“If a form of currency has increased to 52 times its initial value in a little over a year, it isn't stable enough to be a currency. It is a speculative investment without any backing. This is the fundamental principle of the pyramid scheme.”
“So if bitcoins are a total failure and now worthless, this will make one more place where conservative wealthy white men will have lost a ton of money. That means that they will soon be at the doors of Congress demanding that their stooges arrange a bailout for them. The basic rule of income in America is that conservative wealthy white men are entitled to make money in any stupid scheme they can dream up. And the rest of us have to pick up the tab if it doesn't enrich them.”
Happynau on Mar 4, 2014 at 16:40:27
“Except that bitcoins aren't a total failure and now worthless. They're currently trading at 684.04. At the beginning of 2013 they were trading at $13.00.”
“Give the man credit. He has head the sound of glass breaking. And he knows that it represents the anger of those who break the glass. Mr. Perkins should be very afraid. But unlike the Jews of Germany in the 1930s who have no control over who they were, America's rich have enormous control over the offenses of its too-big-to-fail banks. The extent to which people feel that their current loss of economic well-being is caused by our wealthiest 1% leads to the anger of the other 99%. The 1% busily makes a point of avoiding any obligation to pay a fair share of what this country needs through the tax system. They have taken from the poor and middle classes, and hoarded for themselves. Hiding behind the claim of being jobmakers while making no jobs, they have angered the crowd. Mr. Perkins is right to be very afraid. He has prospered while others have suffered. How many unions are busted? How many hard working Americans are being thrown out of their houses while Perkins and others take more of the ever-shrinking pie? One person in the one percent has heard the sound of the glass breaking. He doesn't understand it. He doesn't know what to tell his colleagues. He should carry the message, "stop trying to avoiding paying your fair share! Pay what you have taken! Your hoard is your undoing!"”
Carlton McLemore on Jan 28, 2014 at 00:26:50
“F&F... thank you... sharing your commentary as a lead in to this article on Facebook and Twitter.”
“It is very much like a peer review. Accreditation of the school is a qualification for a school's students to receive federal financial aid. Without accreditation, a school would have to rely completely on students who pay their own way from out of their existing resources. And that would be the end most of the schools. So big schools like U of P and the others are accredited, and usually with the regional accrediting agency - which is the best accreditation available.
For-profit schools often provide high quality educational services. To hold their accreditation credentials, they need to have instructors with a degree at least one level higher than the one students are seeking. And they need a faculty committee to create and approve their courses. So there is usually quality in the content and delivery. They charge too much for college credit that will not articulate into other educational institutions. But they make opportunities available that would not be available otherwise. The point isn't that for-profits are bad. They are businesses selling education as a product and have found an underserved market for what they sell. But the accreditation system, for reasons like the one you mentioned, just rubber-stamps the school's application.”
“Based on personal observation of reviewer training sessions at the HLC, there is considerable fear of accreditation falling under independent review. The foxes, naturally, like the situation where they are in change of the henhouse. Helping to make the accreditation policy even less valid is the practice of sending review teams composed of reviewers who represent similar institutions. The idea is that proprietary for-profits have a better understanding of what the challenges of another proprietary for-profit actually are. This way, teams with reviewers from University of Phoenix and DeVry, for instance, evaluate programs at Walden. On its surface, this would seem to lead to tough evaluations from competitors who could benefit from reducing the power their competition. In practice, however, there is enough collusion that teams routinely approve all but the most egregious of practices. The school being evaluated is never forced to defend the value of its programs to evaluators from other kinds of schools. They are never asked to make the difficult case. And, as a result, their quality is never scrutinized. Evaluations for accreditation must be made by teams that need to be convinced rather than those that are pre-disposed to see quality, even when the programs don't have it.”
Bruce Forbes on Jan 1, 2014 at 19:11:47
“Sort of like a peer review when you work in business...no way are you going to screw your friends and vice versa. On another note, I'm surprised schools like University of Phoenix, DeVry and Walden already have accreditation.”
“Why would anybody think that professors being on a picket line is "behaving badly?" An administration that cuts positions and replaces full time faculty with adjuncts is acting in bad faith. They are risking the quality of the educational product that their students are promised. They are behaving as model citizens who have seen something wrong and brought it to the attention of the general public.”
“Skreet, It sounds like a good idea that those who call for war should have risk in it. But if this was adapted as a rule, it would mean that people from small families would be disqualified from running for the senate due to no human collateral being available.”
