I started off my day today by watching some C-span TV (The Washington Journal). One of this morning's guests was Doug Lederman who is the editor for Inside Higher Ed. Here's the description of the segment pulled from the cspan website:
Doug Lederman, Editor, Inside Higher Ed discusses federal funding of colleges and universities; including how much and how these institutions receive money through research grants, student aid and earmarks in legislation from Congress.
I really liked this interview, though I admit a lot of it went over my head (I only went to a 2 year school and that was for graphics)... but I did pick up on some key points... One that really struck me was a statisic that said that only 31% of college graduates tested as having proficient literacy skills. Another quote from the website:
The test measures how well adults comprehend basic instructions and tasks through reading -- such as computing costs per ounce of food items, comparing viewpoints on two editorials and reading prescription labels. Only 41 percent of graduate students tested in 2003 could be classified as "proficient" in prose -- reading and understanding information in short texts -- down 10 percentage points since 1992. Of college graduates, only 31 percent were classified as proficient -- compared with 40 percent in 1992.
That pretty much stunned me as I sat there eating my egg muffin. Then to listen to the HUGE amounts of money that the government is GIVING to these schools was also amazing. We're talking millions and BILLIONS! There was one "grant" that the gov gave to a college (I think somewhere in Manhattan) for $500,000 to help build a parking garage!
I know that there are many great benefits from these grants being given to these colleges, but I also think there is some really fishy dealings going on here. I encourage you to take about an hour and listen to some of this program. I'll post a link here to the cspan site, that will let you watch the clip of Doug Lederman, but it doesn't seem to be a "permalink" so in a few days this link may not work. I suggest you do a search for his name "doug lederman" to find the appropriate link... or search by the date: Washington Journal 12/30/05.
If you do watch... be sure to take notice of Mr. Lederman's Body language when the host (Brian Lamb) asked him some 'tricky' questions... It was obvious Mr. Lederman knew the answer but was back-peddling to try and avoid saying something he shouldn't. I wish he would have let loose and really expose what needed to be exposed.
On another political subject that I blogged about here...
The Justice Department will be doing a "probe" into who leaked the information to the NY Times about the President allegedly spying on his subjects, er, I mean American citizens.
It struck me funny, that they are not doing a "probe" into the actual spying, but rather who told on the President. I've heard a few debates about this topic and it is a complicated matter, but I look forward to listening (or reading) about the upcoming congressional hearings on the possible laws broken by the President.
Here's an article on the Associated Press website by Toni Locy.
I also wanted to blog a little more about the end of year 2005 comments, but I'm quickly running out of time... So here's a quick post from Wired Magazine about their top 10 list of the "biggest discoveries of 2005"...
I finally got to see the Chronicles of Narnia last night, and enjoyed it. I wanted to blog more about it so maybe later...