In a recent speech about the economy, Obama talked quite a bit about higher education, citing the controversial Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a legitimate way to bring down the costs of college and reduce the number of years it takes to get a meaningful degree. This has prompted some to start talking about the political viability of federal policies supporting MOOCs.
Jonathan Rees, a professor at Colorado State University, is already rallying the troops against MOOCs. Jonathan Chait, over at New York Magazine, though, says opposition to MOOCs upholds and strengthens class divisions:
College professors are good people, and nobody wants to hurt them. At the same time, designing a higher education system around maintaining living standards for college professors is an insane idea. The goal of the system ought to be making higher education effective and affordable for students. Rees waxes poetic about the joys of in-person liberal education, and I greatly enjoyed my classic college experience, with the gorgeous campus green and intramural basketball and watching campus protestors say interestingly crazy stuff at rallies. But insisting that’s the only way a student ought to be able to get a degree, in an economy where a college degree is necessary for a middle-class life, is to doom the children of non-affluent families to crushing college debt, or to lock them out of upward mobility altogether.
Speaking of politics, there’s been a lot of talk this week about the political future of the ed reform movement, speculating fallout from Tony Bennett’s resignation and possible investigations. Anthony Cody thinks it means the end of the reform movement. Although, that’s probably making mountains out of molehills. To his credit, though, even conservative voices are starting to criticize the reform movement.
And if the political is too ideological for you, here are some practical resources:
This Google Doc with all of the #edchat times listed for Twitter.
And this interactive online map that shows demolition sites in Detroit.