or die. It's all about measurable production benchmarks (graduates are "produced," donchano?) and accountability to stakeholders. It's all about uniformity and portability and seamless transfer. It's all about standards. It's NCLB on steroids, repackaged for the 'teens. It's a godawful mess.

But it's the UNC system's lodestone for the next several years. It's our way through the woods. It's the house we have to beat, the inside straight we've got to draw into. It's our future.

I plan on finishing reading it this week sometime, provided I can find enough liquor. I'll post my thoughts about it here as I read it.

1 comment:

John Mairs said...

Whatnot #2: When I was in early college HS, I always heard my traditional HS counterparts bitch about AP courses and exams. Meanwhile, I'm at the community college sailing through some of the easiest classes I've ever attended. Funny how that works, eh?

Whatnot #3: If nothing else, I hope it can screw over UNCC. I'm surprised they can produce urine — forget about a graduate.