Some of the News Fit to Print
HOW SHOULD TEACHERS BE PAID?
Arguments around changes to teacher compensation have been heating up all across the country. In Tennessee, for example, education officials just put a new plan in place that eliminates annual step raises given solely for experience and advanced degrees, asking districts to also consider factors such as test scores and whether a teacher works in a high-needs school. The state's teachers' union has come out firmly against it, saying it could lower teaching requirements and overall teacher pay. A roundtable of teachers takes on this question for Education Week.
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GRADUATION GAPS BETWEEN MINORITY AND WHITE STUDENTS SLOWLY NARROW
The graduation gap between minority and white college students is slowly narrowing, and the campuses having the most success aren't necessarily the wealthiest or most selective, according to a new report by the Education Trust. "Colleges that decide student success is the No. 1 priority have been able to move the needle even with decreasing levels of state support," the report's author, Joseph Yeado, a higher-education research and policy analyst for the Education Trust, said in an interview on Wednesday. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UDACITY PROJECT ON ‘PAUSE’
After six months of high-profile experimentation, San Jose State University plans to “pause” its work with Udacity, a company that promises to deliver low-cost, high-quality online education to the masses. The decision will likely be seen as a setback for a unique partnership announced in January by California Gov. Jerry Brown in a 45-minute news conference with university officials and Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
A new survey suggests that even if new college graduates are employed, many aren’t particularly happy. College graduates whose highest educational attainment is a bachelor’s degree say they are less engaged at work than people who completed some or no college. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
SENATORS: TOO MUCH FOCUS ON COLLEGE DEGREES
With federal student loan debt mounting across the country, lawmakers across the political aisle are in agreement that Washington must help emphasize that jobs training can be just as valuable to young Americans as a college degree. Speaking at Politico’s Jobs of the Future event Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the out-of-control level of student loan debt in the United States is in part due to the widespread suggestion that a young person is a “second-class citizen” if he or she doesn’t attain a four-year college degree.
PROCESS OVER PRODUCT
University of Kansas journalism professor Doug Ward writes in Inside Higher Ed: Many universities seem taken aback by the assertions that they offer an education that is less than stellar. With a steady stream of students knocking at the door, they haven’t had to. They also lack the ability to make rapid, radical changes. In that regard, they are like most large organizations, whether in business or in government. The structures they have put in place are complex and inter-reliant, yet need constant remaking to remain relevant.
SENATE REACHES DEAL OVER STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES
WASHINGTON — Senators negotiating a bipartisan deal to keep student loan rates low reached a deal on Wednesday night that could end the partisan feud on Capitol Hill that has threatened to permanently double interest rates. The article is in The New York Times.
Some of the News Fit to Print
DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES AMPLIFY IMPORTANCE OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
A wave of immigration, the aging of non-Hispanic white women beyond child-bearing years and a new baby boom are diminishing the proportion of children who are white. Already, half of U.S. children younger than 1 are Hispanic, black, Asian, Native American or of mixed races. "A lot of people think demographics alone will bring about change and it won't," said Gail Christopher, who heads the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's America Healing project on racial equity. "If attitudes and behaviors don't change, demographics will just mean we'll have a majority population that is low-income, improperly educated, disproportionately incarcerated with greater health disparities." The AP article is in Education Week.
DO CLINICAL TRIALS WORK?
After some 400 completed clinical trials in various cancers, it’s not clear why (the cancer drug) Avastin works (or doesn’t work) in any single patient. “Despite looking at hundreds of potential predictive biomarkers, we do not currently have a way to predict who is most likely to respond to Avastin and who is not,” says a spokesperson for Genentech, a division of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, which makes the drug. That we could be this uncertain about any medicine with $6 billion in annual global sales — and after 16 years of human trials involving tens of thousands of patients — is remarkable in itself. And yet this is the norm, not the exception. Which brings us to perhaps a more fundamental question, one that few people really want to ask: do clinical trials even work? Or are the diseases of individuals so particular that testing experimental medicines in broad groups is doomed to create more frustration than knowledge? The commentary was in The New York Times Sunday Review. This commentary has relevance to Carnegie's approach to improvement in education, where we offer a prototype of a new infrastructure for research and development.