“I find it hard to believe that Columbia, or any other institution of learning, presumes that an alumnus becoming a president or Nobel laureate as a result of their undergraduate education. Students have strength of character that they develop before they enter a college program and that endures well beyond the program's end. Why ignore the career between college and presidency as a potential cause of what you are calling success. If pre-meds study Asian philosophy, they will broaden their views of the world. But their anatomy class is not the place to do it.
Meanwhile, I expect to stay healthy and live through the terms of possibly another four presidents. Whatever institutions I attended will not surpass Columbia's distinctive total in my lifetime. And this is a true distinction. However, I would not expect to see Columbia surpass schools I have attended in national football championships or national public speaking championships. Those places have done these things particularly well as Columbia has done with presidents. Among other things my chosen institutions have done is lead undergraduate education majors to orient their careers to working with children who live in poverty. The latter accomplishment would influence my choice more than either of the other two factors. And there is no number of presidents on the alumni roles that would lead me to think otherwise.”
standard on Dec 9, 2013 at 10:05:02
“Fair enough! I value teachers highly and consider that you folks--plus your students' native ability and motivation--are what give rise to meaningful success, however it's gauged.
And, yes, Columbia's record in football--subsequent to its role in developing the sport in the 1870's and defeating Stanford in the 1934 Rose Bowl--has been embarrassing. But better that than being a school centered around a competitive football program at the expense of meaningful scholarship. At Columbia it's pretty much a victory to get an entire team to put on light blue uniforms of a Saturday knowing the likely outcome of the game, but few recent Ivy teams would fare well against a football powerhouse any more than would teams from Williams, Carleton, Swarthmore or Reed: places that also take academics seriously--and have the results to prove it.”
“Your standards for reconsideration require me to relive my life and choose other institutions. I don't think I'll do that. I don't care that someone else's butt sat in the chair that I will use. I care that faculty are human beings with more advanced knowledge than my own who are willing to work with me, and coach me as needed. Assistance is routinely provided to those who need it - not to all. If what you teach is writing, then the level of rewriting drafts you mention is an important skill. If I teach psychology, describing experiments and seeing whether the methodology is flawed is the skill that I want students to carry out with them. I choose to work only with the schemata relevant to my discipline as long as the writing can be deciphered. When they need writing help, I send them to those who can provided it. Writing is important as one skill in which college students should be expected to grow. It isn't the only one. If I taught math, I wouldn't be looking for how many drafts the writing went through. The corner of the curriculum that I call my own has neither draft counting nor humbling students as a learning outcome.”
standard on Dec 8, 2013 at 23:15:44
“"Your standards for reconsideration require me to . . . choose other institutions."
Not if the places you've already attended have improved results over time. Surely that's possible.
It's also possible that the methods and standards you know best--and prefer--aren't the only ones or the best. You may not like "[a]n administrative mandate to give borderline students [sic] the lower grade", but it did produce commendable results. (And it mightn't hurt those math students to master written expression. Despite Columbia's tradition of pre-meds studying Asian philosophy, they've gone on to win five Nobel Prizes in Medicine or Physiology. Just sayin'.)”
“Hello Standard, I fully agree that my previous post had a usage error. Thank you for flagging it. The sentence immediately above the one with the error uses the same word correctly. I just missed this one. Of the schools I attended, I can number sixteen congresspersons, four federal judges, two senators, two governors, one chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, two astronauts, one poet laureate, and four Nobel prize winners. Without your question, I wouldn't have bothered to look this up. And my research is probably not complete.
And a B+ grade is near the border between a B and an A. In my teaching practice, when I find that a student's grade is likely to be on a border between grades, I try to contact the students and get them to bring themselves over the number needed to achieve the higher level. I consider this good teaching because anything that they and I agree upon will result in more work, and hence more learning, for them. My students sign up for fair evaluation. Deliberately erecting barriers to learning that lead to a grade lower than what they earned, is unfair. As I said earlier, they did not sign up for a course in humility. And if you check Columbia University's mission statement, you will not find that "humbling students" is a part of their mission.”
standard on Dec 8, 2013 at 19:01:00
“Columbia College's lengthy Mission Statement has its students ". . . imaginatively occupying worlds they may not finally choose to inhabit, entertaining beliefs they may not finally hold, and considering ideas they may not finally accept", which is consonant with humility: an antonym, Merriam-Webster's tells us, of arrogance and pretense. Moreover, the College's mandatory writing course requires that students produce "multiple drafts of essays [and so] learn that writing is [not] an innate talent [but] a unique skill that can be practiced and developed" (i.e.: taught). Teaching a form of humility inheres in this approach. Coaching students to a higher grade after they've submitted a test or paper may be ethical (if such assistance is routinely provided to all) but seems inconsistent with the "either meet or fail to meet each standard for each grade" approach you first invoked. Columbia's approach seems to work quite well. When your alma mater boosts its number of Nobel laureates into double digits, or finds that an alum has reached the White House (as several schools, including Columbia College, have), I'll reconsider your approach.”
