“Teacher Certification: Stumbling for Quality” is the title of a major report released in October by the Abell Foundation that has vexed the vociferous education establishment. The report, by Kate Walsh, tackles the assumptions that undergird the regulatory policies that all states have implemented, mandating teacher certification as the way to ensure good teachers.
Among the successful attacks on President Bush’s education bill, already mauled by the education establishment and its pack of congressional Dobermans, is a provision to dump more federal money into training “certified” teachers. I suggest that a large part of the explanation for the poor student performance, however, is the fact that our teacher-education programs are often worse than useless.
North Carolina has a long history of support for higher education. The state’s financial commitment to higher education is among the strongest in the United States. The high degree of subsidization of higher education in North Carolina has some very important effects. First, it transfers wealth from taxpayers in general to those families who take advantage of the low-cost UNC system. Second, it stimulates the demand for entrance into the system. Third, it works to the detriment of the private colleges and universities in the state. This paper will analyze each effect of North Carolina’s high subsidization of the University system.
Accreditation is one of those “the emperor is wearing no clothes” phenomena overloading our educational system.
The report “Measuring Up 2000” makes North Carolina look good in some respects and bad in others. But before rushing to praise state policymakers where the grades are high or criticize them where the grades are low, we need to examine several questionable assumptions that undermine the validity of those grades.
Whether professors at UNC-CH (and other UNC campuses) are sufficiently well compen-sated to ensure the university is competitive with other universities around the nation has become a highly contentious issue. In this study, we argue that: 1) using an accurate and thorough cost-of-living index, compensation for professors at UNC-CH is significantly above average for Research I universi-ties and above most other public universities; 2) using a broad “quality of living” index to adjust faculty salaries, compensation for professors at UNC-CH and NC State is even more competitive; and 3) speculation about a “brain drain” is not only unsupported by evidence, but contradicted by it.
Proponents of the University of North Carolina’s huge spending program — to be financed with bonds that don’t require voter approval — have been pulling out all the stops. In a General Assembly committee hearing on the legislation, UNC President Molly Broad said that it should be approved because the late UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker wanted it. That was within hours of his death.