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NO BID MOOCS
The providers of massive open online courses have rapidly expanded in the past year, aided in part by a series of potentially lucrative no-bid deals with public colleges and universities, including for services that may extend beyond the MOOC model. At least 21 universities and higher education systems in 16 states have signed agreements with Coursera, Udacity or edX without going through a competitive bidding process, according to interviews and open records requests by Inside Higher Ed.
WHY POOR STUDENTS’ COLLEGE PLANS ‘MELT’ OVER SUMMER
A large number of poor high school students who say they are continuing on to college fail to show up in the fall. The reason is referred to as the "summer melt." Students face many hurdles, including lack of resources and mentors. A Harvard study found that upward of 20% of recent high school graduates who indicate that they will continue on to college do not show up in the fall. The piece ran on NPR’s Morning Edition.
KEEPING CONTINUOUS GROWTH AT TEACHER EVALUATION’S CORE
Even in this age of political discord, most people would agree that the main purpose of newly adopted teacher-evaluation instruments is to help teachers improve their effectiveness. However, a policy disconnect stands in the way of using these new evaluation models to actually improve educator practices. To understand why, Stephen Fink (executive director of the University of Washington Center for Education) takes a look at the genesis of the recent teacher-evaluation movement in Education Week.
GOP DIVIDED ON REWRITE OF NCLB
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative Republicans don’t think a GOP rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law does enough to reduce Washington’s influence. Moderates are warily eying proposals that would expand charter schools’ role. Those intraparty differences appear to be blocking the bill’s momentum. It’s just the latest example of the fractured Republican membership in the House, where the party has a majority but often stumbles over internal disagreements. The AP article is in the Boston Globe.
Some of the News Fit to Print
STATES GRADED ON FINANCIAL EDUCATION
The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College has graded all 50 states on their efforts to teach the ABCs of financial literacy to high school students. The assessments are based primarily on published reports covering state-by-state measures, along with reviews of state legislation going back more than a decade. The piece is from CNN Money.
TENNESSEE TO TOUGHEN STANDARDS ON TEACHER LICENSING
Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman presented a plan that would make it tougher for teachers to get and keep licenses by demanding higher scores on initial licensing tests and then requiring more frequent renewals, which would be based in part on evaluations of their teaching effectiveness. Only six other states are known to have discussed or adopted similar changes to licensing. The article is in the Tennessean.
CITY DENIES REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF TEACHER RATINGS
The Boston School Department has refused to release overall ratings of teacher performance at individual schools, denying families access to potentially powerful information that could shed new light on the quality of instruction. The Boston Globe had requested a breakdown of the teacher ratings for each school under a new job evaluation system that deems whether a teacher’s performance is exemplary, proficient, in need of improvement, or unsatisfactory. The Globe requested only an aggregate of the teacher ratings at each school and not for individual teachers so that no one would be personally identified.
INTERNET’S EFFECT ON WRITING NOT ALL FOR THE WORSE, TEACHERS SAY
High school and middle school teachers think students' writing is affected by digital tools, for better and for worse, according to a survey led by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Of the 2,462 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers surveyed, 68 percent said digital tools make students more likely to take shortcuts and 48 percent said students are writing too carelessly and quickly. But, at the same time, teachers said students' potential exposure to a broader audience online and the feedback they receive from peers encourage investment in writing and the process of writing. The information is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.
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BILL GATES DISCUSSES MOOCS
Bill Gates says that this is the “golden era” of learning, thanks to massive open online courses and easy access to information. The chairman of Microsoft gave the keynote address on Monday at Microsoft Research’s Faculty Summit, an annual event that brings together Microsoft researchers and academics from more than 200 institutions for a two-day conference in Redmond, Wash., on current issues facing computer science. At the summit, Mr. Gates told the audience that he sees enormous potential for MOOCs but cautioned that online education still faces many challenges. The post is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog.
STATES STRIKE BUDGET BARGAINS WITH HIGHER EDUCATION
Public colleges in Massachusetts will get a whopping 16-percent increase in state appropriations for the 2014 fiscal year compared with what they got in the previous state budget. Although that amount is being hailed by college leaders as a major reinvestment in public higher education, the state is still spending less on public colleges than it did in the 2008 fiscal year, at the beginning of the recession. "In many states the mood is more positive, but no one is saying, 'We made it,'" said Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The article is The Chronicle of Higher Education.
