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Tag: Rick Scott

Academic Freedom and Online Classes

Academic Freedom and Online Classes

Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown

A Governor’s Attack on Academic Freedom – Ethics Sage

This blog first appeared as an article on February 18, 2013 in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It challenges California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent intrusion into the process of academic freedom. Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013-14 budget for California intrudes on academic freedom in a way that could harm the 23 campuses of California State University and the 10 campuses of the University of California—but the impact of his attempt to control academic decision-making threatens every public college and university in the country.

Putting aside for the moment the fairness of Brown’s proposed $250-million increase for both the CSU and UC systems, and an additional $10-million to each one to develop online courses, the governor’s budget attempts to dictate how the increased funds should be spent. That is a violation of academic freedom, the bedrock of colleges and universities.

Universities exist to promote the public interest, not to further the interests of individual professors, the institution as a whole, or, in this case, the governor of California. The public interest is not served by Brown’s inserting himself into education decision-making.

A Governor’s Attack on Academic Freedom – Ethics Sage

Online education has its uses. I teach online classes myself. But to mandate that colleges and universities devote certain resources to this is silly. It appears that the “very serious” people, the “villagers,” the Washington elite, etc., have decided that online education is a wonderful way to cut costs and is roughly equal to regular classroom education. It isn’t. It’s a different kind of animal. It takes different teaching methods and different student attitudes to work. It is not applicable to every field and endeavor. It’s limitations and advantages are not yet fully understood. Using it as a broad means of cheapening education without enough experience in its use is madness.

The processes of education in Western civilization have taken many centuries to develop. However, there are more than a few people who want to throw all those centuries of educating the “whole” man away and replacing it with the fastest, cheapest vocational training possible. Didn’t Rick Scott explain the logic …

Spending money on science and math degrees can help Floridians find work and provide a return on taxpayers’ investments, Gov. Rick Scott said today in an interview on “The Marc Bernier Show” on WNDB-AM in Daytona Beach.

Scott said Florida doesn’t need “a lot more anthropologists in this state.”

“It’s a great degree if people want to get it. But we don’t need them here,” Scott said.

“I want to spend our money getting people science, technology, engineering and math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all of their time and attention on: Those type of degrees that when they get out of school, they can get a job.”

(Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2011/10/scott-florida-doesnt-need-more-anthropology-majors.html#storylink=cpy)
Actually, we need whole human beings who can appreciate civics, art, architecture, literature, history, etc., those subjects that develop judgment and intellectual power. Those people are effective citizens.
So, let’s keep academic decision making at the college and university level.
James Pilant
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Rick Scott’s Welfare Drug Test Saves No Money: Judge

Once again, we find ourselves in the wonderful world of the upper class mind set. Obviously, people on welfare must be on drugs. Why? Because it obvious.

You might that “obviousness” wouldn’t be enough but that didn’t stop the State of Florida from charging in and creating a drug testing policy. It is a disaster with the state paying out far more money for tests than gaining in benefits.

Why do people like Rick Scott think these kinds of things are good ideas? Because people like Rick Scott are worthy. That’s right. If you earn money at a job, it’s people like Rick Scott who made it possible for you to have a living. You owe everything you are to people like Rick Scott. That’s what they believe.

Rick Scott and his friends are part of the top 1 percent in this nation.

Rick Scott got to the pinnacle of success through contacts and the manipulation of the laws that allowed him to turn once public hospitals into private facilities firing workers, reducing care and introducing fascinating new ways of billing Medicare.

Without elaborate connections, large sums of money and a willingness to forego traditional concepts of morality, these things are not possible. Those people willing to do these things consider themselves to be creators of wealth – “job creators.”

To them, that American workers are losing ground is due to the workers’ own inability to work intelligently and hard. Yes, they believe that.

They are unable to consider the circumstances of people who live without their enormous array of contacts and knowledge about how to use the levers of power. To the friends of Rick Scott, it is always a matter of hard work and initiative, for if it were anything else their enormous advantages would have to be taken into consideration, and their successes would appear more inevitable and unearned.

But those who do not have regular employment, the friends of Rick Scott only have disdain. “If there are want ads in the paper, anyone can get a job.” I’ve actually heard that. I have had many reports of people saying it and those stories astonished me but to actually hear it was still a shock. In their world, anyone can either find employment or can create an entrepreneurial job working out of the home or their car or something. Millions of Americans are unemployed right now with little chance of getting a job anytime. That is a fact, but not in the world of Rick Scott.

So, if you are unemployed, something must be terribly wrong with you. And it must be drugs. Of course, they also believe that the unemployed eat, drink, smoke, watch television and play video games too much and these also figure as candidates for these people’s unworthiness. But as I said, it is obvious that they must be using drugs. That they aren’t isn’t going to change anything in the world of Rick Scott.

Studies will be produced explaining that the dismal effects of Florida’s were actually a rousing success. (There’s already one out.) They will be trumpeted on sympathetic web sites, talk radio and Fox news. New studies will be commissioned for sympathetic academics to generate preordained “studies” which will justify further restrictions on the poor. Maybe next time, it will be tests for alcohol use, evidence of a stable marriage or a requirement for multiple approvals from the school, the county and the State before some one can get aid. The media, academia and the government have enormous sympathy and compassion for the Rick Scott’s of the world continually reinforcing their worthiness with awards, studies, gushing front page tributes, and favorable laws.

One thing that Rick Scott feels every day of his life is worthy. He has been a blessing to his fellow Americans because of his drive, his ambition and his successes. No grant, no loan, no use of a State or county road, no aid from a sympathetic relative was a critical element in his success. He will freely admit that they eased the way but he would have succeeded in spite of every obstacle on his own without help. So would the others of his class and since they did not need Social Security, student loans, publicly funded institutions of any kind, etc., etc., you don’t either.

They cannot understand why you do not understand this. They are the job creators. They are the makers of this society, the useful members. Weighing them down with obligations like taxes is a tax upon yourself because you stop them from being successful so they can help you by being more productive. It is clear to them that you should bear total responsibility for any problems without any aid whatever (save in a charitable sort of way) because that produces the best possible outcome. The spur of your pain, your struggle, will make you more like Rick Scott.

And in their eyes, then and only then, will you become worthy.

James Pilant

 

Rick Scott’s Welfare Drug Test Saves No Money: Judge

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