“Grandma, I often tell my City Colleges of Chicago students that they are just as smart as those at Harvard. That doesn't mean that Harvard has cut back its standards in admissions. It means that those who walk in the door are already very experienced grade-getters and system-players. And yes, they could earn their grades. There are some legacy students whose previous records wouldn't normally qualify them for admission (like Bush was at Yale). By and large they get through with C grades. The A grades go, as mine do, to students who have earned them. And the harder working students don't sell many papers to legacy students because the risk is too big. I'm no Harvard professor, but in my own position, I would give an F to a Daley or an Emanuel as quickly as I would to any other student. I don't fail my students. I give some F's when that's what they earn. But I will have sent the extra email, made the extra phone call, spent the extra time in writing explanations. Many others like me are educators first. Same at Harvard, although they also have many celebrities. Students earn A's. Students earn F's. Students pass courses. Students fail courses. The number that fail courses is very low at Harvard because the conditions of learning are excellent. Those with a great last name can make the conditions even better. But they cannot expect their name to study for them.”
“When there are standards, there is no gap. Students either meet or fail to meet each standard for each grade. An administrative mandate to give borderline students the lower grade teaches only that the administration is not concerned with measuring learning or accurately reflecting results. Students need to learn about whatever the subject of the class was. They did not enroll in Humility 101. And they are no more humble with a B+ than they are with an A-.
What fool ever suggested that a university's business is to humble its student? Look at the mission statement. It's business is to fulfill its mission.”
standard on Dec 7, 2013 at 18:29:38
“First of all: "It's" isn't a possessive. The word you wanted was "its".
Second: Armies, businesses, and certain churches may have strict "mission statements" and/or objectively quantifiable standards. Legitimate liberal arts colleges, by their very nature, do not.
Third: To call a B+ performance by any Columbia undergrad (then or now) "borderline" is laughable. Not all schools (and certainly not Columbia) suffer from the sort of grade inflation found at Harvard (where for decades 75% of its students were graduated cum laude or higher).
Fourth: A true scholar, among other traits, knows the limits of his or her own knowledge and abilities--which damn well IS a form of humility that a meaningful education imparts.
Finally, and just out of curiosity: How many Nobel laureates and Presidents of the United States did the fine institution(s) from which you've graduated produce?”
“Harvard is approaching the point where it is doing its job right. At that point, it will give all A's. This doesn't happen because the grades are inflated. It happens because the students earn their grades. The grades are earned by completing the right number of papers of the right value of the right length while achieving the right test scores. In short, they are earned by doing the hard work of learning. A university fails a student when it does not provide the conditions by which students can excel. When Harvard succeeds in providing excellent conditions of learning, its students, pre-selected for their potential to achieve excellence, should do what they were were selected for and excel.
Take a look at what their graduates are able to accomplish. This should tell a critic that between the time a student walks in the door and the time the student graduates, their excellent professors, working with excellent materials, keep students in the zone of proximal development. The professors document that this has happened by signing the A grade on their transcript. Imagine yourself in a math class in which you went from beginning to end with no wrong answers. You would be right to expect an A. That's what happens. Why is this a source of worry?”
Grandma E on Dec 7, 2013 at 21:27:55
“socialjustice4achange, If the parents took away all the wings and gifts and I bet half couldn't get a "D". These are rich kids that pay other students (that got their by working hard and getting grants) to do their papers. That is why they allow poor students into their den. These poor student are intelligent but will not be groomed for the presidency, They carry the world on their shoulders and become noble prize winners, scientists and are the real saviors of our country. I am not taking away from the rich children because some actually do their own work and excell, the majority do not and your crazy if you think Harvard would cut their throats and fail a Rothschild,”
“What point are you making about Gee? He was an appointed law professor and doesn't fall into the category of those who have never taught. He probably was paid too much, but that doesn't negate the fact that he comes to administration with teaching experience.”
“Administration is handled badly by schools of education that encourage it as a career without bothering to set a minimum requirement of having done what one sets out to administer for others. That doesn't mean that all administrators are terrible. Teachers will sometimes follow successful teaching careers with successful administration careers. I have taught. I have administered. I care that students learn regardless of which hat I'm wearing.”
“Right. The largest banks and corporations have to bribe representatives in order to get their way. Oh, and if we don't like the way they do business, we cannot recall or remove them. They are outside any control as they illegally use the same violence.”
