University of California teachers’ union aims to block online classes

posted at 7:01 pm on October 11, 2011 by Tina Korbe

California’s university system — like the rest of the state — is in dire straits financially. Small wonder, then, that schools there have begun to give some thought to the expansion of cost-cutting online education programs. But predictably, the California teachers’ unions have something to say about that:

The specter and promise of online education is perhaps nowhere more deeply felt than in California, where campus administrators and instructors are faced with a bloodletting. University of California officials have suggested that the system will have to innovate out of the current financial crisis by expanding online programs. (State house analysts agree.) Instructors, meanwhile, are terrified that this is code for cutting their pay, or increasing their workloads, or outsourcing their jobs to interlopers, or replacing them with online teaching software.

The system’s corps of lecturers feels this threat sharply. “We believe that if courses are moved online, they will most likely be the classes currently taught by lecturers,” reads a brief declaration against online education on the website of UC-AFT, the University of California chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, “and so we will use our collective bargaining power to make sure that this move to distance education is done in a fair and just way for our members.”

Now the California lecturers, who make up nearly half of the system’s undergraduate teaching teachers, believe they have used that bargaining power to score a rare coup. The University of California last week tentatively agreed to a deal with UC-AFT that included a new provision barring the system and its campuses from creating online courses or programs that would result in “a change to a term or condition of employment” of any lecturer without first dealing with the union.

The president of the teachers’ union says he thinks this new agreement gives the union veto power over “almost any online program,” while university representatives say the provision doesn’t effectively change anything. All it means, they say, is that, if the union objects to an online education program, the university will have to go through the same process — mediation, fact-finding, maybe a university mandate, potentially a union strike, etc. — as it would if the union objected to any university decision that would jeopardize lecturers’ jobs or work lives.

This just recalls to mind the way unions affect markets in disappointing ways. Would we rather have a more affordable product for more people or arbitrarily protected and unwarrantedly posh jobs?

Frankly, it’s astonishing to me that a knee-jerk defensiveness of lecturers’ jobs is the best this union can do. They could at least make the case for why face-to-face interaction enhances education. Certainly, I can. As a relatively recent graduate and a person who now spends the majority of my time online, I often miss the camaraderie of the classroom. The Internet is the largest salon on earth — the easiest and broadest possible exchange of ideas imaginable — but, all too frequently, ideologues of a certain stripe collect in a certain corner of it and never leave that corner, never encounter ideas that force them to test assumptions. For all that universities perpetuate a certain amount of propaganda, for all that they, too, frequently fail to conscientiously court ideological diversity, they do bring together a wide variety of people and in person. And the in-person principle does seem important to me, somehow. Perhaps the “dehumanization” of ideas — the separation of ideas from the person who thinks them — enables us to consider them more objectively, strictly on the merits of the ideas themselves and not on our affinity or disinclination for the person. But it might also be that it de-contextualizes those ideas, robs us from really observing the fabric from which the ideas were formed. Someone who knows me, who can see my facial expressions as I say something, who can hear my tone of voice, will surely understand what it is I’m trying to say better than someone who encounters only my typed words on a screen.

That’s less an argument against online programs — which are surely an excellent and affordable way to provide basic education for more people — as it is an argument for the revival of the university as it was originally conceived — a place in which to question, to learn, to debate. In many ways, we abandoned the concept of such a place as soon as we made it seem like a societal imperative for everyone — even those who have little interest in academics — to earn a B.A., when we started subsidizing college loans, when we started inflating the cost of college tuition. (Yes, I’m back to Mr. Charles Murray.) The education bubble needed to burst. The demand for a true university experience is probably quite small, and, yes, that means UC-AFT lecturers might be in too abundant of a supply, but let supply and demand determine the cost of an online college education and an in-person college education and schools will no longer be faced with a “bloodletting.” Best of all, educationally speaking, lecturers who truly want to foster an academic environment — and aren’t just looking for a job with tenure — would only have to interact face-to-face with students who also want to contribute to such an environment.


