Tue
Jan 15 2013
07:26 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

The Knox Area Chamber Partnership's "Premier Partner" Randy Boyd has a particularly full schedule this week.

Today, in Nashville:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Randy Boyd will join his administration as special advisor to the governor for Higher Education to focus on affordability, access and quality of state programs.

Haslam promises that Boyd will "bring a business, workforce alignment perspective" to the state's higher ed institutions.

Thursday, in Powell:

Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools, will deliver his second annual “State of the Schools Address” on Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. at Powell High School (2136 West Emory Road). The event is open to the public.

School Board Chair Karen Carson, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, and Randy Boyd, Founder and CEO of Radio Systems, will join Dr. McIntyre in sharing their perspectives on public education in our community.

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Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Hadn't realized until today that the Chamber's website, touting "education reform," actually links the site for Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst.

AnonymousOne's picture

Has the housing slump hurt

Has the housing slump hurt demand for invisible fences and freed up Randy Boyd's time?

Factchecker's picture

Has the housing slump hurt

Has the housing slump hurt demand for invisible fences and freed up Randy Boyd's time?

No.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

I couldn't guess, AO, but Haslam's press release says his new job there is "full-time."

My curiosity was focused more on how he became an "education expert?"

His generosity with the TN Achieves program is commendable, of course, but he's never been an educator or an academician either one, so far as I can tell?

Is the only qualification to write education policy in TN now that an author must have "deep pockets?"

EricLykins's picture

The Humphrey article says he

The Humphrey article says he has a "demonstrated passion for improving access to higher education."

Knowing his passion for throwing cash at Republicans from Oklahoma and Idaho to Massachusetts and Vermont, my oppositional research instinct kicks in to point out that $10,000 to the Republican Party of Tennessee should improve his access to a Special Advisor title.

But to be fair, here's part of his bio from PetSafe with some added links. I believe this man is a natural leader and will bless his heart which seems to be in the right place.

He is currently on the Board of Directors of EDP BioTech, a bio-science company doing cancer and DNA research, and of Clayton Bank Corp. He is also on the Board of several non-profit organizations including Innovation Valley, Webb School, Knoxville Zoo, Boys and Girls Clubs of East Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, National Parks Conservation Association, The East Tennessee Historical Society, Pond Gap University Assisted Community Schools , Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, University of Tennessee College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, University of Tennessee Alumni Association, and Knox County's Great School Partnership. He is also serving as President of the Boy Scout’s Great Smoky Mountain Council and Chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program that covers the tuition for over 3,500 first generation community college students across the state of Tennessee.

In case you missed it:
Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor; April 29, 2010: Haslam Points to ‘KnoxAchieves’ As Best Practice

“Philanthropists will be critical to our effort to make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Haslam continued. “That’s why I’d like to see these best practices shared with communities looking to find their own unique solutions for increased educational attainment and improved workforce development.”

AnonymousOne's picture

"Is the only qualification to

"Is the only qualification to write education policy in TN now that an author must have "deep pockets?""

And they must have the "has run a successful business" non sequitir and therefore knows how to educate children or do anything.

Yep, that's enough, where money opens doors.

A lot like buying a title in England, isn't it?

AnonymousOne's picture

“Philanthropists will be

“Philanthropists will be critical to our effort to make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Haslam continued."

In other words, people like him, his family, and friends.

AnonymousOne's picture

“Philanthropists will be

“Philanthropists will be critical to our effort to make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Haslam continued."

In other words, people like him, his family, and friends.

Stick's picture

In other words, people like

In other words, people like him, his family, and friends... who wish to profit off of your tax dollars.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Yes, AO and Stick. I might have been more specific in my initial post that that is at least part of my objection.

We do need to ask why this assumption that public policy should no longer be implemented utilizing public (not private) resources--and we are also prudent to question the nature of the public policy to be implemented and the qualification of those charged with implementing it.

Keep in mind that the task of the panel Boyd has been appointed to is to implement the state's 2010 Complete College TN Act, which was the companion piece of legislation affecting higher ed that was passed in that secretive "extraordinary session" alongside the 2010 First to the Top Act affecting K through 12 education--in advance of the state filing its Race to the Top grant app with the feds.

A follow-up report on how implementation of the higher ed piece is coming along may be found at the state's website in its January 2011 Complete College TN Act One Year Later: Moving Forward.

