In addition to the military-industrial complex we now have a prison-industrial complex and a schools-industrial complex. For example, beginning in 1015 at Illinois State the University will no longere certify teachers. Rather, each senior in education will have to make a number of videos while practice-teaching. He/she will then have to write an analysis of his/her performance. The whole thing will be under the control of a corporation specializing in testing. It has already been stated that 10% of students will fail.
There is a pretty large proletariat working for Testing companies. One aging hippie I know earns his (scant) living by grading essay tests for some company.
Also of course there are charter schools, which are quite lucrative.
No Child Left Behind & Race for the Top are intended primarily (a) to reduce the pay and increase the hours of teachers and (b) provide an income for testing companies.
This links both to the international Austerity drive and to the end of the old neocolonialism and its replacement by global capital, for which the U.S. is the Enforcer of Last Resort.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 7:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: OT: Coursera
> Coursera and other online companies are discussed in the Dec. 1 issue of the
> Economist (at page 29) in an article challenging traditional universities' spiraling
> costs relative to the present and future benefits they bestow upon students at all
> levels of academic performance.
> Change is afoot.
> Eugene Schlanger
> On Dec 3, 2012, at 12:45 PM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
> I poked around at some of the Coursera links, too, and I'm honestly not
> sure what they're up to, but my guess is that Coursera is in chrysalis form and will
> morph into something new (or old) when the time is right. The fact that it began
> with $16 million in venture capital funds sort of points in that direction.
> The discussion of it at the end of article in The Chronicle of Higher
> Education is interesting.
> Coursera seems to have been able to get numerous more or less high
> powered universities on board on an experimental basis, in large part, it appears,
> for marketing. And it is not clear that they mean to remain a non-credit project,
> which may account for the overprotesting on the Penn certificate (Penn
> apparently doesn't intend to get into the academic credit granting business with
> these courses).
> The fact that they have a million or two enrollments is interesting, but it
> would be more telling to know, for example, how many would-be students have
> done any work in the courses, and how many have completed. My guess is that
> those numbers will be respectively a small fraction and a smaller fraction of the
> enrollees. Which is not necessarily a criticism, as it has always been thus in
> distance ed. And the project now seems to be to add as many universities and
> courses as possible. Perhaps they've found a model to out-Phoenix Phoenix (as in
> the Univ. of Phoenix).
> Ken A
> On 12/2/2012 11:58 PM, P wrote:
> This is an important discussion. Being an avowed anti-academic, I am
> all in favour of learning for its own sake. I am happy to accept that in this
> particular case, it worked well. I'm sure the prof. got academic cred. for it, and the
> institution could claim its numbers were up. The student hunters now have a
> super pool of potential fish to fish for other courses.