Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Week in Retweets October 27, 2014

LWRT took last week off while I was watching faculty struggle sessions learning about the state of the art in assessment at the IUPUI Assessment Institute, so this week's post may reach back a bit further than usual. This week we cover sexism in educational technology, City College of San Francisco's accreditation, and unprofitable for-profit universities. (You aren't hallucinating; nothing about rankings for once!) But we start with something huge: the University of North Carolina's accreditation may be in jeopardy.

Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenneth L. Wainstein, A. Joseph Jay III, and Colleen Depman Kukowski

Officials at the University of North Carolina perpetuated academic fraud over an 18-year period in which more than 3,000 students, nearly half of whom were student-athletes, took classes in the African and Afro-American studies department that were part of a
“shadow curriculum” within the AFAM Department that provided students with academically flawed instruction through the offering of “paper classes.” These were classes that involved no interaction with a faculty member, required no class attendance or course work other than a single paper, and resulted in consistently high grades that [department curriculum administrator Debby] Crowder awarded without reading the papers or otherwise evaluating their true quality.
Athletes were steered to these courses by academic counselors within the athletics program, who were, along with other officials within the program including head football coach Butch Davis and most of his assistants, aware of the lack of rigor in the courses. Institutional leadership only discovered the fraud in 2011. The scandal has led to calls for UNC to lose its accreditation. (This link above is to the full report, which includes a helpful executive summary.)

Education Management removes itself from Nasdaq listing, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(AKA, for-profit isn't.) Education Management Corporation, operator of Argosy University and the Art Institutes among other brands, will remove its stock from the NASDAQ and cease reporting to the SEC in the wake of financial troubles. EDMC lost $644 million and saw its stock lose more than 90% of its value in its most recent fiscal year. Under a debt restructuring deal agreed to earlier this year, the company will transfer the majority of its stock to creditors. the companyu faces the threat of lawsuits from students and investors as well as a Justice Department investigation of recruiting and lending practices.

Trial to begin on City College’s fate, accrediting panel’s reach, San Francisco Chronicle

Trial begins today in the WASC's revocation of its accreditation of City College of San Francisco. WASC revoked the college's accreditation in 2012 over issues related to failure to assess student learning and severe financial weaknesses. CCSF has contended that it did so because WASC violated both federal and state law in the process. "We just want the commission to play by the rules and stop inventing rules as they go along," said city attorney Dennis Herrera on behalf of the college. The commission acknowledges some procedural irregularities but contends the irregularities did not influence the decision. The case also raises the issue of whether reforms can be forced on WASC or institutions allowed to pursue an alternative accreditor.

Yes, #Gamergate is an Ed-Tech Issue, Hack Education

The #Gamergate controversy, in which (mostly male) video gamers have been using the pretext of journalistic ethics to make frankly terroristic threats (assault and death, yes, but rape threats have been especially prevalent) against women who have publicly criticized rampant misogyny in the tech industry, reached higher education. Feminist writer Anita Sarkesssian was forced to cancel a speech at Utah State University after someone threatened a mass shooting at the school if she spoke. USU police stated that they could not legally prevent those with permits to carry concealed firearms from bringing them to the talk, even in response to the threat. She was not the only educator so threatened recently as part of the campaign of threats. Education blogger Audrey Watters argues persuasively that #Gamergate (named after the Twitter hashtag associated with it) is an important issue for education technology. Because students are now expected to interact online, and because the culture of technology development is "hard-coded into the infrastructure," sexism in technology unavoidably becomes sexism in education technology.

Thanks for contributions from @EduBenM, @shermandorn, @alliegrasgreen, @bonstewart, and @audreywatters.

No comments:

Post a Comment