Notes in the Margins: Unions, teacher training and the four-year degree

Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1  What is the true value these days of a college education? (The New York Times)

Pushing to graduate in 4 years: smart move? There are compelling arguments on both sides. (USA Today)

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network Coursera, a California-based venture that has enrolled five million students in its free online courses, has announced a partnership with the United States government to create “learning hubs” around the world where students can go to get Internet access to free courses supplemented by weekly in-person class discussions with local teachers or facilitators. (The New York Times via NAICU)

Research suggests poor quality of teacher training programs in U.S. compared to other countries The United States has some of the best university-based math teacher training programs in the world. But we also have some of the worst – and those poor performing programs produce 60 percent of the country’s teachers in schools with the highest percentage of students living in poverty. (The Hechinger Report via NAICU)

Growing number of part-time professors join unions Thousands of part-time college professors are joining labor unions, a growing trend in higher education that’s boosting the ranks of organized labor and giving voice to teachers who complain about low pay and a lack of job security at some of the nation’s top universities. (Associated Press via University Business)