Real Solution Requires Real Collaboration
Regarding “Fake Solution to a Real Problem” (Clarion, May 2011), on the proposed changes in general education:
The Chancellery’s solution does represent an unacceptable incursion into faculty control over the curriculum. It possesses familiar features: absurd deadlines, task forces including a few selected rather than elected faculty, online surveys to give a veneer of consultation, disguising the reality of a predetermined policy, and administrative intransigence.
However, this article’s authors give only a cursory hand wave, in two paragraphs, to the very real problems of transfer and the treatment of community college students that have bedeviled this university for years. The article cites opposition from five senior college governance bodies. No community college bodies are mentioned. (One community college recently took a similar position, but with 8 nays and 17 abstentions.) Yet, despite the pervasive disrespect experienced over the years by CUNY community colleges and their students, without those transferring students the senior colleges might have to shut up shop. By some estimates, half of the student bodies at some senior colleges are made up of transfer students.
The solution to this serious problem of transfer cannot rely on old measures somehow made new again. Real collaboration must occur. For that to happen, an attitude transformation would help.
LaGuardia Community College (emerita)
Just so we know who our friends are(n’t):
I heard a reporter on the 5:00 news on WNYC-AM, on May 5, say that lobbying in Albany is at an all-time high – and what was his second of two examples? That’s right, the teachers’ union! I couldn’t believe it.
I believe there is a difference between advocacy by a membership organization of workers and lobbying by a multinational, multibillion-dollar corporation. And as a news broadcast organization claiming to need your membership dollars to support an alternative to for-profit journalism, WNYC/NPR should recognize this.
If not, then I have to wonder why “public” radio is sounding like Fox News.