From that follow-up report, here are the parameters of Randy Boyd's assignment (pdf page 9):

What Will Success Look Like?
Success in advancing the Public Agenda will mean that, by 2015: growth in certificate and degree productivity will be sustained; degree efficiency will be improved, in terms of both graduation rates and average time to degree; gaps in employment demands will be filled; institutions will be funded based on outcomes, in a manner consistent with their individual missions; the quality of programs and services will be strengthened; academic program offerings will probably be fewer; growth in the number of doctoral programs will slow, but those offered will be more robust; average cost per degree produced will be reduced; instructional technology and non-traditional instructional approaches will increase in order to increase instructional capacity and student choice while controlling unit costs; community colleges will be revitalized through the establishment of the community college system; the state will see a resurgence in the number of students in targeted subpopulations who complete undergraduate degrees; institutions will become more resourceful in acquiring non-state funds; Tennessee will be more competitive in the workplace; and progress of the foregoing will be evident through the Tennessee Tracks web portal for higher education accountability.

I read fewer undergrad programs, fewer doctoral programs, a primary focus on job training, and a delivery mechanism apt to cost the state even less (they carry only 30% of TN higher ed costs now), likely reliant on online coursework--supplied by for-profit providers???

Two questions to answer in this thread, then: First, is this what we want from our state's higher ed system, and second, is Randy Boyd someone possesiong the background as an academician who would reasonably be qualified to value and rank the current offerings available from the state's higher ed system?

My own answers to those quesitons are "no" and "no."

AnonymousOne's picture

Because the college degree is

Because the college degree is now, unfortunately, looked at as a high school degree once was, I'm betting "efficiency" will include as little of "discussion of ideas and social issues" as possible when they do not relate to successful marketing, higher productivity, and acquiescing with executive group thought.

But that may just be my cynical take on things..

Rachel's picture

On-line classes

likely reliant on online coursework--supplied by for-profit providers???

I have mixed feelings on this one. I'm currently into my second quarter taking intro physics with calculus online at UTK. Such an approach demands more from the student - a lot more - than traditional lecture/lab classes. It's not for everybody, but it's working well for me.

(And this particular class is structured to be demanding period - two homework assignments and one lab due every week, counting toward your grade and not accepted late. Keep up or perish.)

Of course, the prof is the asst. dept. head and the head of the graduate physics program, so I suspect this experience is atypical. The prof responds promptly to all email and there's a lab assistant as well as physics tutorial center for help (I haven't utilized these because I have my own in-house tutor.)

Still, it's a good option for some students.

P.S. The for-profit thing scares me to death.

Dave Prince's picture

How does the lab part work

How does the lab part work for those? All the online courses I took at UTK over the last couple of years have been Information Science courses which pretty much should be done in that kind of format anyway, but they left me wondering how more "traditional" subjects handle things like, well, labs.

Rachel's picture

Most of the labs are set up

Most of the labs are set up like this: instead of working with real equipment, the online labs start with videos of the equipment performing whatever task is being studied. Instead of reading a measurement directly from the equipment, you determine them from the video (sometimes you can read them directly but more often you have to take a measurement at each frame on the video, then calibrate, calculate, etc.). Then you go on to do the same kind of analysis and results write up as you would for a traditional lab.

Some of the labs are simulations, which generally are quite complicated and take a long time to complete (the longest I worked on one last semester was 6 hours).

My b-i-l, who used to teach high school physics, thinks the online labs are vastly inferior, but for a student like me who's never gonna actually work hands on with the equipment anyway, they seem to teach the same exact stuff.

Mike Cohen's picture

Randy Boyd

Anyone who thinks Randy Boyd is doing this for some financial reason is about as far off track as you can get.

He had no financial motive for doing Knox Achieves all around the state.

He had no financial motive for funding the Community Schools program at Pond Gap, a remarkable program that has made a real difference for people.

He gave $20k for technology to New Hopewell Elementary, where I believe he attended.

Randy has made a lot of money and given a lot away.

I just don't think financial gain from any of this ever enters his mind, other that producing a better quality workforce. And by the way, if you ever get to visit Radio Systems headquarters it is a very cool place. No offices...everyone, Randy included, has a cubicle. And people are allowed/encouraged to bring their pets to work, so when you walk around there are always a lot of dogs.

