Thursday, January 29, 2004

And further yet 

Following on Dave's comment just below: The evisceration of the state universities by MnSCU continues.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities propose to strengthen K-12 education and prepare the skilled employees neccessary to accelerate the growth of advanced manufacturing, health care, biosciences and other targeted Minnesota industries.
Sounds like we need a few more years for school-to-work to work out, eh? The proposals are to create an online university by 2006; create educational "SWAT teams" to support Governor Pawlenty's JOBZ plan (a bad idea if I ever heard one); "create a world-class Teacher Center"; and increase the number of nurses in the state. I'm sure that increased supply of nurses will thrill those already in the health care industry.

Look at Chancellor McCormack's work plan and tell me if you see anything about academic excellence. Anywhere? Dig around the site. I'll wait.

Nope. This week we finally saw something that discussed academics: in our email came a proposal for a Business Practice Alignment Committee to make our academic standards more uniform. Great, I thought! About time someone looked at this. What do I find? Discussion of the grading scale and how the transcripts will look, to be sure everyone knows you're at a MnSCrUd-up school. (There actually is one piece of good news: They will permit students to retake classes only once ... unless they get special permission. Think special permission will be hard to get? Doubt it.)

And I love this claim that "the system returns $6.28 in economic benefits for every $1 in net state appropriations." Well then, tax the state at 100% and give the money to us!* Untold wealth awaits!

So we will grow more teachers and nurses, two jobs that pay handsomely. And, interestingly, two industries that are increasingly run by the state rather than the market. Think that's a coincidence? Guess again.

*--well, not us as in SCSU, except for nursing and education.