Notes in the Margins: Class, nontenured faculty and testing for a job

Class Is Seen Dividing Harvard Business School As soon as new students arrive, they are expected to write checks of $300 or $400 to their “sections,” the groups with whom they take first-year classes, if they want to participate in social events. In recent years, second-year students have organized a midwinter ski trip that costs over $1,000, while others, including members of “Section X,” a secret society of ultrawealthy students, spend far more on weekend party trips to places like Iceland and Moscow. Tickets to the winter ball, called Holidazzle, have cost $200 or more in recent years. (The New York Times)

The New Test for Grads That Could Get Them a Job More than 200 schools, including some in the Texas and California state systems, have signed on to offer  students the new voluntary Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) test, designed to give employers an objective way to measure entry-level candidates. (The Fiscal Times)

It’s the faculty, stupid! If, as Noam Chomsky once pointed out, “our kids are being prepared for passive obedience, not creative, independent lives”, it’s because we live in a corporate world where most institutions are ranked according to criteria that too often ignore the essence of the discipline in favour of the job market.
The goal for institutes of higher learning should be to educate students to become autonomous and thoughtful citizens. (Al Jazeera)

Obama education plan at war with itself Demanding accountability from universities is good, but what about the students? (USA Today)

Study Sees Benefit in Courses With Nontenured Instructors A study has found, surprisingly, that students in introductory classes learned more from outside instructors than from tenured or tenure-track professors. (The New York Times)