Archive for February, 2015

New ASU-Starbucks partnership


On the surface, this sounds like a great opportunity for Starbucks employees. They will get essentially free tuition for ASU’s online programs, and current ASU students like me may ultimately benefit from a greater selection of courses. The problem today is that ASU offers only about 33 undergraduate programs, most of which are of the ‘Applied Science’ category, like Web Design, and not Computer Science or Computer Information Systems, for example. I hope the availability of courses and programs will be enlarged, and I hope Starbucks employees take advantage of this new program. The downside is that the existing tuition reimbursement program will be discontinued, which means unless they can transfer to an ASU program they will lose choice in their educational plan.

Common Core

There seems to be a lot of misconception about Common Core. Now, I don’t have any kids in school, so I don’t really have any dog in the hunt, as it were. However, a lot of people seem to be up in arms that Common Core is going to allow the federal government to take over our local schools, etc. Others are alarmed at the content of some of the textbooks created under the Common Core guidelines, which I think is the real issue here.
First step always, is to educate yourself as parents and voters. It is after all, us who control voting for all the people who pass and implement the laws concerning education, from the President all the way down to our local school board members. Go to the Common Core website (, and actually read the guidelines. They currently cover only English and Mathematics skills. They will be expanded to other subjects, such as History and Science in the future.
The guidelines themselves are rather innocuous, only stating what a particular child in a particular grade level should know at the end of that grade year. I think that is important, as if you don’t know where you should be, how do you know how good you are doing, either as a student or an educator? Perhaps these initial guidelines are set too low, which is my personal opinion, but the public education system in this country has been deteriorating for decades in order to encompass too many students who are treated as victims instead of being challenged and held to high standards.
Common Core is a good first step, but we really need to do more. Much more.
Now, the issue of the textbooks is a whole other matter. Many parents and educators have pointed out glaring inaccuracies in some new textbooks that were allegedly produced to conform with Common Core guidelines, but end up looking more like someone is pushing an extreme liberal agenda. This is very much a result of our failure to be active in our children’s education, especially at the local school board and state level. Textbooks are largely written by academics and college professors who have already been corrupted by the liberal agenda, and are trying to push down to the grade school level the new social norm as they see them.
This is what we really need to be concerned about.

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