Monday, May 12, 2008

Me on NPR's Talk of the Nation

I was discussing my article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: America's Most Overrated Product.

Here's the link to the audio interview

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Marty,

I enjoyed the interview and agree with your views on higher education. (I am a 46-year-old Caucasian woman who has a worthless liberal arts degree that took 10 years to pay off. I am working in government……naturally. So much for being a famous journalist!) I was especially interested in the two calls you received. Both were from gentleman in the trades who worked in low cost geographic areas. One man noted that the average salary in his field is 50k. That is “good money” in the South and Midwest. I would definitely advise the trades and avoiding the coasts. As you always say, “go away from the maddening crowds.”

Dave said...

Dr. Nemko,

I enjoyed the interview. Thank you for posting it.

The problem is that we can't always draw a straight line between those who are mechanically minded and those who are academically minded. Some people are fortunate enough to be both, which gives them more options. However, other people are neither.

What advice can you give a high school kid with so-so grades, when you know he is not suitable for the trades?

Dave said...

Dr. Nemko,

I enjoyed the interview. Thank you for posting it.

The problem is that we can't always draw a straight line between those who are mechanically minded and those who are academically minded. Some people are fortunate enough to be both, which gives them more options. However, other people are neither.

What advice can you give a high school kid with so-so grades, when you know he is not suitable for the trades?

Marty Nemko said...

Have him work at the elbow of a successful and kind entrepreneur or if he's definitely not entrepreneurial, a low-level govt job at the elbow of someone capable and kind.

You assess if he's entrepreneurial by looking if he's shown signs of being a self-starter, fluent at coming up with practical solution to things, and likes the idea of making profit.

Dave said...

I just had a look at the Chronicle forum. I knew the 'R1' people would get upset and defensive. One R1 academic stated that the quality of instruction at her institution is "amazing"... Really? Well, for an R1, that is an exception and certainly not the norm.

--Office hours for R1 faculty are a joke. You really have to hunt these people down, and that is just one of many problems. Ask any student.

--Graduate school is no different. I wrote a 15,000 word MA thesis with very little supervision. My supervisor was busy attending overseas conferences. I was happy to receive the degree, but I don't think my supervisor even bothered to read the finished product.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Nemko,
Can you please write an article about corruption in higher education and its detrimental consequences on our society? I read the following in today's issue of the Chronicle: "On accreditation, the current draft, like versions of the bill passed by the House and Senate, would bar the secretary of education from dictating how colleges measure student learning and would give Congress the right to choose a majority of the members of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. The secretary now names all the members of the panel, which is charged with evaluating accrediting agencies. Unlike the House and Senate bills, the draft would allow the secretary to regulate areas of accreditation outside of student achievement." Does this mean if a university's goal is for its students to count to 10 and write simple sentences they have accomplished their measurable goals? Why is there so much opposition toward the secretary of education and her efforts to improve the accreditation process and student achievement? Corruption in higher education seems to be a sensitive issue for a lot of people who work for the government. There are many students who can't speak or write English properly but are mainstreamed into regular classrooms for the sake of receiving government financial aid. These are the same students who receive A's in all their classes and graduate expecting to find high paying careers. Many professors at these types of universities remain indifferent for fear of losing their jobs. There needs to be accountability. In the end, taxpayers will be the ones paying the price for all the students defaulting on their loans.

Marty Nemko said...

I sent a copy of my Chronicle of Higher Education article (which is quite close to the indictment you ask me to write) to Margaret Spellings (Sec of Education) both by email and hard copy and got no response.

My only hope is that somehow, someone important will have read the article or heard me on NPR and perhaps will invite me to testify before the House or Senate Education committee. Perhaps I'll send them a copy.

Jane said...

Marty,

The same day you were interviewed on NPR, the Lodi News Sentinel published my column on the folly of pushing everyone toward four-year college. My readers alerted me to the interview. You can find a link to my article (as well as to your interview and your article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed) on my education blog, blog.yellowblockwall.org, where I am exploring a variety of adverse consequences of our approach to higher education.

If you do a search on my blog for "College Degrees vs. Workforce Needs," you will find postings in which I analyzed statistics to explore the way CSU is misrepresenting its contribution to the California economy. I'd be interested in your comments.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to have found your website!

Jane Wagner-Tyack

 

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