Good guy. (Not a client)(Unfortunately)

Factchecker's picture

Anyone who thinks Randy Boyd

Anyone who thinks Randy Boyd is doing this for some financial reason is about as far off track as you can get.

Absolutely true. Not sure it doesn't have anything to do with boning up on his potential future political viability, though. The man has gotten very active in GOP politics (including as a Romney electoral delegate) and has the near ideal GOP entrepreneur's resume to--say it with me--"ruin government like it was a business." (Uh, I guess they mean run.)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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Guess I'm just too old and cranky to fawn over anyone's excessive wealth anymore, Mike.

The fact is, people like Boyd can't live anywhere in the country and hold onto as much of their wealth as they can here in (non-income tax) Tennessee.

Nice guy, maybe, and I'm also glad for the TN Achieves program. Still, I can't pin a medal on him for doing what he should be doing.

And I'll stand by my assertion that I don't see his any qualification whatsoever for being The Decider as to whether or not my kid gets to take Latin in college (she did; with high school, she has six years in, now).

Suffice to say that some of us don't care to see public education managed by oligarchs.

bizgrrl's picture

No offices...everyone, Randy

No offices...everyone, Randy included, has a cubicle.

AAA built a new headquarters building in Heathrow, FL, about 20 years ago using this concept. With 1,000 or so employees, there were three offices for the three heads of the organization. I hated the cublicles concept. Not that I think we all needed offices, but man a person couldn't get a bit of quiet to plan.

I also remember someone very close to me working in a cublicle environment. At one point the person piled up boxes and junk to barricard the entrance to get some real work done.

bizgrrl's picture

I think Randy Boyd has done

I think Randy Boyd has done some wonderful things for Knoxville. He is definitely an asset and we should be proud he elected to grow his business and philanthropy where he grew up. I do wish he had stayed out of politics. It takes a little bloom off the rose and makes a person wonder if there is an ulterior motive.

Big Al's picture

Well-stated Mr. Cohen.

Well-stated Mr. Cohen. Bashing successful folk is easy but misguided.

jbr's picture

Randy is an alum of the

Randy is an alum of the hallowed halls of New Hopewell. Go Owls. He was always unusually driven. Not based on money, politics, etc so much as, it seemed he just had to be constantly striving at something. He just worked hard. If you are going to have input from someone in the business community, he would be as good as anyone of which I could think in the area. I think the argument would be you want to prevent an unbalanced input from a single perspective. Where it overwhelms balanced consideration of the facts. He may have his own ideas, and they may differ from someone else, but he is the type of person that will exhaustively look at it and adjust his thinking if the facts indicate that is warranted. If there were 4 Randy Boyd's on this committee, then to me, 3 of them need to be dropped. The same with any other viewpoint.

I think what Randy does with education is sincere.

As far as running for office. I am guessing he might. It seems like he was always interested in politics. I haven't talked to him but a few times in the last 25 years or so. However, I don't believe the work with education has a dubious ulterior motive. Perhaps his appointment by the Haslam and republican party might have that motivation, but I do not think that is Randy's motivation. Depending on who is running against him, I might not vote for him, but I think he would be a good candidate.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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My daughter's taken online classes in three different semesters now, Rachel, and like you she's done fine.

But like you she's also smart, motivated, and self-disciplined.

I think the results K12, Inc. produced for TN in its first year of operation, though, are more indicative of how this delivery mechanism is likely to work for too many of its takers.

Mike Cohen's picture

Tamara

Tamara:

I don't see anything that indicates that what he will be deciding. He will be working with the people from the TBR and the President of UT. That is a decision for them to make.

I understand your concern, but I don't see any basis for it. Certainly you are not arguing that higher ed needs to stay they way it has been for the last 200 years? That's not going to cut it. It needs to change, but still offer things that help enrich us all. My youngest son, Graham, graduated from UT last month with a degree in English Lit, focus on modern literature. That kind of stuff needs to be available. But universities also need to make sure they tweak their programming to meet what society needs from a workforce. 50 years ago there were no computer courses or nuclear engineering degrees. Now those graduates are much in demand.

Randy Boyd is not "doing what he should be doing." That can involve writing a check and still focusing on his business. Which he built all by himself. He can tell you when he was driving around selling units out of his car. But he is giving his wealth and his time. The equivalent of full-time. That is above and beyond.

