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University of California teachers’ union aims to block online classes
Hotair ^ | Tina Korbe | Tina Korbe

Posted on 10/11/2011 5:17:03 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

California’s university system — like the rest of the state — is in dire straits financially. Small wonder, then, that schools there have begun to give some thought to the expansion of cost-cutting online education programs. But predictably, the California teachers’ unions have something to say about that:

The specter and promise of online education is perhaps nowhere more deeply felt than in California, where campus administrators and instructors are faced with a bloodletting. University of California officials have suggested that the system will have to innovate out of the current financial crisis by expanding online programs. (State house analysts agree.) Instructors, meanwhile, are terrified that this is code for cutting their pay, or increasing their workloads, or outsourcing their jobs to interlopers, or replacing them with online teaching software.

The system’s corps of lecturers feels this threat sharply. “We believe that if courses are moved online, they will most likely be the classes currently taught by lecturers,” reads a brief declaration against online education on the website of UC-AFT, the University of California chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, “and so we will use our collective bargaining power to make sure that this move to distance education is done in a fair and just way for our members.”

Now the California lecturers, who make up nearly half of the system’s undergraduate teaching teachers, believe they have used that bargaining power to score a rare coup. The University of California last week tentatively agreed to a deal with UC-AFT that included a new provision barring the system and its campuses from creating online courses or programs that would result in “a change to a term or condition of employment” of any lecturer without first dealing with the union.

The president of the teachers’ union says he thinks this new agreement gives the union veto power over “almost any online program,” while university representatives say the provision doesn’t effectively change anything. All it means, they say, is that, if the union objects to an online education program, the university will have to go through the same process — mediation, fact-finding, maybe a university mandate, potentially a union strike, etc. — as it would if the union objected to any university decision that would jeopardize lecturers’ jobs or work lives.

This just recalls to mind the way unions affect markets in disappointing ways. Would we rather have a more affordable product for more people or arbitrarily protected and unwarrantedly posh jobs?

Frankly, it’s astonishing to me that a knee-jerk defensiveness of lecturers’ jobs is the best this union can do. They could at least make the case for why face-to-face interaction enhances education. Certainly, I can. As a relatively recent graduate and a person who now spends the majority of my time online, I often miss the camaraderie of the classroom. The Internet is the largest salon on earth — the easiest and broadest possible exchange of ideas imaginable — but, all too frequently, ideologues of a certain stripe collect in a certain corner of it and never leave that corner, never encounter ideas that force them to test assumptions. For all that universities perpetuate a certain amount of propaganda, for all that they, too, frequently fail to conscientiously court ideological diversity, they do bring together a wide variety of people and in person. And the in-person principle does seem important to me, somehow. Perhaps the “dehumanization” of ideas — the separation of ideas from the person who thinks them — enables us to consider them more objectively, strictly on the merits of the ideas themselves and not on our affinity or disinclination for the person. But it might also be that it de-contextualizes those ideas, robs us from really observing the fabric from which the ideas were formed. Someone who knows me, who can see my facial expressions as I say something, who can hear my tone of voice, will surely understand what it is I’m trying to say better than someone who encounters only my typed words on a screen.

That’s less an argument against online programs — which are surely an excellent and affordable way to provide basic education for more people — as it is an argument for the revival of the university as it was originally conceived — a place in which to question, to learn, to debate. In many ways, we abandoned the concept of such a place as soon as we made it seem like a societal imperative for everyone — even those who have little interest in academics — to earn a B.A., when we started subsidizing college loans, when we started inflating the cost of college tuition. (Yes, I’m back to Mr. Charles Murray.) The education bubble needed to burst. The demand for a true university experience is probably quite small, and, yes, that means UC-AFT lecturers might be in too abundant of a supply, but let supply and demand determine the cost of an online college education and an in-person college education and schools will no longer be faced with a “bloodletting.” Best of all, educationally speaking, lecturers who truly want to foster an academic environment — and aren’t just looking for a job with tenure — would only have to interact face-to-face with students who also want to contribute to such an environment.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: california; greedyteachers; greedyuniversities; onlineclasses; teachersunion; university

1 posted on 10/11/2011 5:17:06 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

>> for cutting their pay, or increasing their workloads, or outsourcing their jobs to interlopers, or replacing them with online teaching software.<<

Hopefully, all of the above.


