In a move that should shock none of us, MSU has done away with requiring algebra to graduate. They claim that algebra is just too hard for their students, so they are implementing new "quantitative literacy" classes. And it's not like MSU's algebra course is rocket science. From one class's syllabus:
The topics of MTH 103 include linear & quadratic equations & inequalities, complex numbers, equations with radicals, absolute value, graphing linear and quadratic equations, transformations of graphs, polynomials, functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponentials, logarithms, and, most importantly, applications of these topics to solving problems outside of mathematics.
I do realize that math isn't for everyone (UM's calculus courses were the WORST), but come on. If you have a college degree, you're expected to able to perform simple algebra calculations. Luckily, one of MSU's leaders agrees with me:
But students aren’t likely to succeed in the new classes or in post-college life without some algebra fundamentals, said William Schmidt, director of the MSU College of Education's Center for the Study of Curriculum. “Students who come to college with real weaknesses on the formal math side may not benefit fully from the quantitative lessons,” he said. While every job doesn’t require a well-honed knowledge of advanced math, Schmidt said, learning the fundamentals is essential to problem-solving. “The logic of thinking algebraically builds ways of thinking about problems, allowing us to engage in the practical aspects of mathematics,” he said. “It’s pretty tough (to do so) without it.”
So maybe there is a small chance that eventually those quantitative literacy classes will end up resembling actual algebra. But until then, we just have to be content with "Go to school at MSU, learn to count to te-en!" being all too real.
The past four years have produced the best academic stretch for Michigan athletics since the NCAA began tracking the data 10 years ago.
A record 10 U-M teams received Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards from the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday, the NCAA announced. The total is the highest for Michigan teams since the APR came into existence in 2004-05, and surpassed last year's total of six.
Interesting article about Gary Andersen leaving Wisconsin because of their high academic standards. He basically couldn't get the players he wanted into school. Not sure how he didn't know this going in but sounds like WI should be glad he's gone.
The athletic department is working on their image and their relationship to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the university.
One idea might be to honor academic accomplishments on the field along with athletic accomplishments.
Currently each time there is a timeout, the athletic department brings a person onto the field who was successful in the NFL, won a conference championship, or won an olympic medal. These are athletic accomplishments.
Would it help tie together academics with athletics to sometimes also honor those who have achieved academic accomplishments? As an extreme example, if a Michigan alum won a nobel prize, having them come onto the field and honor them.
I will be heading to Ann Arbor for freshman orientation on Tuesday, and one task of orientation is to register for classes. I know many MGoBloggers attended Michigan, and to you, I would just like to ask for some scheduling advice in general. I am in LSA, but I'm going to be applying for Ross, so I will be taking a first year writing class, economics, and calculus for sure.
With that said, I am just curious as to what professors are good? Which first year writing classes/seminars are worth taking? I will probably be in Calc 2, but should I take Calc 116 or Calc 186 (honors)? Which econ 101 professor is worth taking? What other classes could be valuable? Any bit of advice that you could offer me would be very helpful. Thank you so much!
UNC Chancellor: "We also accept the fact that there was a failure in academic oversight for years that permitted this to continue," Folt told UNC trustees last week.
I wonder what, if any, fallout this will have from an NCAA perspective and if there is actually any action taken, or if this is just going to further display that $$$ is the true driver in major college athletics and that nothing more will happen with this.
Given the actions at Northwestern to attempt unionization in the football program, I would think that reports like this could easily lend credence to the fact that athletics and athletic scholarships are not simply a voluntary "student-athlete" program. If it can be shown that such a significant portion of scholarship athletes in other programs also do not have basic reading and writing skills, let alone are taking fake or set-aside courses to maintain academic standings to participate in sports, it really weakens the statements from the NCAA yesterday.
In a statement, NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy disagreed with the idea that college athletes could be considered labor. The full remarks from Remy:
This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.
Many student athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes.
Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes.