21 ways to empower students, innovators, and institutions

Higher education is long overdue for a refresh–and that refresh could be achieved by moving to empower students, institutions, and innovators, according to a new whitepaper.

In the face of increasing costs and deeper questions about higher ed’s purpose, the Department of Education in December issued a whitepaper outlining student-centered reform goals pertaining to a variety of issues, including academic and career mobility, constructing accountability measures, and expanding student aid.

The DoE is looking for institutions, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and students who can create and advance student-centered reforms that empower students and other key stakeholder groups.…Read More

Scott promotes controversial education reforms

Controversial changes that have rocked Texas higher education system may be coming to Florida, WCTV reports. Gov. Rick Scott has begun discreetly promoting the same changes to the higher education system that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has championed. The proposals include some of the same reforms pushed by conservatives in K-12 schools: merit pay for professors, tenure reform, and generally a much greater emphasis on measurement of whether professors are turning out students that meet certain goals…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

A&M chancellor has parting words on reform

In his last week on the job as chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, Mike McKinney said he disagrees with some ideas being floated to give higher education in Texas a dramatic makeover, particularly one to drastically lower tuition while increasing enrollment, reports the Houston Chronicle.

“You shouldn’t even think about doing that at Texas A&M University,” McKinney said. “You change the whole nature of the campus if you get larger. It dilutes the expertise of the faculty and it dilutes the Aggie spirit, if that is possible.”

Click here for the full story…Read More

How to be taken seriously as a reformer (don’t be an educator)

In the current upside-down world of education policy, there’s one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you’re not an educator, says Gregory Michie, who teaches in the Department of Foundations, Social, Policy and Research at Concordia University Chicago. Urban districts nationwide, with Chicago leading the way, have hired those with business or legal backgrounds to head their school systems. Major voices in the reform conversation such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and philanthropist Eli Broad have never been teachers. And when Oprah wants to talk about schools, she invites Bill Gates or Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg–all the while reminding her audience how much she loves teachers…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

What Bill Gates is learning online

Bill Gates' new web site reveals his thoughts on open courseware, school reform, and more.
Bill Gates' new web site reveals his thoughts on open courseware, school reform, and more.

It’s no surprise, really, but it turns out Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates is a strong supporter of the open-courseware movement that has swept through higher education in the last few years.

On a new web site that Gates launched this past week, he discusses some of his favorite sources for online lectures and other learning materials. He also offers his thoughts on education reform and a host of other topics.

“There are some great examples of how technology can enable almost anyone to learn from the world’s greatest minds,” he posted to GatesNotes.com.…Read More