Rachel's picture

50 years ago there were no

50 years ago there were no computer courses or nuclear engineering degrees.

Well, there were both 42 years ago when I was a college freshman. I even considered nuclear engineering as a major and I took a bunch of computer courses, both applied and theoretical.

I worry more than a bit about turning universities into trade schools (and yes, I know that's an extreme way to put it). Many of the most important and useful things I learned in college had litlle to do with the specifics of my technical career. Universities are supposed to be where young folks go to explore learning.

I have no objection to beefing up programs targeted at workforce needs, but people like Bill Dunn make me very nervous when they start to talk about the subject. And I've seen too many programs cut at UT (the School of Planning, for example) that have value both to society and to the students who participate in them.

And I don't know Randy Boyd. I'm sure he's a fine person and I appreciate his interest in education. I don't doubt his sincere desire to do good things. But like Tamara, I wonder about his qualifications for this particular job.

(And Tamara, I agree with everything you said about online courses. Just pointing out that done well, they can be a good alternative for certain students.)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

A hundred years ago, Mike, I earned my first degree, just an associates, at Los Angeles City College.

In California, where there's a state income tax, every community college statewide was free. Completely free.

Here, we've got Randy Boyds by the dozens, always looking for a photo opp holding a big ol' two-by-five-foot facsimile of a check or else hungry to get their names emblazoned on a public building.

We Tennesseans need to start raising our public revenues more expediently.

And when we sit down to decide how to spend them, we need to rely on real "experts."

Ill-qualified oligarchs be damned.

Mike Cohen's picture

RB

I am not aware of Randy Boyd ever doing a photo op. Get on Google and look.

He just does good deeds. He seeks no credit.

Get your facts before you talk about him.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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Anyone who thinks Randy Boyd is doing this for some financial reason is about as far off track as you can get.

All I know, Mike, is that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is most certainly intent on privatizing public education to the benefit of its member businesses.

If you don't know that, too, you really need to go onto their website, their Institute for a Competitive Workforce's website, and read anything ever written by Margaret Spellings (now heading the Chamber's ICW).

I suspect Randy knows it already.

redmondkr's picture

From Google Images

reform4's picture

It's like an episode of The Daily Show.

For my $0.02-

My business is doing well that I can support some pet causes and candidates now. But just because I've built my business up- yes, I'm a pretty intelligent guy, but I'm self-reflective enough to know that my intelligence AND money together doesn't make me an expert in whatever I decide to be an expert in this month.

I was asked to chair a board to bring a new professional theatre co to Knoxville. I have a great board. As prez, I am damn well smart enough to know what I bring (business management) and what I don't bring. I leave the other things to the people who are experts in their field, and i just act as facilitator, and it works well. Maybe the mindset changes when you get further up the food chain, but it puzzles me why someone without a background in education policy (or any other field they didn't study primarily) wants to run it just because they were good making and marketing some widget.

Any oligarch's money, IMHO, is best spent supporting other folks who are experts in their field, and probably are making a financial sacrifice to do what they do (and do it well).

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Any oligarch's money, IMHO, is best spent supporting other folks who are experts in their field...

Thanks, Steve.

That's part of the problem, but the other part of the problem is that we're relying on the oligarch's money in the first place.

Factchecker alluded to it above. How can we defend the "benevolence" of these folks whose every charitable donation is offset by a political donation bent on perpetuating their photo opps, which clearly translate into political power over time?

I'd be a bit less cynical if the Randy Boyds of Tennessee were also working diligently to establish a tax structure and a level of public funding that would simply establish a system of free community colleges statewide.

But they're not.

In fact, they're fighting it tooth and nail.

And Mike Edwards would never in this world work to lower a school community's exhorbitant level of impoverished students by allowing such families to live next door to him, in his neighborhood. He told me so himself.

He's content to "reform" from across town.

All these "reformers," in fact, want to address these students' needs in continued social isolation and despair. They care not one whit to address the underlying problems fueling that isolation and despair--at least not if it might change the complexion of their neighborhoods.

Quite the paradox, no?

Call me clear-eyed.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Mike Cohen: "I understand your concern, but I don't see any basis for it."