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Sure, by all means, oppose a method of education that has proven more convenient in all kinds of ways, that’ll win support. /

Eren on October 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Tina, it’s sickening that the teachers’ union use this tactic. Having said that, a good face-to-face instructional program is far superior to a good online instructional program. It’s just unfortunate that most universities do not provide either.

Scott H on October 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

So the California Education Unions are against access to education. . .

Brilliant position for the unions to take.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 7:08 PM

The solution is of course to have a private university take the lead in ending brick and mortar lecture classrooms. A university could consist of and online library (Project Gutenberg), streaming video (YouTube) and a testing service that could also be online.

Laboratory course work would require a laboratory and a mentor/instructor.

The old model is broken and become more vulnerable to attack with each passing day.

It is time to slay the dragon.

The Rock on October 11, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Covered wagon makers were indignant when people started making cars.

Welcome to the 21st century, you idiots.

BTW, having to drive to college instead of doing it from home means people have to use fossil fuels which pollutes the air and kills polar bears. Square that circle, geeks.

Bishop on October 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Cartel Monopoly

Kini on October 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Online education does not have to be typed into a text window. They have skype now.

pedestrian on October 11, 2011 at 7:11 PM

The Teacher’s Union has nothing to worry about. Their lap dogs in Sacramento will do exactly what they’re told to do.

GarandFan on October 11, 2011 at 7:12 PM

This just recalls to mind the way unions affect markets in disappointing ways. Would we rather have a more affordable product for more people or arbitrarily protected and unwarrantedly posh jobs?

The Progressive ideology: crushing the hopes and dreams of the poor and “middle class.”

visions on October 11, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Jason: It’s not that California educators are against access to education.

It’s that educators are against education.

The entire educational ‘system’ is a business that produces diplomas as the concession stand to their box office of chasing DoEd funds.

If people want online education, start it in primary school, not postsecondary school. Students are not set up properly to learn well in, well, any format, but online is even worse than the others.

Scott H on October 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Why do teachers unions hate education?

darwin on October 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Someone should file a discrimination suit against the union because this clearly hit hardest those who are less able to pay the high cost of in-person lectures, plus the time and expense of traveling to a classroom where the same experience can be had online takes away time needed to earn that money.

pedestrian on October 11, 2011 at 7:16 PM

darwin: Because education is no longer the primary driver of the funds that are used to pay for the education unions.

Scott H on October 11, 2011 at 7:17 PM

It’s for the children…

Seven Percent Solution on October 11, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Maybe they’ll agree to online clasess if each class comes with a introductory 5 minute video on the wonders of communism.

darwin on October 11, 2011 at 7:17 PM

My daughter is looking at a private college that has extensive on-line enrollment. They are able to offer on-campus enrollees large scholarships and grants because of all the money they make on-line.

dirtseller on October 11, 2011 at 7:18 PM

7%: …. of the union members.

Scott H on October 11, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Ban home schooling. Ban charter schools. Ban private schools. Ban commercial schools. Ban internet schools. Ban apprenticeships. Do it for the children.

This is a top domestic priority. Why aren’t our prez candidates talking about this!

petefrt on October 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM

“We believe that if courses are moved online, they will most likely be the classes currently taught by lecturers,” reads a brief declaration against online education on the website of UC-AFT, the University of California chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, “and so we will use our collective bargaining power to make sure that this move to distance education is done in a fair and just way for our members we keep riding the gravy train and brainwashing your kids into hating you and everything you hold dear.”

Corrected by and amateur copy editor.

peski on October 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Why do teachers unions hate education?

darwin on October 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Because that makes the kids think.

Propaganda is what they are all about.

sharrukin on October 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Corrected by and an amateur copy editor.

peski on October 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Corrected by an amateur copy editor.

peski on October 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM

People, when are you going to succumb to the fact that resistance is futile? You will be assimilated into the Borg collective. Our union overlords know what is best for us.