2 posted on 10/11/2011 5:20:42 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Herman Cain 2012 -- the man we need at the time we need him)
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To: SeekAndFind

Maybe much of “administration” should be on line as well!


3 posted on 10/11/2011 5:22:03 PM PDT by Vesparado
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To: SeekAndFind

Online courses will continue to proliferate to the point that the price of a college education will actually be determined by the market. Prices will tumble, brick-and-mortar colleges will contract, some will vanish. Legions of college professors will lose their employment.

Win Win Win. And Win.


4 posted on 10/11/2011 5:23:09 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I never win at Scrable.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Much of the reason for the change happened because businesses weren’t allowed to test for IQ’s anymore, so they substituted the requirement for a post-secondary diploma instead.


5 posted on 10/11/2011 5:24:52 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: SeekAndFind

What are these parasites going to do when California children enroll in high-quality Internet charter schools hosted in other states? Good jobs for teachers (no commuting), good education for children.


6 posted on 10/11/2011 5:31:31 PM PDT by Winged Hussar (http://moveonpleasemoveon.blogspot.com/)
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To: SeekAndFind

the new left has always been anti-technology.


7 posted on 10/11/2011 5:33:30 PM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not very progressive, are they?


8 posted on 10/11/2011 5:34:38 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: SeekAndFind
"...so we will use our collective bargaining power to make sure that this move to distance education is done in a fair and just way for our members."

Meaning; "Doesn't happen at all".

9 posted on 10/11/2011 5:36:34 PM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: Winged Hussar

RE: What are these parasites going to do when California children enroll in high-quality Internet charter schools hosted in other states?

______________________

If I know the liberals, they will want the government to pry into family members with school aged kids to make sure that they don’t use online schools.

Online schools will then be made illegal.

Finally, a law will be passed to BLOCK access to these online websites (like they do in China ).


10 posted on 10/11/2011 5:40:16 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Jeff Chandler

These union clowns can’t stop it. Even Youtube and Microsoft have online free classes, and even Harvard is onboard.


11 posted on 10/11/2011 5:45:09 PM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FK BARAK)
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To: max americana
On May 14th, the National Inflation Association released its critically acclaimed documentary 'College Conspiracy', which exposed the U.S. college education system as the largest scam in American history. In a little over 4 months 'College Conspiracy' has received over 2.3 million views and during this time persiod there have been thousands of articles in the mainstream media discussing the facts that the NIA was first able to expose in the movie.

If you haven't yet seen 'College Conspiracy' we highly recomment that you watch it immediately by going to: http://inflation.us/videos.html

12 posted on 10/11/2011 5:49:12 PM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: SeekAndFind

These people do not care about the education of our youth, they only want to protect their incomes and featherbed their retirement plans.


13 posted on 10/11/2011 5:52:17 PM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughers of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: SunTzuWu
Meaning; "Doesn't happen at all".

Maybe.

I can see another way it shakes out: all college courses to be "distance" learning. Class full of students gets to watch an image of some graduate student who can't speak English, blathering gibberish on a flat-screen monitor held up on a pedestal in front of the class. The graduate student is wearing only his underwear pants, but you can't see that because of the camera angle.

Graduate student gets paid a couple hundred dollars a week for this.

Meanwhile, graduate student interfaces with his "advisor" also by flat-screen monitor, on his laptop computer. Professor gets to wear only his/her underwear too, but gets paid $250K/year for doing so. Once "distance learning" by the masses kicks in, professors pay goes up to $450K per year.

14 posted on 10/11/2011 5:58:20 PM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: SeekAndFind

University of California teachers’ union aims to block online classes = outsourcing...How does it feel?


15 posted on 10/11/2011 5:59:32 PM PDT by choctaw man (Good ole Andrew Jackson, or You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma...)
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To: max americana
These union clowns can’t stop it.

Yep. The die is cast.

16 posted on 10/11/2011 5:59:41 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I never win at Scrable.)
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To: SeekAndFind

hehehe

They can’t stop the signal!

Standford is currently running a variety of online computer classes. It’s most publicized one is on AI. It has over 160,000 students online, it won’t be Standford college credit, but it will have a certificate with class ranking on it.

People from all over the world are signed up for this class.

They are pretty excited, and if you are interested, the class has just started this Monday, and enrollment is still open and FREE!!!

http://www.ai-class.com/overview

If most of this nation jobs “computerized” out of existence, so can theirs.


