Saturday, July 21, 2012

CUNY's new community college model

A recent article in the Times discusses CUNY's "New Community College," the tentative name for a new institution using new strategies aimed at increasing graduation rates. The article is interesting because it details challenges (a) in prospective students' lives, (b) in their courses of study, and (c) in constructing curricula to meet their needs. The most ominous note sounds around the last page, where it's revealed that 4 of 7 faculty have left or been forced out, seemingly over the plan to include both remediation and new material all at once. That certainly sounds daunting to me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More on online learning

The Times produces another article about online learning ventures laying out some of the directions in this field and critiques. One reader posted in a comment a link to an interesting article in Science showing variation in learning outcomes across in-person teaching methods.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Changing retirement ages in the Euro zone

The Washington Post reports on rising public sector retirement ages in Italy and also presents a nifty graphic comparing them across a number of OECD countries. The first article describes the hopelessness felt by older individuals when these changes are announced without much lead time. Say what one will about the ability of OECD governments in general to tackle the fiscal challenges of population aging head-on, but at least such changes have been legislated in some countries well in advance of their taking effect. The 1983 Social Security Amendments scheduled a gradual rise in the normal retirement age starting in 2000, a full seventeen years later.