John the Libertarian on October 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM

The recent changes in the Post 9/11 GI Bill are the precusor for what California teachers hope to do. The new GI Bill was gutted in Congress on purpose to punish private schools and online colleges. Now there are limits to the amount of tuition payments for any veteran attending a private school, curently $17,500. There are in theory no limits on tuition for public schools. But 7 states have a “waiver” policy in effect to provide for full tuition, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. This puts most decent private colleges out of reach for most Vets as they can’t come up with the extra cash and hold jobs to support their families.

Congress also gutted the BAH payment to Vets enrolled in fulltime online education programs to 1/2 the base national rate. About $675.00 monthly under the current rules, vice the full E5 dependent BAH rate if they are enrolled in a brick and mortar school.

Both parties are guilty of trying to steer more Vets to public schools in these changes.

Check out the post 9/11 GI bill at http://www.va.gov.

Johnnyreb on October 11, 2011 at 7:26 PM

There is more to the issue than you would initially think with online classes for high school kids. Very often the online classes are a money grab for districts who compete for funds. Districts are increasing number of online classes because of competition from other districts or charter schools. In some cases the online classes are not very educationally sound and I know from experience a lot of students flunk these classes or simply cannot complete them. This is also done in order to reduce staff. Very often school districts encourage students to take online classes, now that many have e-schools they get money from it, and that reduces payrolls costs of teachers. In AZ, we have teens who because of online classes are graduating in their junior years. This is a sneaky way of reducing staff, especially since you need less teachers for seniors as the kids are graduating early. Which teachers do they want to get rid of? The most experienced as they are often paid the most. Though not all experienced teachers are master teachers, study after study has shown the students who do best have experienced teachers. So now you have replaced good teachers which an online class with who knows who teaching it. Just saying there is more to this issue.

arizonateacher on October 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM

We cannot have our children educated for free…education is not free, it must be bought and paid for…so says the union…

right2bright on October 11, 2011 at 7:33 PM

study after study has shown the students who do best have experienced teachers. So now you have replaced good teachers which an online class with who knows who teaching it. Just saying there is more to this issue.

arizonateacher on October 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM

As a matter of fact, home schooling shows they have the best education.

right2bright on October 11, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Frankly, it’s astonishing to me that a knee-jerk defensiveness of lecturers’ jobs is the best this union can do.

Ahh, to be young again.

NEVER forget the purpose of the union is to collect dues! There is no way to collect union dues from a computer program.

How can the teachers union dump hundreds of millions into Democratic campaign coffers if they do not collect dues? There will be a bill in the California legislature to protect the teachers.

Public teacher union + California politicians = Socialist system that fails every student one at a time!

Freddy on October 11, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Hilarious. Union is spitting into a hurricane.

fleiter on October 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The University of Phoenix is appalled at this move!!!

BigWyo on October 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Selfish prigs.

They don’t realize that they are hurting themselves in the long run — just like most other unions.

hillbillyjim on October 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

OT: @gretawire: You got to be kidding – Solyndra paid 2.4 million in legal fees relating to the loan guarantee???: Yes, I know…S… http://bit.ly/oyI7US

ConservativePartyNow on October 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Which teachers do they want to get rid of? The most experienced as they are often paid the most. Though not all experienced teachers are master teachers, study after study has shown the students who do best have experienced teachers.

arizonateacher on October 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM

If teachers supported pay for performance, then all the data needed to justify the higher cost for the best teachers would be available.

pedestrian on October 11, 2011 at 7:38 PM

What is funny, not really but ironic or idiotic, you talk to individual teachers, and almost all admit the union is wrong…but they embrace the union and support the union.
The truth is, most teachers are in it for the money, and not the education.
Most teachers are guaranteed a job, insurance, many days off, no stress, and are paid well with benefits as well as wages.

right2bright on October 11, 2011 at 7:38 PM

This is why we homeschool. Targeted curriculum, no drugs, no unions and weekly firearms and Bible classes….!

serenity on October 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM

They could at least make the case for why face-to-face interaction enhances education. Certainly, I can.

You would have a hard time making a case for face-to-face training. Besides, online could be face-to-face if it was necessary, but it’s not. Online training is much more effective and efficient than classroom training.

