Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nerfed





Currently, higher education is under attack in many of the same ways that K-12 ed was attacked. If you’re a parent or educator or merely someone who just cares about what’s going to happen with this country, I urge you to check in with your legislature’s agenda from this past year and this coming year. Look for bills concerning remedial/developmental/some other euphemism for the courses that colleges offer to help students who have been royally screwed by No Child Left Behind to be ready for college. From what we now know, Bill Gates’ Lumina Foundation (and a few others) is moving an agenda through politicians’ circles called Complete College America. Currently, 40 states have agreed to this new agenda that axes those courses AND increases quotas for graduation simultaneously.
In other words, they’ve finally become aware that they screwed up when they nerfed K-12 with NCLB, and instead of going back and fixing it, they’re now going to nerf higher ed so that those underprepared students can sign up directly to the full college-level courses they aren’t prepared for, and when they fail out of those courses, the legislature will look to instructors and ask why we failed them.
If you’re wondering where the student’s responsibility lies, then you’re asking the right questions—questions that the legislatures are specifically NOT asking.
If you’re wondering how instructors and teachers and professors let this happen without speaking up—funny story: the agenda is presented in rooms with not a single instructor in them. The committees that are tasked with implementing these agendas? Not a single instructor/professor/teacher on them. You see, the rhetoric (said or unsaid) is clearly that we are the problem, and the solution has to come from someone else.
I’m not under the illusion that posts like this or any other form of complaint will be enough to turn the tide. Look at the outcry from K-12 teachers about NCLB, and yet that went into effect, anyway. This is a done deal.
I just wanted to let you know what most of the conversations in my life were about these days. Gone were those wonderful days just a few short months ago when I could spend all day thinking about the novel that needs editing, or the novel that is currently under construction. Instead, now I have to figure out how to help students who are the real victims of the bullshit rhetoric of the Republican and Tea parties (to wit, that we, the Ivory Tower Elites are trying to screw “the little guy” out of his/her hard earned money and keeping them from their education).
I haven’t gotten the sales report for the fiscal year, yet, but I expect it soon. I know every time I bring that up, you’re thinking, “For an Indie author, you are very concerned with your sales numbers.” I don’t know why, either, to be honest. I believe in the mission of the small, Indie press. I can’t jettison that typical American idea that sales somehow equal love/value as a person, I guess. I'm curious about sales, is all.
Mental casting for the currently-growing novel? I’ll let you in on that much, at least: Iwan Rheon, Paul Iacono, Parker Bagley, Mark Kelley

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