17 posted on 10/11/2011 6:02:20 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: SeekAndFind

And for those who don’t know, there is the free online Khan Academy, with all kinds of mostly math and science topics.

http://www.khanacademy.org/


18 posted on 10/11/2011 6:05:37 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ahhhh.

This shows their concern for humanity is fake.

Greedy Universities get bailed out.


19 posted on 10/11/2011 6:08:11 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Democrats are violent. Prisons are overflowing with democrats convicted of violent crimes.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s not surprising that academia should be so backward, but I am a bit surprised that it comes first in California, the center of technology.


20 posted on 10/11/2011 6:15:48 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Jonty30

Or you could blame it on Al Gore.


21 posted on 10/11/2011 6:16:58 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: choctaw man

Standford is not part of the UC system, and they already have some online classes going now.

One has over 160,000 students signed up, from across the world.

Let the snots at UC collapse for lack of PAYING STUDENTS.


22 posted on 10/11/2011 6:18:00 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: SeekAndFind
Florida last year passed a law that REQUIRES a certain level of online instruction for grades (IIRC) 5-12.

Oh, and the legislature did away with tenure for new teacher hires.

The teachers unions recognized the camel's nose when they saw it, and are still howling.

23 posted on 10/11/2011 6:27:43 PM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Jeff Chandler
Online courses will continue to proliferate to the point that the price of a college education will actually be determined by the market. Prices will tumble, brick-and-mortar colleges will contract, some will vanish. Legions of college professors will lose their employment. Win Win Win. And Win.

Yes, and there is nothing they can do. They priced themselves out of their own market and didn't realize it until it was too late that technology rendered them obsolete. Nothing can stop this trend, although there is some value in being present in a laboratory for hands on work. The undergraduate degrees will become online, and the graduate courses will be more applied, hands on experimentation.

24 posted on 10/11/2011 6:30:07 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Elle Bee

Thanks for that Freeper.


25 posted on 10/11/2011 6:32:03 PM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FK BARAK)
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To: Vince Ferrer

Worksheets and tests can be graded by a combination of computer programs and low wage third world workers.


26 posted on 10/11/2011 7:44:38 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I never win at Scrable.)
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To: SeekAndFind

One can see from the progressive-Marxist attack on charter schools, for profit post high-school education, and now on the television classroom (which is the wave of the future, thanks to the greed of the Education establlishment) the times are a changing.

Television programming that leads to a college degree could begin with University A, creating its own television programming; it then purchases a television station and places that station on satellite and cable TV. Students “attend” TV lectures, are given reading lists, take midterms and finals. This is done while the student holds down a day job, and studies at night.

A while back I thought that Brigham Young was about to enter on such a venture. I don;t know where that led. However, one thing I do know is that the American middle class can no longer tolerate a university education that cost 20K and up per annum.


27 posted on 10/11/2011 8:05:12 PM PDT by Melchior
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To: Jonty30

“Much of the reason for the change happened because businesses weren’t allowed to test for IQ’s anymore, so they substituted the requirement for a post-secondary diploma instead.”

Absolutely correct. You can thank the SCOTUS for that one.


28 posted on 10/11/2011 8:26:01 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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Commie scumbags


29 posted on 10/11/2011 8:27:11 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Save a pretzel for the gas jet.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The University of California last week tentatively agreed to a deal with UC-AFT that included a new provision barring the system and its campuses from creating online courses or programs that would result in “a change to a term or condition of employment” of any lecturer without first dealing with the union.

That sounds clear enough to me.

Higher education, indeed all education no longer exists for the benefit of the learners, the students, but for the permanent maintenance of the political and financial special benefits enjoyed by the Teacher Unions, the remorae of our degenerate political system.

Anyone even remotely aware of the difference between primary and higher education and the needs of each group of students, and the "special," privileged perverted existence of tenure can condemn internet classes and the corresponding enormous reduction in cost.

The Unions are the buggy whip promoters of higher education. Reality says that one excellent internet lecturer-teacher can outperform a thousand educational hacks. Inevitably that must displace $400,000 Universities, and the distorted artificial value of Union diplomas.

30 posted on 10/12/2011 12:39:47 AM PDT by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: Winged Hussar
Reminds me of this:

They expect results
31 posted on 10/12/2011 12:53:08 AM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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