Complete College TN Act One Year Later: Moving Forward: "...academic program offerings will probably be fewer; growth in the number of doctoral programs will slow... average cost per degree produced will be reduced; instructional technology and non-traditional instructional approaches will increase in order to increase instructional capacity and student choice while controlling unit costs...institutions will become more resourceful in acquiring non-state funds..."

The basis for my concern should be pretty clear to anybody who can read.

Narrowed curriculum at every level, heavier reliance on online coursework, further cuts in state funding (standing at just 30% of universities' total costs now).

Don't take a Weatherman...

Mike Cohen's picture

Randyt Boyd

I stand corrected on the checks. Clearly when he does something with UT they want to do that.

We have about 25% of our population with a college degree. That has to change. His job is to help figure out how.

I consider what is offered at universities and colleges critical, but I consider it equally critical that we look at new ways of doing things give the current system is not working.

If everyone just wants to condemn change unless it is handled totally by academics, I don't think we are going to get there.

Again...I can't tell you how much I value the esoteric in education. My youngest son is a totally different young man now than he was when he entered college.... intellectually, physically and in other ways. UT's environment and his own keen mind (credit him Mom for that part) made all the difference in the world for him.

But things have to change. Given his commitment to supporting education he seems like a great choice to work on it.

S Carpenter's picture

sincere question

RE Higher Ed, you said: "...critical that we look at new ways of doing things give the current system is not working."

What's not working in higher ed?

Tamara Shepherd's picture

I'm not Mike, but...

Mike cited previously that higher ed is not producing enough graduates quickly.

Mike believes this has nothing at all to do with the fact that students’ cost of higher ed has doubled over the last ten years as the State of Tennessee has reduced its level of funding down to 30% of universities' average costs.

Mike believes that it doesn't matter, either, that our community college system now costs about what our four-year system cost a decade ago.

Particularly annoying is that Mike steadfastly denies that anyone not objecting to this shortfall is a very real part of the problem.

But anyone failing to do that really is.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Mike:

Forget Randy Boyd.

I brought up his name only because he's the face, this week, of a process for funding and managing our higher ed system that I don't think works.

An alternative process for funding and managing our higher ed system which, in my personal life experience, did work was to raise adequate state funding via equitable methods, then allocate adequate funding to higher ed under the guidance of its own "industry" experts, one result having been the creation of a statewide community college system that was completely free.

Surely you don't dispute that a statewide community college system that is completely free would boost educational attainment levels in Tennessee, too?

Can you then comment on my objection to this existing system of "Randy Boyd-ism" (or "Jim Ayres-ism," if you'd rather) that I defined here:

Factchecker alluded to it above. How can we defend the "benevolence" of these folks whose every charitable donation is offset by a political donation bent on perpetuating their photo opps, which clearly translate into political power over time?

I'd be a bit less cynical if the Randy Boyds of Tennessee were also working diligently to establish a tax structure and a level of public funding that would simply establish a system of free community colleges statewide.

But they're not.

In fact, they're fighting it tooth and nail.

Boyd-ism (or Ayres-ism) doesn't support adequate and equitable public funding to higher ed and it doesn't support management of that system by the people best qualified to manage it, either.

How would you, personally, explain and defend that contradiction?

Thanks in advance for addressing the pertinent question.

AnonymousOne's picture

Forget Kevin Huffman as

Forget Kevin Huffman as well?

Two peas in a pod?

Different areas, same MO and ideology?

Mike Cohen's picture

Seriously?

The guy is trying to improve education on a bunch of levels...from an elementary program that virtually everyone praises as making a real difference to families...and starts Knox Achieves to provide funding for kids to go to college and expands it statewide. But that's not any proof.

Funding is but one aspect of issues facing higher ed in Tennessee. To say that focusing on any aspect and not trying to reform the tax system makes him bad is just way, way off base.

Most Governor's of Tennessee, from McWherter to Bredesen to Haslam seem to feel the basic structure is not that bad.

metulj's picture

Funding? It is difficult to

Funding? It is difficult to develop Tennessee when an assistant professor moving one state east doubles the payday.

Rachel's picture

Shoot, one of my neighbors

Shoot, one of my neighbors was a tenured engineering prof. He went to Va. Tech not because of the $$ but because the # and quality of the graduate program here was declining.

I went to UT in the 70s and again in the late 90s. The difference were huge and depressing. And it's only gotten worse since then.