“The choice of what to sell is up to hobby lobby. The slur that identifies people as being of one kind or other is a disgusting piece of ignorant bigotry that should never have been tolerated by their management. By this standard, Joshua ben Joseph would have to shop elsewhere.”
“The risk a prisoner takes when agreeing to anything involving indoctrination is momentarily agreeing with the preposterous presumption that "people of some faith are more valued, more trustworthy and more deserving of parole than those of no faith." He was not held hostage, he was given a choice of jail or indoctrination. In his shoes, I would choose indoctrination much as he did. And then I would mumble the phrases and do something as childish as crossing my fingers to affirm to myself that I didn't believe what I was mumbling.”
asmodee on Aug 27, 2013 at 20:23:00
“He was a prisoner eligible for parole. One condition of his parole was unreasonable but he was still held until he agreed to it. That you believe either he was in the wrong for not fulfilling his promise or that in his shoes you would play along with no intention of fulfilling your agreement is irrelevant and it is confusing that you have expressed both opposing views. His rights were violated and the judge agrees, and it's about time judges start agreeing in these cases.”
“Convicted felons lose too many rights and privileges after they have supposedly "paid their debt to society" through incarceration. They should not lose freedom to choose where, how, and whether to worship. Parole is not the technical end of incarceration, and the parolee is not yet yet finished with serving of a sentence. The remaining sentence is to meet the conditions of parole. The state and the parolee reach agreement about conditions prior to the time the prisoner changes status to parolee. If Hazle walked out of the prison door with an agreement that he attend a 12 step program, then that's what he agreed to do. If it's hypocritical of him to do so, he is free to wait until the end of the meeting and then go worship Satan. What he is not free to do is miss the meeting. If he missed the meeting, he violated parole. Should the state have recognized his religious status when assembling the package of conditions to which Hazle should agree? Absolutely. But he could have refused parole until the state got it right. The light of day is mighty tempting. But the price to be paid for it is to act as a hypocrite, go through the program, and wash out one's mouth a few times if the words uttered leave a foul taste.”
asmodee on Aug 27, 2013 at 11:01:15
“"When Hazle entered the program but continued to object, he was arrested for violating his parole and returned to a state prison for an additional 100 days."
He didn't miss the meetings. He continued to object to forced indoctrination, which is very much a violation of his rights and he was well within his right to object loudly and often. But that is irrelevant anyway. His freedom was held hostage by a condition of agreeing to indoctrination. That is making the statement that people of some faith are more valued, more trustworthy and more deserving of parole than those of no faith. He was essentially held hostage and his agreement was extorted from him. Is it hypocritical to not give that which you agreed to while being extorted? I think not.”
Tazarina57 on Aug 27, 2013 at 10:49:30
“Excuse me, he agreed to a 12 step program, not a religiously affiliated 12 step program. The onus is on the state, not the parolee. No one can be forced to attend a religious service, which is why our government and our society are secular. And why are religious institutions allowed to take Federal or State money and provide these services? Sorry, you are wrong on this one. Religious freedom is sacred in this country, including the right not to participate in one.”
Grunty1 on Aug 27, 2013 at 10:29:07
“If you want the treatment to actually WORK, you'd find one that doiesn't offended the sensibilities of the patient.”
“Senator Durbin, I am ashamed of support I have given you and votes cast for you. Have you lost your mind? You will resolve more crises by getting students to the consumer class than by getting them to the debtor class. Suggesting that student loans go to a federal profit is morally unconscionable.
Each student approaching the loan process does so from a position of innocence relative to the ruin that our economy has become. They deserve the opportunity to borrow directly from the federal reserve much more than do the banks and finance houses whose records show them to be as guilty as sin.
The idea of modeling your plans after plans proposed by Republicans is a serious error. Our future students will be a source of revenue to the federal government when they become taxpayers. But what your proposals will do is create a huge tax deduction that helps them cover the additional interest on loans that they can ill afford to pay.
You have lost my respect. Earn it back -- Make the Warren plan work!”
waaboos on Jun 21, 2013 at 22:49:44
“Banks borrow directly from Federal Reserve because they own it. You do not own it, and deserve nothing from them. Banks get cheap rate from the fed because they own it. It is already their money. Federal Reserve is not a government agency and it is not run by the government. The rate that they charge banks has nothing to do with you. If you want to borrow money at the same rate, open a bank.”
“It IS news when our national naturalization services do NOT recognize the history of court rulings. It shouldn't have become news, but our inability to let people know what is contained in legal precedents made it necessary that it become news.”