Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Federal Guidelines on College Courses: Is This REALLY Necessary?

Yesterday, my husband informed me of new federal guidelines that affect ALL institutions of higher learning, both public and private, here in the United States. Even though these new guidelines do not affect me or him, as he is wrapping up his Masters degree at Georgetown this spring, I wanted to share this with you all, as I am truly perplexed and concerned.

He received this email yesterday:

This e-mail is to update you on changes in course times for all Georgetown University classes. Because of federal legislation passed last October, all universities whose students receive federal loans (like Georgetown) are now required to offer 50 minutes of class-room time per credit. What that means for SSP, and indeed all other programs and departments on campus, is that, effective fall semester 2011, our current 110 minute seminars will have to expand to 150 minutes total. The Registrar has assigned three different time slots to SSP: 3:30-6pm; 5-7:30pm; or 6:30-9pm on Mondays through Thursdays. Hopefully, these time changes will not prove terribly disruptive and that the new class times may perhaps even be more convenient for many of you. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me ... Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

I can understand if these federal guidelines applied to state schools but private institutions?! This is not appropriate or needed. Shouldn't the market/academia decide what constitutes sufficient instruction? It's not like President Obama himself is conferring my advanced degree. Moreover, since the United States still has the world's most respected universities, I do not think we have a problem here that needs federal correction. Do you?
In fact, I can assure you that this bone-head move is only going to increase the credit-hour cost, putting college education even further out of reach for most Americans. Is this what we want? Hardly. This will further the divide between the richer (educated) and poorer (uneducated) while increasing the ranks of the uneducated . . . oh, unless they tax the beejebus out of the non-poor to provide increased college grants.

Ironically, as my husband says, this would compound the problem. You can only get more people to go to college if they're motivated by greater economic/financial rewards and opportunities upon graduation, except . . . whoops! What they can actually look forward to is getting robbed at gunpoint by the federal government once they make more than $60,000! Not to mention that the middle class will sink into the ranks of the poor needing massive federal grants because of greater taxation. Those federal grants will only be sufficient to get them into state schools, decreasing the overall intelligence of the U.S. population and thus the taxbase. Ok, I am done ranting......

What do you think?

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