思考一下美國為什麼不須設立 Las Vegas 大學
Training Future Macau Casino Bosses
July 17, 2013
Eric Rechsteiner for the International Herald Tribune
陳是澳門大學(University of Macau)餐旅服務與博彩管理(Hospitality and Gaming Management)專業的三年級學生，這一課程為澳門迅速發展的博彩與餐旅服務業培養管理和行政人才。而賭場業務培訓只是其中的一部分。
2002年，澳門開放了它的博彩業，於是像金沙 (Sands)和永利渡假村(Wynn Resorts)這樣的大型美國投資者紛紛進入。如今，澳門至少有35家賭場，僱傭了超過8.1萬名員工。它的博彩業收入已超過了拉斯維加斯大道，如此紅 火也因為，博彩業在中國大陸屬非法。每年，有超過2000萬來自大陸的遊客造訪澳門。
三年級的學生可以參加一個為期兩周的實地考察項目，造訪拉斯維加斯和夏威夷。上午，他們會在內華達大學拉斯維加斯分校(University of Nevada, Las Vegas)上課，下午會去賭場和酒店。內華達大學拉斯維加斯分校提供餐旅服務和酒店管理的學位。
MACAU — Natalie Chan collected bets, dealt cards and calculated payoffs. She was not a croupier working in a casino — in fact, at 20, she was not even old enough to be on the gambling floor at the glitzy casinos just a short walk from campus.
But she is learning the tricks of the trade through a program meant to train Macau residents to run the hotels and casinos that have made this city Asia’s answer to Las Vegas.
“It wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be,” said Ms. Chan, who learned how to play blackjack and baccarat. “At the end of the training, we had an assessment and I had to perform several calculations while dealing the cards. It was challenging.”
Ms. Chan is a third-year student at the University of Macau’s Hospitality and Gaming Management program, which grooms students for managerial and executive positions in the booming gambling and hospitality industry. Casino floor training is just one part of the course.
“Besides learning about the games, the training allowed me to experience what the dealers go through, the stressful environment that they have to work in, as well as what makes them tired,” Ms. Chan explained. “It gave me an idea of the things I need to be aware of when managing dealers in future.”
Macau opened its doors to major U.S. investors like Sands and Wynn Resorts when it liberalized its casino industry in 2002. It now has at least 35 casinos employing more than 81,000 staff. Its gambling revenue, which outpaces that of the Las Vegas Strip, is aided by the fact that casino gambling is illegal in mainland China, which sends more than 20 million visitors to the city each year.
But the sudden boom, combined with a lack of good local training, meant that many top-level positions were filled by expatriates from the West or other Asian cities like Hong Kong.
Amy So, coordinator for the Hospitality and Gaming Management program, said there were almost no education options in the field when the program opened in 2003.
“Before we started this program, Macau wanted to develop the hospitality and gaming industry, but at that time there were not a lot of people working in this profession and there were no such degrees offered,” she said.
Admission is competitive, with only 72 spots for 360 applicants last year, though Dr. So said the program might be expanded in the future.
In recent years, it has evolved to cater to the emergence of huge family-friendly entertainment complexes, as opposed to the narrowly gambling-focused casinos that existed a decade ago. “I think the trend of this industry is moving toward developing integrated resorts where all the departments — including hotel, gaming, retail, conventions and exhibitions — work together,” Dr. So said.
The university’s courses also cover business, marketing, technology, events management, and food and beverage operations. Students have the choice of specializing in one of two streams: gambling management or convention and hospitality management.
Third-year students can join a two-week field trip to Las Vegas and Hawaii. They take morning courses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which offers degrees in hospitality management and hotel administration, and spend afternoons at casinos and hotels.
Kitty Kuong, 23, went on the trip last year. She said that Macau had room for improvement in comparison with the United States, where travel agents, hotels and the government work together. She will be among the first batch of students to graduate from the University of Macau’s convention and hospitality management stream this year.
“I can learn both the gaming aspects and also the hospitality aspects of the integrated resorts,” she said. “Also, some of the lecturers are from the industry. It is a good way for us to be in touch.”