Sobering Report on KQED June 12, 2012Posted by davidmwittman in access to education, students, university.
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I heard this driving home Friday night: a radio report about how some good California high school seniors are reluctant to consider UC because they know cuts will continue and quality will continue to decline. This was truly disheartening to hear. We need to restore education as a public good. California Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative which will probably be on the ballot this November is a good place to start. It funds K12, and to a lesser extent community colleges, rather than UC, but it represents a step in the right direction.
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today’s (re) post comes David Meyer, a Professor of Sociology and Political Science at UC Irvine.
The future of the University of California is even more daunting for organizers than the troubled present.
The problem: Students, faculty, and the citizens of California have interests in both access to the University system and maintaining some degree of excellence in the system. It’s extremely hard to focus on both issues simultaneously, and it’s hard to know who to work with and who to trust.
Over the past five years, the University has been fighting losing battles on both fronts. As the state of California has consistently cut funding, the University has cut spending and programs while raising tuition. Most of the ten campuses are working hard to increase the percentage of out-of-state and international students, who pay much higher tuition. It’s a viable revenue strategy, but it’s understandable why California taxpayers are incensed that their University has less room for the young people of California.
Meanwhile, ongoing cuts to programs are affecting the quality of education UC students receive. Saturday’s New York Times reports that students face fewer classes, larger classes, tougher admissions standards, less attention, higher tuition, and even a less demanding education. According to the Times, every student may still have access to an academic adviser, but each adviser is now responsible for 500 students (rather than 300 in years past). Is that access? Many professors facing larger classes with fewer teaching assistants now require less writing, shorter and fewer papers. (When I came to UCI, about a dozen years ago, each of my TAs was typically responsible for 80-90 students; 120-140 is now more typical. If this doesn’t seem like much of a difference to you, try to imagine reading and commenting on 40 ten page papers.) Students are unlikely to complain about such reforms, but they’re certainly not being helped.
Davis Dozen update June 3, 2012Posted by Julie Sze in protests, students.
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the end of the quarter is coming fast, and then the summer lull will likely take its toll in terms of media and broad interest in campus politics. But, the Davis Dozen case certainly continues. Read this on yesterday’s court appearance