Wisconsin's Attack on Truthtelling

The present practices of drafting a state budget in Wisconsin is like an inverse Christmas: a drunken anti-Santa stumbles through the people’s house at the dead of night and leaves flaming bags of poo for the citizenry to unhappily discover the next morning. These come in the form of non-fiscal matters attached to the budget itself; the riders typically advance some inane personal/political cause of individual lawmakers.
A recent sad example of this practice is a budget provision which would expel the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from the UW-Madison campus and prohibit UW faculty and staff from working with it in a professional capacity. Continue reading “Wisconsin's Attack on Truthtelling”

FCC Speech Restrictions Not Appropriate in Real Life

Five Republican state senators in Arizona have introduced a bill that attempts to limit free speech in the classroom. SB 1467 would make it an offense for teachers to “engage in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio.” Continue reading “FCC Speech Restrictions Not Appropriate in Real Life”

Wave Manual to Take Free Radio Into the Classroom

Interesting project in the works: Wave Manual: An Educator’s Micro FM Handbook proposes to “bridge the gap between the theoretical and practical advantages of Free Radio.”
The publication will document the use of community radio to affect sociopolitical change, drawing from the experiences of the U.S. microradio movement and the popular appropriation of radio stations in Oaxaca, Mexico. Continue reading “Wave Manual to Take Free Radio Into the Classroom”

College: Too Easy?

While preparing to submit my dissertation for committee review (and eventual defense), out comes some news and analysis that paints a sobering picture for anyone interested in a life of academe.
A new book indicts the system of higher education in the United States for failing to prepare many students for the rigors of modern adult life. Grade inflation is up, undergraduate studying is down – to an average of 12-14 hours a week.
Specifically called out as a pressing dilemma is an apparent systemic failure to impart critical thinking skills to college students. Associated commentary from the Chronicle of Higher Education puts a finer point on that: Continue reading “College: Too Easy?”