Mike Cohen's picture

Part two

I didn't answer your statement about not supporting people best qualified to manage it.

Randy seems pretty qualified as a manager of money and resources. He will be working with the head of the TBR and UT. They do not work for Randy, they work for the Trustees or the Board of Regents.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Deep breath...

The process of funding doesn't need any Randy Boyds or Jim Ayres.

It needs a tax structure capable of producing a level of funding beyond the 30% of higher ed costs state revenues presently cover--and it certainly doesn't need further funding cuts, as detailed in the state's plan I linked above.

Neither does the process need any owners of pet supply companies (Boyd) nor retired bankers (Ayres) to determine which courses/majors are or are not "valuable."

It needs qualified academicians to make those calls.

And you continue to misremember--at this juncture I'd say "disremember"--that Ned McWherter absolutely did promote a state income tax to benefit education funding.

Bredesen just gutted Tenncare to no lasting effect, since its rolls will be growing again very soon.

That leaves your boy Haslam for our scrutiny, particularly so since his plan appears to just make public education private education and wash his hands of it.

Except that he never got them dirty.

Mike Cohen's picture

Income tax

No, I don't believe Ned ever pushed a state income tax. He talked about it a little, but never pushed it. He had the clout and the political cunning to get it passed if he wanted.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Within the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Governor Ned Ray McWherter Papers, 1987-1995, see pdf page 4, the reference to McWherter's 21st Century Classroom initiative and its companion attempt at a state income tax in Tennessee.

We don't need to make this stuff so complicated...

AC's picture

I really like and respect

I really like and respect Randy Boyd. He has always struck me as a real class act. I would believe that he is truly committed to what he believes to be the best options here.

I do have a lot of concerns about education and its so-called "reform" these days.

I'm concerned that we're on the verge of abandoning a true commitment to public education, essentially because we are unwilling to fund it properly.

And I am concerned that "education" is being confused with "vocational training." Both are important...but they are not the same thing.

And I'm concerned that the emphasis on "efficiency" often misses the mark with unintended consequences. For instance, we have decimated our arts programs because they are considered inessential. However, there are many studies that show that those with training in the artists develop stronger problem solving and critical thinking skills than other areas of study, and that they also develop other essential qualities such as planning, disciplined practice, delayed gratification, and more. One of these studies was conducted by the Curb school at Vanderbilt but there is plenty of evidence to consider here.

Definitely not a fan of the voucher program. And I'm very skeptical of the seemingly increasingly discredited Michelle Rhee.

R. Neal's picture

...there are many studies

...there are many studies that show that those with training in the artists develop stronger problem solving and critical thinking skills than other areas of study, and that they also develop other essential qualities such as planning, disciplined practice, delayed gratification, and more.

I would have probably been a dropout and living in a homeless shelter by now if it hadn't been for high school band. Cost cutting at the expense of arts education is a disgrace. There should be more offerings and some kind of mandatory involvement/participation along the way.

Stick's picture

And I'm concerned that the

And I'm concerned that the emphasis on "efficiency" often misses the mark with unintended consequences.

Exactly. We've had successful businessmen and economists 'reforming' education since Reagan, and the trend has been toward reductive skills and job training at the expense of deep learning, critical thinking, and more synthetic modes of thought. Our test fetish is just the latest incarnation. If we look at the Collegiate Learning Assessment the students who learn the most in college are liberal arts majors. The worst...? Business majors. We need to be producing well educated folks who know how to learn and let industry train their own damn workers.

The key point here is this: Just because you are successful in business [which I begrudge no one who is] doesn't mean that you can walk into another field and bring about productive changes. I've been working in education [private for-profit and public non-profit] since 95'. I've got a good reputation, receive excellent student feedback, and the parents of students I worked with love me. I think that I'm pretty successful in my chosen field. However, I am in now way qualified to walk into a IT company [or any major industry you care to think of] and tell them what they should be doing and how to do it. We need more humility and less cronyism. If you think the UT system is moving in the right direction you're daft.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Perhaps Randy Boyd and Jim Clayton could again propose a property tax, statewide this time, on all Tennessee households? Whose median incomes run about $50K?

I mean, it's that or turn our universities into trade schools, right?

There's not anybody else we could tax in any manner, right?

We certainly can't restore that cut in the estate tax, right?!

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