Category Archives: Education

How RPI’s Faculty Voice Was Quieted

Source: Inside Higher Ed, February 2, 2011

When the Faculty Senate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute voted, in spring 2006, to widen its membership to include contingent faculty, it set in motion a series of events that left the senate in a state of limbo and shredded the notion of shared governance, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Association of University Professors, which was based on an investigation by the national group.

The broad outlines of the controversy have been reported widely in recent years, including a piece, titled “The Demise of Shared Governance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,” in the Journal of Academic Freedom, by the RPI professors Nancy Campbell and Jane F. Koretz. They warned that what happened to shared governance at RPI represented, potentially, “an early casualty of larger structural changes in higher education,” as the institute became more centralized and corporate.

Outlook 2011

Source: Mike Kennedy, American School and University, January 1, 2011

Under gloomy economic conditions, schools and universities must strive to provide high-quality education with fewer resources.

Heading include:
* Budget/funding
* Class size
* Bond issues
* Community colleges
* Security
* Bullying
* Construction
* Sustainability
* Energy management
* Maintenance and Operations
* Technology
* Enrollment
* New Leaders
* Reauthorizing ESEA

Quality, Cost, and Purpose: Comparisons of Government and Private Sector Payments for Similar Services

Source: Kristina Richardi, Luc Schuster, and Nancy Wagman, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011

This paper looks at what our state government pays for child care (which Massachusetts calls ”early education and care” in recognition of the importance of quality early care in the educational development of children), health care, and education, and compares those costs to what is paid for those services in the private sector. We find that in providing child care for lower-income working parents, the state purchases care from providers who also provide care to private clients. The rates that the state pays these providers range from 66 percent to 96 percent of the median market rate in each region. Our state Medicaid program buys health care in the same market as private payers, but pays only 80 percent of the rates paid by private payers. Finally, this paper finds that the average cost of public schools, $13,142 per student, is dramatically below the cost of private schools, which average $32,084 per student – and generally educate children from less challenging backgrounds.

State Financing for Prekindergarten Education

Source: Timothy Weldon, Council of State Governments, Capitol Facts & Figures, August 2010

From the summary:
Research shows that children who attend pre-K programs are more successful in later grades. However, state funding and policies regarding pre-k programs vary widely.
See also:
Table – State Enrollment in Pre-K Programs

Higher Education Funding

Source: Jennifer Ginn, Council of State Governments, Capitol Facts & Figures, December 2010

From the summary:
Higher education across the country continues to struggle with state funding cuts, aging facilities, increasing tuition rates and a rapidly increasing student population. An annual survey of community college directors conducted by the Education Policy Center shows educators are worried if these trends continue, higher education may be out of reach for many Americans.
See also:
Table – Tuition and Funding Changes

The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and Higher Education Spending

Source: Jennifer Cohen, New America Foundation, December 9, 2010
Part 1 of 4

From the blog:
While many policy researchers and the media have focused their attention on K-12 education in their reporting on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), few have focused on the law’s effect on higher education funding. Today, the New America Foundation’s Federal Education Budget Project released an issue brief titled The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and Higher Education Spending in the States that explores how state funding for higher education fluctuated as a proportion of total state spending during the implementation of the ARRA.

Long-term Effects of the North Carolina More at Four Pre-kindergarten Program: Children’s Reading and Math Skills at Third Grade

Source: Ellen S. Peisner-Feinberg, FPG Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

From the key findings:
These findings suggest that for poor children (those who qualified for free or reduced-price lunch), participating in the More at Four Program during pre-k had longer-term benefits in terms of math and reading skills at the end of third grade. These findings were consistent across all EOG outcomes, indicating a broad positive effect of participation in the More at Four Program. These findings are of note, given that poor children represent the majority (90%) served by the More at Four Program.

Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2009, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Staff, 2009-10

Source: Laura G. Knapp, et. al.,U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2011150, 2010

From the summary:
This First Look presents data from the Winter 2009-10 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including data on the number of staff employed in Title IV postsecondary institutions in fall 2009 by primary function/occupational activity, length of contract/teaching period, employment status, salary class interval, faculty and tenure status, academic rank, race/ethnicity, and gender.

The Causal Effect of Faculty Unions on Institutional Decision-Making

Source: Stephen R. Porter, Clinton M. Stephens, Iowa State University, November 8, 2010

From the abstract:
The goal of this paper is to estimate the causal effect of unionization on institutional decision-making. We use a national survey of presidents and faculty senate leaders to measure the level of shared governance at 341 public universities in fifteen different areas. To address the endogeneity of faculty unionization, we use an index of state employee collective bargaining rights as an instrument for unionization. We find that unionization greatly increases faculty influence over decision-making in areas such as setting faculty salary scales, individual faculty salaries, appointing department chairs, and appointments to institution-wide committees.
See also:
Unions Hold Mostly Pluses for Faculties at Public Colleges, Study Finds
Source: Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2010