What follows is lightly revised from a talk I gave in 2009 on the occasion of my teacher, David W. Noble, retiring from the University of Minnesota. David died on March 11, 2018. Here is an obituary, and no doubt David’s many friends and colleagues will weigh in with more ambitious scholarly reflections about his legacies. … Continue reading David W. Noble, Beloved Mentor, Rest in Peace
I hope I was clear in my last post, and in any case it bears repeating, that I do not think the logic of “assessment” is tied narrowly to “student outcomes.” There are many levels including: Dimensions of teaching—not just classroom dynamics and teaching evaluations, but also deciding on departmental curricula and balancing resources across … Continue reading Assessment Part II: Drones Vs. Teachers, Prisons Vs. Students, and Universities Vs. Another Tax Subsidized Hockey Stadium
Yesterday I read this piece in the New York Times by Molly Worthen. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments thread, which included a fair amount of vitriol against supposedly lazy and irresponsible college teachers. Overall the comments were a mixed bag of support and critique—understandably, since questions about the purposes and standards … Continue reading “Assessment”: Turning the Precious Public Resource of a University Into a Second-Rate High School
Dear Senator Corker, Senator Alexander, and Representative Duncan, Commonly I have heard people who are less pessimistic than I am about self-correcting capacities in the US political system valorize a turning point in the battle against McCarthyism. In 1954 Joseph Welch famously responded to Senator Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At … Continue reading Against the Cruelty, Hypocrisy, and Irresponsibility of Trump’s Budget: An Open Letter
When the Mafia-backed entrepreneur and con man Donald Trump captured a majority of electoral college votes—although, of course, not the majority of actual votes, and that is before we inquire how the count may have been affected by “abnormal” Russian propaganda, “normal” Fox propaganda (overlapping with the Russian part), tampering with voting machines in swing … Continue reading “Resisting,” Talking with Republicans, and Remembering the Mandate of the 2018 Election—All at the Same Time!
From the outset, I was far from clear about the purpose or future of this blogging experiment. It truly was experimental, albeit with a few “what if” ruminations associated: What if I liked having a sort of “first draft” outlet for thinking out loud about my projects? What if, little by little, I could spoon … Continue reading Should This Blog Live? How Can It Live? Where Do We Go From Here?
Starting next January, and continuing through Spring 2018, I will be at the University of Alberta in Edmonton as a Fulbright Research Chair in Arts and Humanities! No doubt I will have more to say about the adventure here. A couple of weeks ago I had a first taste when I traveled to Ottawa for … Continue reading Heading for the “True North Strong and Free”