Frank Fear: Underlying questions—rarely answered, let alone raised–include: How do big-time athletic programs square with the fundamental purpose of higher education?
Is the US system of public education in crisis? Many say the answer to that question is no. But almost all agree that we have two systems of public education in the United States - one based principally, though not entirely, in the suburbs and another that is based principally in poorer urban and rural areas. One is, unarguably in crisis. The other is not. These articles discuss the root causes and possible solutions.
Robert Reich: Millions of young people head to college and universities to get a four-year liberal arts degree assuming it to be the only gateway to the middle class. It shouldn’t be.
Walter Brasch: When will we realize that teachers are not overpaid relative to others with the same education and experience, that they work more than the average workers—and only because of unions do teachers have the support to keep education from disintegrating into mediocrity?
Charles Hayes: Our educational deficit is readily observable by focusing on those whose lives are sheltered by a narrow sense of identity, a regional, local, or tribal view simplified by relating to all of those outside their group in terms of us and them.
Robin Lakoff: There seems to me to be something deeply and frighteningly wrong with a society that pays an investment banker 1,000 times as much as a kindergarten teacher. Or pays a lobbyist 100 times as much.
Yohuru Williams: Due to the erroneous understanding of tenure at the K-12 level and its conflation with what university professor earn—many persons such as Whoopi Goldberg have accepted the fallacious argument that tenure protects “bad teachers.”
Mark Naison: I asked for a two-year moratorium on all these policies — no more school closings, no more VAM, no more charter school creation — and a new effort by the US Department Education to have teachers voices have a primary role in shaping Department policy rather than business leaders.
Frank A. Fear: Generally vacant is an emphasis on how colleges and universities are making the world a better place, doing things like helping to reduce poverty, enhance environmental quality, and improve human health.
Robert Fuller: I need not belabor the immorality of paying adjuncts a fraction of what other faculty earn, and of denying them benefits, office space, parking rights, and a voice in departmental and institutional policy.
Peter Dreier: Equal educational opportunity demands that we spend more on low-income students than on students from wealthy families.
Rudy Acuña: Supposedly a scholar is an intelligent and well-educated person who knows a particular subject very well but who often knows little about life. Without a sinecure he would probably starve.
Lawrence Wittner: Not surprisingly, the soaring income and numbers of administrators have led to their consuming an increasing share of the campus budget, thereby reducing the percentage spent on teaching and research.
Lauren Steiner: To see a bureaucratic, top down institution like a teachers union come to the realization that they must work with parents and community organizations as partners and be transparent and inclusive in their negotiating process, was refreshing.