Friday, March 03, 2006

If There Was a Contest for Moronic Surveys, You'd Get the Prize

In an effort to make Americans feel worse about themselves, the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum published a survey that claims that Americans know more about the animated show The Simpsons then they do about their First Amendment freedoms.

An article published by the Associated Press cites that the survey found that "
The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22% of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms."

As I'm sure that this was a scholarly and scientifically responsible survey, the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum must have had a myriad of controls, sample groups, a complete and thorough methodology, and a correctly analogous comparison and hypothesis. Oh wait, I can't find the survey anywhere because it is a bullshit promotional tool for this stupid museum.

A word of advice to the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, who's fault is it that the First Amendment isn't funny, animated, or aired ad nauseam on Fox? Well, I'm sure that it is the fault of the American public. Hey, here's another question. Why this specific (and irrelevant) comparison. Hey assholes, I'm not going to come to your museum because you are portraying Americans as idiots for an advertising stunt based on specious reasoning. Go fuck yourself McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum! Look at me, I'm exercising my First Amendment rights.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

$900 for textbooks or $9 for a case of PBR? Hmmmm. . . let me think.

Books cost so much for college-students now that many don't even consider it a dilemma. If it's a choice between harvesting kidneys to pay 2 bills for a systems analysis paperback or keeping your organs and guessing on a multiple-choice examination, some are reluctant to pay down for every piece-o-crap title listed on the syllabus. This is because the cost of books has swelled at twice the rate as has American inflation across the past 20 years. It's not quite oil, but it's not quite right either.

“Students have plenty of conspiracy theories for the rising prices: Greedy publishers who change the cover just to charge more. Self-absorbed professors who assign their own masterpieces or forget to list the books till it's too late to find a used copy. Overpriced stores.” (Kinzie)

Read the rest of this interesting article to find out that they're not really doing anything to change the problem.


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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cheating at George Bush's Alma Mater? Get the Fuck Out of Town!!

Most Yale students agree that cheating is just a means to an end. I suppose if I had to pay $40,000 a year to do anything, I'd do whatever it took to get my money's worth. This article, drawn from The Yale Herald, suggests that these kids ain't in it for the hot Ivy League ass. They's in it fo the grades, biatch!

Three students approached their professor after they witnessed a student copying from their tests on multiple occasions. The professor said he didn't want to know the student's name; rather than investigate the situation or hand the case over to the Yale Executive Committee, the professor simply moved subsequent exams to a larger room without addressing the specific allegations of cheating. A senior in the class said that he wasn't offended that a peer was cheating and didn't care that his professor did not punish the student. "All people have the same motive," he said. "The people who cheat and the people who study all just want good grades. Cheating is just a more efficient way of doing it, and no one's against efficiency." (Thompson)

The rest of the article has some good suggestions on how to cheat in class. Check it out here or by clicking on the title link:

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other?

This week in education news has yielded the "Teen Mental-Health Survey". This article, taken from the Ohio Dispatch on January 30, 2006, highlights a new survey which, as stated by test makers, "seeks to pinpoint who needs mental-health services". Students taking this survey will have the rare opportunitity to either make a desperate cry for help or further isolate themselves from peers and teaching staffs alike.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Harvard: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

The NPR News website directed me to this Harvard study released on Jan 12 2006 which basically argues that recent findings have led these researchers to the conclusion that public school are more segrated today than they were 15 years ago. The Harvard study blames de facto segregation for the decline of racial diversity in our schools stating that:

The resegregation of blacks is greatest in the Southern and Border states and appears to be clearly related to the Supreme Court decisions in the l990s permitting return to segregated neighborhood schools. These changes, and the continuing strong relationship between segregation and many forms of educational inequality, compound the already existing disadvantage of historically excluded groups.

Check out this study, especially Harvard's solutions for improving integration in schools; also, keep in mind the source of this advice.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Trouble on the Horizon for Clown Colleges???

This Jan. 21, 2006 New York Times article reports that hard times are ahead for profit designed, "commercial" colleges which offer non-degree education programs to students who do not graduate from high school. As of January 20, 2006 The New York State Board of Regents imposed a moratorium on new commericial colleges within the state in an effort to better regulate and monitor these "non-degree" commercial colleges and the financial aid that the draw from the state. The Times writes that:

The flow of public money to such schools is one reason they are drawing scrutiny. A recurring question is whether some schools are enrolling students who have little hope of graduating simply to capture the financial aid. In New York, their students drew $136 million in state tuition assistance grants in 2003-4 - 17 percent of the those grants - even though they accounted for about 7 percent of the undergraduates.

Basically, the disparity of these numbers (17% of the financial aid for only 7% of the undergraduates) suggest that these non-degree progams are purposefully enrolling students that will, in all likelihood, fail to graduate in order to get more financial aid while spending less.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

College: America's Greatest Bargain

While college tuition prices are on the rise; they take this course at slower pace than in the last two years. According to a Wall Street Journal article about tuition costs for the 2006 school year:

On average, public-college tuitions will increase 8% this year, estimates Travis Reindl, director of state policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. That is well below increases of 10.5% and 13% in the two previous academic years -- and the first time since then that increases would be in the single digits.

That saved money can and, in all likelihood, will be used to compensate for the rise in gas prices and textbooks for the average college student. Awesome.

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