The problem with online training is it sucks. But there are 2 reasons for that. Either training is developed by people who have no idea how to design a course or it is developed by people that know how to design but don’t know the subject. The answer is to teach subject matter expects the skills necessary to design and develop great courseware.

Here’s what should be done. For each course, find the top 3 instructors in the country/world. work with them to develop an online course. Video tape them teaching critical parts. Then make those courses available to any college/university that wants them at a reasonable price. Voila. We now have the best instructors in the world teaching at any university that wants them.

Before long, Harvard would be just another school with pretty buildings.

huckleberryfriend on October 11, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I love online classes.

I’m one lecture away from completing MIT’s intro to computer science. I’ve been wanting to learn to program for a long time and this course provided the complete set of lectures, homework and tests.

Of course, if I were more motivated I could do what my husband does – get a book and teach myself, but I’m not. The open courseware/open university options work great for me. And, you can’t beat the price.

JadeNYU on October 11, 2011 at 7:42 PM

What is funny, not really but ironic or idiotic, you talk to individual teachers, and almost all admit the union is wrong…but they embrace the union and support the union.

right2bright on October 11, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I once had a relative visit me while attended the national conference of his teachers union which he supports. He was complaining about how the most senior teachers at his school has lost enthusiasm for teaching and yet because of union rules he was about to lose his job because he is the least senior.

pedestrian on October 11, 2011 at 7:43 PM

sharrukin;

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University

Prior to their formal establishment, many medieval universities were run for hundreds of years as Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools (Scholae monasticae), in which monks and nuns taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD…. later they were also founded by Kings (University of Naples Federico II, Charles University in Prague, Jagiellonian University in Kraków) or municipal administrations (University of Cologne, University of Erfurt). In the early medieval period, most new universities were founded from pre-existing schools, usually when these schools were deemed to have become primarily sites of higher education. Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries.[8]

In Europe, young men proceeded to university when they had completed their study of the trivium–the preparatory arts of grammar, rhetoric and logic–and the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

That curricula doesn’t look much like my undergraduate days. Interesting that of the seven subjects taught, five; rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry and music, all require the ability to think and reason. I’m told that in most schools these days it’s possible to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree without ever taking a class in ANY of these disciplines.

oldleprechaun on October 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

My wife recd. her BS from an online/weekly meet college. while mor expensive than our local state college she didn’t have to jump through the hoops and take all kinds of repeat classes she had already taken at JC.
Tuition is up 100% in CA from 2001 when my kids started college. How come there are protests against Wall Street but not government entities that raise costs w/out an increase in service as well making you have to comply?

arnold ziffel on October 11, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Just saying there is more to this issue.

arizonateacher on October 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM

But what we’re talking about here is UC Professors, worried that UC Lecturers are going to replace them in the online world.

Are you ready for the buzz word? Paradigm shift. This may be one example where the word actually applies, because that’s what’s coming.

peski on October 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

You know what the real rub is???

Neither one of them give a #hit about end results anymore…it’s all boiling down to what’s more convenient and can they get paid for it….Students and institutions alike…

The Federal Government has taken over student loans… hello guarantee$$$

All these OWS pimples should take a good long look at what this country’s secondary education system has become and then figure out who to scream at…but of course…’99%’ of them are products of the same system so as far as I’m concerned they can GDIAF….

And I’d gladly POTA……..

BigWyo on October 11, 2011 at 7:50 PM

surely an excellent and affordable way to provide basic education for more people

Checked out the tuition rates at the University of Phoenix? One would almost think, from the astronomical prices they charge, that the Federal Government was subsidizing student loans, or something….

notropis on October 11, 2011 at 7:50 PM

The Obama administration is waging an all-out war against private colleges. Below are some of the new regulations that have been released by the Department Education in the last 12 months. Keep in mind that these regulations specifically target private for-profit colleges:

- Non-baccalaureate programs at private schools must now assign a minimum of two hours of homework for every hour of instruction. This new rule is targeted specifically against ‘online’ colleges (the two hours must be spent away from the college website). Public colleges with online programs are exempt.

- Private colleges must meet new “gainful employment” minimums or lose all federal loans and grants. Public schools are exempt (even though their actual gainful employment levels are generally worse). The Department of Education has demanded employment data for all students attending private schools from 2006-2010, and will cut off financial aid within 12 months if their 2006-2010 graduates are not employed in a permissable Standard Occupational Code (SOC). The SOC codes are of course defined by Dept Ed to be as narrow as possible. This is a new retroactive rule.

- Private colleges must meet new loan default minimums or lose all federal loans and grants. Public schools are again exempt. Again this will be based on info from 2006-2010 (another retroactive rule).

- Private schools must send letters to all students warning them that they might be in jeopardy of losing their financial aid due to the above new regulations. The purpose is to scare students into transferring to public schools. All private for-profit schools were required to send these letters to all students no later than July 1, 2011.

The Dept of Education is hiring hundreds of new auditors. Their job is to go in armed with the new regulations listed above, and basically try to shut down as many private schools as possible.

Gideon7 on October 11, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Unfortunately, the University of Phoenix has ruined online education for many. Properly designed and implemented, online programs are every bit as rigorous and interactive as face-to-face classes. However, there are those who thrive in an on-campus environment, so there is room for both.

As to the notion that lecturers somehow have “unwarrantedly posh” jobs, they are almost the lowest on the totem pole, only slightly above adjunct faculty. Most lecturers work on year-to-year contracts with provisions for dismissal without cause, and are paid only slightly more than the manager of your average Burger King. Lecturers carry the water for tenured egos who believe that they are somehow saving humanity if they discuss gender bending and trash conservatives in their classrooms. I ought to know.

College Prof on October 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM

The unions might be able to bludgeon the University of California into submission, but how are they going to prevent online lectures from coming in from out of state. By protectiing their dinosaur jobs, they are ensuring that California will miss out on the next big wave of education.

Haiku Guy on October 11, 2011 at 7:56 PM

In the meantime, Caucasion kids in California cannot get accepted into California colleges, because all of the classes are full. After a couple of years in a junior college (JUCO) you might be able to transfer into one of the “real” colleges… but you’ll be wait-listed in all of your requisite classes.

And when you finally get in, a TA is doing the teaching… because the “professor” is doing outside consulting or writing a book (which you’ll be required to buy next semester for $125.)

Botton line: every kid I know is on the ($$$) five- and six-year plan… not by choice, but because the school oversell classes as badly as the airlines oversell flights.

VastRightWingConspirator on October 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM

That curricula doesn’t look much like my undergraduate days. Interesting that of the seven subjects taught, five; rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry and music, all require the ability to think and reason. I’m told that in most schools these days it’s possible to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree without ever taking a class in ANY of these disciplines.

oldleprechaun on October 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Excellent point. I think that those types of subjects really do encourage thinking and logic. What we currently have are attempts to force the students to think in such a way that they are distanced from society rather than engaged in it. They sneer at ‘dead white males’ rather than read Shakespeare or Twain. I don’t believe any of this is by accident. The so-called intellectual class have abandoned western civilization and seem to be regressing to a pre-Christian, Rousseau inspired fantasy that worships the primitive and emotionalism. The environmental movement, the greens, the OWS nutbars, and the left in general adheres to this to a greater or lesser degree.

sharrukin on October 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

The Learning Company’s video courses are already better than a face to face lecture series taught by a recent PhD or a lector, which is what most undergrads have to suffer, usually with a couple of hundred of their peers. You shoud see the student evaluations of some of our teaching assistants and grad students! Pissed doesn’t begin to describe it.

Fortunata on October 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

a good face-to-face instructional program is far superior to a good online instructional program. It’s just unfortunate that most universities do not provide either.

Scott H on October 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

I agree. I have taken two online college science classes…I feel I learned a great deal…but I always had the feeling that I was missing out on things the instructor brought out in the classrooms.

I also agree with the above commenter concerning who exactly puts the curriculum together. I think we’re getting increasingly poorer textbooks with long-dead authors’ names affixed to them decade after decade from the publishing conglomerates…won’t make a bit of difference if they peddle their substandard wares on Kindles rather than paper.

The online thing is a great way to augment classroom education, provide educational opportunities for isolated individuals, and to provide tutoring.

Still, getting an entire degree online has to me the same connotation as having applied to a “university” via an ad on a matchbook cover.

The funny thing about education is that it takes decades to find out what works and what doesn’t. The players (politicians, Marxist educators, unions/anti-union people) all know this. Since TV came along, then the VCR, then the calculator, then the PC we’ve seen education slide downhill in this nation. Not coincidence-just lazy people getting lazier because they know the information is out there…somewhere…so why bother actually learning it?

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 11, 2011 at 8:03 PM

oldleprechaun on October 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

My daughter just graduated with her liberal arts degree. Let’s just say critical thinking is not her forte. She’s pretty good at waitressing, jewelry making, and love for Chicago Jesus. She was recently informed that however much my taxes go up due to dem. policies will be that much less she receives in parental aid.

arnold ziffel on October 11, 2011 at 8:06 PM

But, But…A computer can’t seduce and take the student to some seedy hotel to boink like a teacher can.

And so many teachers are doing that. It’s not just the tactic of slimy profs anymore, it’s now being done by hundreds of female teachers with much younger prey.

How can a computer replace that sort of abuse? Hmmmm?

TiminPhx on October 11, 2011 at 8:08 PM

But, But…A computer can’t seduce and take the student to some seedy hotel to boink like a teacher can.

And so many teachers are doing that. It’s not just the tactic of slimy profs anymore, it’s now being done by hundreds of female teachers with much younger prey.

How can a computer replace that sort of abuse? Hmmmm?

TiminPhx on October 11, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Sure, and all Catholic priests are pedophiles, so let’s close down their churches.

How about online church service apps provided by WWJD.inc instead?

Sounds like a story I read somewhere…something with a year in the title…hmmm

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 11, 2011 at 8:14 PM

arnold ziffel

I read years ago that something around 75% of college graduates never work in the field of their major. I know I didn’t. Neither does my daughter. But at least she has a job and is able to support herself. Thank G_D.

oldleprechaun on October 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM

oldleprechaun on October 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Probably apples to oranges but the data I had said 95% of college grads were not working in their major field within 5 years of graduation.

chemman on October 11, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Most online classes I have seen are little more than scams. The content is terrible, and the delivery even worse. Basically the student could do just as well just Googling random stuff and reading whatever pops up. That’s why I think there is something valuable in actually being face to face with a professor in a classroom, asking the professor questions and having the professor answer back.

As for the idea of getting the top few minds in the world to set up classes, it creates the same risk as all online courses. Frankly, administrators are not smart enough to realize that courses need to be constantly changed up, refreshed, and updated. The fear is that the classes will be built, then the creator/professor will be fired and never see another penny while the school uses their work free for the next 100 years.

AngusMc on October 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

NO SURPRISE:

The Teachers’ Union wants to make student ignorance MANDATORY!!!

…by making Vouchers illegal,

…on-line learning illegal,

…and all outside teaching illegal.

NEXT: If you’re caught being non-ignorant, you are presumed GUILTY of conspiring to damage teachers…and you will be fined and/or jailed!!!

The Teachers’ Unions in this country are certainly the most evil of our enemies.

landlines on October 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Wow, so these folks aren’t so progressive after all. This sounds pretty regressive to me.

flyfishingdad on October 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM

The nice thing about true “Distance Learning” is that word, “Distance”.

You don’t have to stay in CA, but can get a degree from anywhere as long as they have an online program.

Way to cut your own throats, there, UC union!

IrishEyes on October 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Kids are a tool of the Left good for nothing but power an money. Just like:

Women
Minorities
Veterans
Civilians durring time of war
Prisoners
The Homeless
am I missing anything?

29Victor on October 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Who would guess that university lecturers would be neo-Luddites?

Count to 10 on October 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Hilarious. I’ve heard UC engineering and computer science professors sing the praises of all kinds of computer-oriented innovations, including online learning.

These are great and wonderous ideas until they threaten how one practices one’s own livelihood or get twisted by Big Brother (e.g., microsensors that can control the climate in your home… until the utility company decides THEY should control the microsensors).

Kalifornia Kafir on October 11, 2011 at 10:30 PM

AngusMc on October 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

The professors should be at the forefront of embracing this technology and setting it up properly.

Honestly, for some classes, you’re indeed in learning about the stuff on Wikipedia.

Ultimately, most people don’t learn much of anything unless there’s a consequence attached to not learning it…such as failing.

The science and history channels have some interesting things, but you won’t remember most of the details (pretty sparse anyway if you examine a documentary) a day later as there’s no need to commit them to memory.

I still shake my head over an HA user here who some months ago credited the History Channel with her son passing the AP American History exam…infriggincredible what you read by some folks online.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Honestly, for some classes, you’re indeed better off in learning about the stuff on Wikipedia.

Edit function, pleez.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 11, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Change or Die … I guess it will be the latter

J_Crater on October 11, 2011 at 10:40 PM

am I missing anything?

29Victor on October 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

How could you forget Gays?

listens2glenn on October 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM

You guys realize that pay for performance is a joke right? The reality is that districts, schools, and teachers, all want their money. Districts and schools need money from the state and federal government. Teachers need the money to make ends meet, outside of a few places we really do not get paid much or get much in the way of benefits anymore but that is for another day, so everyone in the equation needs to show performance. How do you do that? Very simple, you dumb down the standards so every kid shows improvement. So pay for performance actually lowers standards in the name of raising them. YOu have to give a pre-test in pay for performance, so you give an impossible pre-test with not enough time for kids to finish. Then you teach the same 50 questions all year, you give the same test at the end of the year and of course you show improvement. You get paid a bit more, the schools meets its goals, and the district meets its goals. The only loser is the kid whose education has been dumbed down. Bottom line is simple, pay more, give better benefits, attract better teachers and education will improve.

arizonateacher on October 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM

Recorded lectures will be a godsend for the more technical and scientific subjects. And those lecturers will do well. Any rapidly changing field or any field that really needs hands on teaching (musicianship) will have lecturers who will do well compared to the slow moving fields or static fields.

Virtually every year most of the technical fields will need to have the lectures polished up a bit to accommodate new information. And for the students the best lecturers will be the ones they watch and learn from. (And the lecturers get retakes on their physics demos that misfire.) The other people in the technical fields can still make good researchers. It’s the researchers who give the lecturers new material to teach. This will simply formalize this food chain.

And with the real star lecturers, they’ll face no competition at any price near what they command. Can you imagine watching Krugman when you could be watching another Milton Friedman? And that’s not even a hard science topic. I cannot imagine wanting to listen to another physics lecturer than somebody of Richard Feynman’s class. And they come along infrequently enough their lectures will not be cheap. But they will be available to ALL students rather than the selected best.

{^_^}

herself on October 12, 2011 at 3:47 AM

The cost of a college education has skyrocketed. Let us get the price down.

SC.Charlie on October 12, 2011 at 6:15 AM

Why aren’t the OWS protesting big academia instead of the banks that gave them the loan? The cost of a college education has increased over 400% since 1980 for much worse product.

Bevan on October 12, 2011 at 7:41 AM

California once again leading the way in non-competitiveness. Gotta love all the progressive liberals who are only looking out for the people and workers. Could they look any worse? You’d think the teachers’ union would be all for this as a way to lighten their workload, or if they’re really confident in their members, they’d rush to it and prove how valuable their teachers really are to the students.

smfic on October 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM

California: A government of the Public Employee Unions, by the Public Employee Unions, and for the Public Employee Unions.

Born and raised and live in CA. This place used to be such a great and beautiful place to live, love, work and raise a family that it made your heart ache.

No more. It’s done. The plague of progressives and their unions, their “Green”, their thirst for power over the people and money of course, their banning of so many of life’s things great and small has killed us.

California the Golden State, is dead. Post mortem twitching will occur for a while, and the parasites that killed it will last a bit longer – but the body, the heart, the mind of California, is dead.

DrDeano on October 12, 2011 at 6:17 PM